All nine of the state's U.S. House members are favored to return to Washington following the general election.
Only one race could be considered remotely competitive _ the race for the 4th District seat, currently held by first-term Rep. Lincoln Davis, D-Pall Mall.
But that would require a bump in fund-raising by Republican challenger Janice Bowling, who received more than 45 percent of the vote when she lost to Davis in 2002. In the middle of July. Davis had nearly $800,000 _ more than four times the size of Bowling's war chest.A candidate to watch is Republican James L. Hart,, who is running for the 8th Congressional District. Hart, a believer in the discredited, phony science of eugenics, will oppose Rep. John Tanner, a Democrat who has represented the northwest Tennessee district for 15 years.
Hart said he doesn't expect to win the general election, but he hopes to get his message out that "less favored races" should be discouraged from reproducing or immigrating to the United States.
Shortly after taking office in January 2003, Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen turned down his $85,000 salary, saying he couldn't accept it when he's contemplating the layoff of state employees to deal with a budget shortfall.
"I have always seen this job as one about public service, not salary," the multimillionaire businessman said.
To avoid a projected $600 million shortfall one year after a $1 billion tax increase, Bredesen pushed through a $21.5 billion budget that on July 1 cut spending for most state departments and agencies by 9 percent.
In the 2002 elections, Bredesen, a former mayor of Nashville, narrowly beat Republican Rep. Van Hilleary in an $18 million governor's race, the most expensive in state history.
In June 2003, Bredesen approved a lottery to fund college, making Tennessee one of the last states to have some form of legalized gambling. Only Utah and Hawaii do not permit any form of gambling. Bredesen signed the legislation after months of debate in the General Assembly and a statewide referendum in November 2002.
Also in the 2002 elections, Lamar Alexander, the former governor and two-time presidential candidate, defeated Democratic Rep. Bob Clement to keep retiring Senator Fred Thompson's seat in GOP hands.
In the House races, Democratic state Sen. Lincoln Davis beat Republican Janice Bowling for Hilleary's 4th District seat.