NPR

Tennessee Could Be A Bright Spot For Republican Women In 2018

Tennessee is one of just seven states that have never elected a woman as senator or governor. Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Diane Black are hoping to change that, but both face big hurdles first.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn gave a speech during the Republican National Convention in 2016. Blackburn is running against former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen in one of the year's most critical and competitive Senate races. Source: Joe Raedle

In an election year shaping up to be a good one for Democratic women candidates, Republican women could see their numbers drop after November. But one state where GOP women might find success is in Tennessee.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn will go up against former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen in one of the year's most critical and competitive Senate races. Rep. Diane Black is running for governor, though she first has to win a very competitive primary next week.

A win by either woman this fall would be historic for Tennessee, which is one of only seven states that's never had a female senator or governor.

But as both women crisscross the state, their gender rarely comes up with voters — and unlike many female Democratic candidates, it's definitely not something they're emphasizing.

"When I'm talking with Tennesseans, I

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