A competitive Tennessee Senate race in Nashville has gone to the Democratic challenger, Heidi Campbell. As of the end of Election Night, she held a 4-percentage point lead over Republican incumbent Steve Dickerson.
Campbell is the former mayor of Oak Hill. Dickerson, a physician and a moderate Republican who often votes with Democrats on social issues, has represented the district since 2012.
The race has been laden with personal attacks. Democrats have attacked Dickerson over drug fraud at his company, Comprehensive Pain Specialists. The case against him was dismissed over the summer.
Meanwhile, Republicans have accused Campbell of being late in paying her property taxes.
But the biggest issue was an ad and mailers that some allies of Dickerson used to attack Campbell. They highlighted her support for a group called Gideon’s Army, which leads community service in North Nashville and advocates for policing reform. They said this showed she would support radical violence against police.
Some Democrats called for Dickerson to repudiate these ads, which he declined to do, saying they weren’t from his campaign.
Senate District 20 stretches from Hermitage around the north and west sides of Davidson County through Goodlettsville, Bellevue and Belle Meade, and around the south to Green Hills and Oak Hill. It basically forms a C-shape around Davidson County.
According to the Associated Press, eight Republican state senators face Democratic challengers in Tennessee, most of them in Republican-tilted districts.