Thirty-six candidates are running for the U.S. House from Tennessee

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Tennessee this year was April 7, 2022. Thirty-six candidates are running for Tennessee’s nine U.S. House districts, including 13 Democrats and 23 Republicans. That’s four candidates per district, less than the five candidates per district in 2020 and the 5.44 in 2018.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. Tennessee was apportioned nine districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  • The 36 candidates running this year are the fewest candidates running for Tennessee’s U.S. House seats since 2012, when 36 candidates ran as well. Forty-five candidates ran in 2020, 49 in 2018, 48 in 2016, and 39 in 2014.
  • One district—the 5th—is open. That’s down from two open seats in 2020, 2018 and 2016. There were no open seats in 2014 or 2012. 
  • Rep. Jim Cooper (D), who represents the 5th district, is retiring. 
  • Ten candidates—one Democrat and nine Republicans—are running to replace Cooper, the most candidates running for a seat this year.
  • There are eight contested primaries this year—four Democratic and four Republican. That’s the same number as in 2020 and five fewer than in 2018, when there were 13 contested primaries. There were ten contested primaries in 2016, 11 in 2014, and ten in 2012. 
  • Five incumbents—all Republicans—are not facing any primary challengers.
  • Republican and Democratic candidates filed to run in all nine districts, so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year.

Tennessee is holding its congressional primaries on August 4, the 36th state to do so. Winners in primary contests in Tennessee are determined by plurality vote, meaning that the candidate with the highest number of votes wins even if he or she does not win more than 50 percent of votes cast.

Additional reading:

List of U.S. Congress incumbents who are not running for re-election in 2022