Senate District 7: Stacy Campfield defends his seat
Few lawmakers stir stronger feelings than state Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, who has mixed it up with everyone from a governor to talk show hosts over a political career that spans more than a decade. His analogy last month comparing health care reform to the Holocaust drew condemnation from Gov. Bill Haslam and the Tennessee Republican Party.
Knox County Commissioner Richard Briggs has raised more than $157,000 for his campaign, largely on a platform of not being Campfield. He could get an endorsement from Gov. Bill Haslam. Mike Alford, a Knoxville tour bus driver, also filed for the GOP primary.
Senate District 25: A Republican free-for-all
The Republican primary could be a battle royal, with incumbent Sen. Jim Summerville, R-Dickson, facing former state Sen. Kerry Roberts, R-Springfield, and outgoing state Rep. Joshua Evans, R-Greenbrier.
Summerville rode the Tea Party wave into office four years ago and has made news mainly for offbeat legislation, such as his bills to require vendors to cover up magazines like Cosmopolitan and to make the Tennessee Education Lottery place warnings on its ads. Roberts was drawn out of his Senate seat in redistricting two years ago, while Evans has won three terms in the House. Both have both raised more than $80,000.
House District 45: Courtney Rogers shows she's no fluke
Two years ago, state Rep. Courtney Rogers, R-Goodlettsville, went from political unknown to defeating state Rep. Debra Maggart, the third-most powerful Republican in the state House of Representatives. The victory demonstrated to the nation that gun rights activists, including the National Rifle Association, still could sway an election.
Rogers now faces a challenge from Len Silverman, an education executive who has ties to Maggart. Beating Silverman would prove to doubters that Rogers' 2012 victory was not a fluke.
House District 61: Activists take on Charles Sargent
Many of the same activists who backed Rogers in 2012 have now turned their attention to the race between House Finance Committee Chairman Charles Sargent, R-Franklin, and Steve Gawrys, a Brentwood builder and entrepreneur.
Gun rights activists blame Sargent, who has represented the district since 1996, for the failure of a bill that would have let Tennesseans carry handguns openly without a permit. Gawrys quickly raised more than $30,000 and could benefit from activists' volunteering on his behalf. But the NRA so far has sat this race out.
Senate District 21: Jeff Yarbro runs again
Four years ago, Nashville attorney Jeff Yarbro came close to upsetting state Sen. Douglas Henry, the longest-serving state legislator in Tennessee history. With Henry retiring, Yarbro would appear to be the favorite in the Democratic primary.
He faces Mary Mancini, a longtime political activist who has the endorsement of Women for Tennessee's Future, a new political action committee dedicated to electing more women to state leadership roles. Both are campaigning aggressively for a seat that likely will remain in Democratic hands in November.
Senate District 17: Mae Beavers spurs challenge
State Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, may very well be the General Assembly's most conservative member. She won her seat by stridently opposing a state income tax and, over the years, has made attacking the federal government - on issues such as gun control, health care reform and education - a centerpiece of her legislative agenda.
Those stances have won her re-election, but they also have drawn her frequent primary challenges. The latest comes from Clark Boyd, a former chairman of the Wilson County Republican Party. Boyd says Republicans in the district need a new direction.
Senate District 19: Thelma Harper faces an upstart ...
Brandon Puttbrese is the latest in a line of young Democratic operatives who, like Yarbro four years ago, have tried their luck against an incumbent lawmaker. Puttbrese worked as the spokesman for the Tennessee Democratic Party until December, when he resigned to take a job with a marketing firm.
State Sen. Thelma Harper has represented portions of Davidson County since 1990, taking on a variety of leadership roles. Harper's campaign had only about $20,000 in the bank in March, but she has considerable name recognition. For her to lose would be a considerable upset.
House District 55: ... and so does Gary Odom
The Democratic primary in this West Nashville district also pits a veteran lawmaker against an upstart challenger. State Rep. Gary Odom has served in the House since 1986, rising to the rank of House Majority Leader in 2007. He held the position until Democrats voted him out in 2011, when Republicans took control of the chamber.
Attorney John Ray Clemmons is a former political director for the Tennessee Democratic Party and ran former U.S. Rep. Bob Clement's failed 2007 campaign for mayor. Clemmons ran unsuccessfully to represent the Belmont neighborhood on the Metro Council in 2009.
House District 48: Joe Carr leaves an opening
Three Republicans are running for the open seat in western Rutherford County that state Rep. Joe Carr leaves as he runs for the U.S. Senate.
Adam Coggin, a county commissioner from Murfreesboro, leads the fundraising battle, with more than $100,000 for the race. Meanwhile Rick Peppers, a Lascassas cattle rancher who has played host to Carr's annual T-Bones & Politics fundraiser, and Bryan Terry, a physician from Murfreesboro, have each raised more than $50,000, through self-financing and outside donations.
The GOP winner ought to have the upper hand in the general election. The last time the seat was contested, Carr defeated his Democratic challenger by 25 percentage points.
House District 51: Dems vie to follow Turner
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner's decision to leave the legislature opens a seat in a district that takes in East Nashville, Old Hickory and Germantown. Three Democrats hope to take his place.
Jennifer Buck Wallace, a former executive director of the Tennessee Democratic Party, raised more than $50,000 in the first quarter and has the endorsement of Women for Tennessee's Future. Stephen Fotopulos has not yet reported his fundraising tallies but could draw on his experience as executive director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. Bill Beck, an attorney, has raised about $10,000 and plans to campaign on a platform of unifying the demographically disparate district.