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Durham Loses Re-Election To Whitson

Posted at 8:27 PM, Aug 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-04 23:38:03-04

Embattled Republican State Representative Jeremy Durham saw voters in Williamson County end his legislative career, NewsChannel 5 Political Analyst Pat Nolan said.

Embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal, Durham had suspended his campaign, but regardless, suffered a resounding rebuke at the ballot box losing 80 percent to 20 percent to Sam Whitson, a retired U.S. Army Colonel.

The attorney general's report released over Durham's legal objections in July included allegations that the two-term lawmaker had improper sexual interactions with 22 women at the legislative office complex. Durham has called most of the allegations false or taken out of context.

Whitson got his campaign started in January as the allegations of Durham's improper behavior began to mount. Whitson said at the time that his campaign would be aimed at electing a representative with "character, courage and a total commitment to our county."

The Tennessee Republican Party Chairman, Ryan Haynes, congratulated Sam Whitson's win:

“Sam Whitson is the Republican nominee for the 65th District and we could not be happier to support him. He has served his nation with distinction and he will do the same for his community. He will be a common sense conservative fighter for the priorities of Williamson County. We can now move forward and focus on his opponent who, as a Hillary Clinton acolyte, will be unacceptable to the vast majority of the voters.”

Whitson as the GOP nominee for the 65th State House District seat has now been set to take on Democrat Holly McCall, a long time Democratic activist, in November. 

With an incumbent being defeated and Whitson running his first campaign, Democrats have claimed to see an opportunity, but they and McCall face very long odds in what is likely by historical standards the most Republican district in Tennessee, according to Nolan.