Steve Cohen, David Kustoff reelected to U.S. House

By , Daily Memphian Updated: November 09, 2022 3:43 PM CT | Published: November 08, 2022 11:13 PM CT
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The city’s two Congressmen were easily reelected Tuesday, Nov. 8, within the new boundaries of the 8th and 9th Congressional districts.

But by late Tuesday evening neither knew whether they were going to be part of a minority or a majority in the U.S. House next year as national results in other races continued to come in.

In the 9th District, Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis beat perennial challenger and Republican nominee Charlotte Bergmann as well as three independent candidates. The 9th District covers most of Shelby County and about half of Tipton County.

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Unofficial returns from the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office for the district show Cohen with a wide lead over Bergmann. Former county commissioner George Flinn leads the three independents:

With incomplete and unofficial district wide returns the totals late Tuesday were: 

Cohen: 90,788

Bergmann: 34,179

Flinn: 3,249

Dennis Clark: 1,118

Paul Cook: 466

Cohen picked up half of Tipton County, which is predominantly Republican, last year when the Tennessee Legislature’s Republican supermajorities redrew the state’s nine Congressional districts.

And there Bergmann appeared to carry that part of the district by a little less than 4,000 votes in a much lower overall turnout by the number than Shelby County.

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Incumbent Republican David Kustoff of Germantown beat Democratic challenger Lynette Williams and two independent candidates in the seat for the 8th District, which covers part of Shelby County into Memphis but is defined by most of the rural counties in West Tennessee.

With incomplete returns the results were:

Kustoff: 152,895

Williams: 49,591

James Hart 2,497

Ronnie Henley 1,049

Kustoff carried every one of the 20 counties that comprise the 8th District, taking the Shelby County part of his district with 71% of the vote.

Williams’ most competitive county was Haywood where she lost to Kustoff by 107 votes.

With certification of the results later this month, Kustoff will begin his fourth two-year term in the House. Cohen will begin his ninth two-year term.

Both are awaiting the national results of House seats across the nation, which will determine which one is part of the House majority and which is part of the House minority.

Kustoff and Cohen have each been part of the minority party and majority party in the House during their tenures.

Ogles defeats Campbell

Tennessee’s biggest congressional race, however, was in the Nashville area, in a district that was gerrymandered to be more favorable to Republicans.

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles, who is among the farthest-right candidates for the House across the country, won 55.7% to 42.4% against state Sen. Heidi Campbell, a Nashville Democrat. He had 114,750 votes as of 10:15 p.m.; Campbell had 87,389.

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Ogles flipped the district long held by Rep. Jim Cooper, a fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrat, and put the Republican Party one step closer to a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

After Ogles’ victory, Cohen will be Tennessee’s only Democrat in Congress.

Ogles has said it’s “ridiculous” to refer to the attacks at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as an insurrection, and that the participants should be pardoned. In support of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision and banning abortion, he has said the argument in favor of allowing abortions in cases of rape or incest is a “red herring.” He has also said he would like to dissolve the U.S. Department of Education.

Ogles refused to debate Campbell and mostly avoided the media during his general election run.

Campbell, who was the only Democrat to flip a GOP seat in the state Senate in 2020, ran a much more competitive race than many were expecting.

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With a campaign aimed at moderate suburban women uncomfortable with the GOP’s rightward drift, Campbell portrayed Ogles as an extremist; she advocated for abortion rights, democracy and the environment.

She was able to raise and spend more money than Ogles.

She raised $1,015,899 and spent $676,961 from March 29 to Oct. 19; Ogles raised $987,049 and spent $573,178 from April 1 to Oct. 19.


U.S. House of Representatives David Kustoff Steve Cohen 9th Congressional District 8th Congressional District

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Bill Dries

Bill Dries

Bill Dries covers city and county government and politics. He is a native Memphian and has been a reporter for more than 40 years.


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