NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean has won the Democratic primary in the open race for Tennessee governor.
Dean defeated state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh on Thursday in a race to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.
Dean had a huge advantage in campaign cash, outspending Fitzhugh $4.4 million to $984,800. The race was mostly cordial.
Dean has run as a moderate who says he’ll work across the aisle.
Democrats have a tough path to statewide success in Tennessee, where they need to attract moderate Republicans and independents in a state that favored President Donald Trump by 26 percentage points in 2016.
Dean even quoted Ronald Reagan in a Democratic debate.
He faces the winner of a four-way GOP primary that cost more than $45 million.