Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn and former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen have won their partys' nomination in the race for U.S. Senate Thursday night.

Blackburn defeated Aaron Pettigrew in the GOP primary to win her spot on the ticket.

“Chuck and I are so grateful for the support shown to our campaign by so many volunteers from across the state. Today is a milestone and the beginning of the general election, and I am so grateful you are entrusting me with the Republican nomination for United States Senate. We ask for your continued support as we work to earn every single vote and win in November," Blackburn said in a statement.

Bredesen defeated John Wolfe and Gary Davis to win the Democratic nomination. 

Bredesen also spoke after learning of his victory:

“This is not someplace I ever thought I’d be again when I left the Governor’s office here on election night being on the ballot and actually it’s a very good feeling. Back last October when this possibility first came up, and Andrea and I started talking about it, it was a little bit of a tough decision, and I’m at that point in life where if I’m successful at this I’ll spend a lot of the rest of my life getting on a plane and going to Washington and working on these things, so it’s gotta be for something important.

I think when we talked about it we found that there’s still some unfinished business. I love my country, I believe in it. I believe in the notion of a deliberative process in Washington where you talk about things and argue about things but then you decide and move forward and somehow over the last 10, 15 years, we’ve lost that. We’ve just turned into a country where everybody stands on opposite sides of the room and shouts at each other. I’d like to be part of the fix for that, to start bringing us back together to find some solutions and to do some things together. Since this campaign began, I’ve been traveling all across the state and meeting with an awful lot of people. It’s certainly not just Democrats. We meet with these huge groups of people when I go into different places and what people want across the board, whether they’re super conservative or super liberal or anywhere in between, they all say the same thing: let’s just move things. Let’s get some things done, and that’s very much the way I tried to operate as governor and very much what I want to bring to Washington.

Tennessee has been a place of enormous opportunity for Andrea and I, and it’s a real honor and a pleasure to be thinking about representing our state in Washington. We arrived here when we had been married, I guess it was 10 months, in her Volkswagen with our possession in the back and she had a job, I did not, and we didn’t know anybody in the state. Over the next 30 years, we were able to build up a company together to a big public company, I was able to be Mayor of Nashville and Governor of the state, and that didn’t happen without enormous numbers of people just stepping forward and reaching out their hands and helping us in various ways, and I want to make sure that happens to everybody; that everybody has these same kinds of opportunities and that same sort of opening and the federal government has a lot to do with making that happen.

It’s great to be here this evening. I just want to close with y’all and go back and watch the returns. I checked just before I came on by the way, and with .001% of the vote in, I’m ahead.

When I was growing up, I think a lot of you know, I grew up in a single-parent household and my mother made a lot of sacrifices for me when I was growing up, and I’m sure when I was younger I didn’t really appreciate them, but as I got a little older I did. I remember a time when I was in college and she did something for me and I said “Thanks, Mom, and I’ll pay you back some day.” And she said “No, I don’t want you to pay me back. I want you to pay me forward. Someday, you’re going to have a wife and some children, I hope, and what I want you to do is put the same commitment into your relationship with them that I have to you.”

 So I’ve got a lot of friends here tonight, a lot of friends out here across the state tonight, and I just want to say to you if you’re expecting me to pay you back for all the help you’ve been putting forward, you’re probably going to be disappointed, because I’m going to pay you forward by being the best damn Senator you ever sent up there.”     

Both candidates had landslide victories.

They will move on to the general election on November 6.

Stay with the WRCB app for Decision 2018 updates.


Bob Corker has held the seat since 2007. Now that he's not running for re-election, five people want his position.

That includes three Democrats and two Republicans. Thursday's primary will slim that list down.

Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn and Aaron Pettigrew are running on the Republican side.

Congresswoman Blackburn represents the 7th Congressional district and has been endorsed by the White House. She is considered the front-runner on the GOP side.

Vice President Mike Pence recently came to the Tennessee Valley to fundraise for her campaign.

Pettigrew comes from a commercial driving background and is from Rutherford County. He believes he could offer change.

On the Democratic side, Phil Bredesen, John Wolfe and Gary Davis want that nomination. Former Governor Phil Bredesen is considered the front-runner on the Democratic side. He served two terms as Governor.

Gary Davis is from Nashville. He has run several other times for Senate.

John Wolfe is a Chattanooga attorney who describes himself as having a record for fighting for government accountability.

Stay with Channel 3 to learn who will go to the general election.