Democrats tie Republican fundraising in top Middle Tennessee races

  • Heidi Campbell edged Andy Ogles by a nearly 2-1 margin in the race for the 5th congressional district.
  • Odessa Kelley has raised more than U.S. Rep. Mark Green this quarter, but lags in total money brought in this cycle.
  • Governor Bill Lee has narrowly raised more money than Democrat Jason Martin, but still holds a sizable financial advantage.

Democrats in central Tennessee are on pace, and in several cases, outpacing their Republican opponents in fundraising in some of the most competitive races this election cycle.

Democrats in the races for the 5th and 7th congressional districts outperformed their Republican opponents in the past quarter, according to reports from the Federal Election Commission. In the 6th District, only incumbent U.S. Representative John Rose, R-Cookeville, filed a report.

Democrats also raised more in two of Middle Tennessee’s most competitive State House races. Meanwhile, Governor Bill Lee narrowly edged his Democratic challenger Jason Martin this quarter.

Here’s what to know about third-quarter fundraising in Middle Tennessee’s most competitive races.

5th Congressional District fundraiser turns to Democrats; 7th most complicated

Democrat Odessa Kelley raised more money than Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Mark Green in the 7th Congressional District during the third quarter. Kelley raised $229,766 to Green’s $142,564.

But Green has raised a total of $1.5 million this election cycle, compared to Kelley’s $955,744.

In the 5th congressional district, it’s a different story. Democrat Heidi Campbell, senator from Nashville State, nearly doubled the number of Republicans Andy Ogles, mayor of Maury County. Campbell raised $533,416 to Ogles’ $297,796 last quarter.

Ogles has raised slightly more money than her this cycle, but he’s faced a tough primary, meaning he’s already spent most of his money. Campbell has a cash advantage, with $597,356 to Ogles’ $455,804.

Ogles’ money also includes a one-time $320,000 personal loan he made to his campaign in the primary.

The 5th, 6th, and 7th congressional districts were redrawn as part of this year’s redistricting process. The Republican supermajority in the legislature has divided the Democratic stronghold of Davidson County among the three districts.

The 5th Precinct is expected to have a Republican edge, but earlier this week Cook’s nonpartisan political report bumped the race up a odds of Solid Republican to Likely Republicanshowing that it could be more competitive than expected.

Early voting for the general election begins on October 19, with elections taking place on November 8.

Martin nearly ties Lee in the third quarter, but is significantly down in cash

Lee edged Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Martin by $70,000 in the gubernatorial race. Lee brought in $551,810 in the third quarter, compared to Martin’s $481,901.

The Governor also holds large cash advantages over Martin and spends more.

Lee spent $1.4 million last quarter, compared to Martin’s $298,504. Most of Lee’s expenses were for a television advertising campaign launched in September. The campaign spent about $936,000 on it.

Democrats hold fundraising advantage in competitive State House races

A similar trend followed in two of Middle Tennessee’s most competitive State House races.

Democrat Caleb Hemmer raised $115,374 in the third quarter, while Republican Michelle Foreman raised $44,725 in the District 59 race.

The Republicans redrawn District 59 to include the southern portion of Davidson County, running through Belle Meade, Oak Hill, and part of Antioch.

Democrat Ronnie Glynn raised $74,916, while Republican Tommy Vallejos raised $54,446 in District 67, which includes all of Clarksville.

Democrats represented both districts before the redistricting, but each incumbent opted out of running for office this cycle.

Cash for candidates after the third quarter

Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District

  • Campbell: $597,356
  • Eagles: $455,804

Tennessee’s 6th congressional district

  • Pink: $1,323,468
  • Randall Cooper: No report on file

Tennessee’s 7th congressional district

  • Green: $176,912
  • Kelly: $165,442

Tennessee gubernatorial race:

  • Lee: $3,517,127
  • Martin: $249,494

State House District 59

  • Foreman: $65,523
  • Hem: $219,135

State House District 67

  • Glynn: $51,513
  • Vallejos: $45,483