By Daniel Strauss (Politico) –
Businessman Bill Lee won the Republican nomination for governor in Tennessee on Thursday, defeating three primary opponents, including Rep. Diane Black, the former chair of the House Budget Committee.
Lee will face former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, who won the Democratic primary Thursday.
Meanwhile, Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn and former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen are set to face off in Tennessee’s high-profile Senate race after coasting to their respective party nominations. Tennessee is poised to be a critical battleground this fall as Republicans seek to defend their slim, 51-49 majority in the chamber. Democrats are on defense in 10 states President Donald Trump carried in 2016, and Tennessee is one of just three races where the party is aiming to flip GOP-held seats.