Cohen wins 9th District primary; Davis winning 1st District

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Memphis will send a white Democrat to the general election for Congress for the first time in more than three decades with state Sen. Steve Cohen's victory Thursday in the 9th District Democratic primary.

Meanwhile, state Rep. David Davis was winning the Republican nomination for northeastern Tennessee's 1st Congressional District. With 100% of Shelby County precincts reporting in the heavily Democratic district, Cohen had 23,616 votes, or 31%, to Nikki Tinker's 19,157, or 25%.

They were among 15 Democrats vying to succeed Rep. Harold Ford Jr., D-Tenn., who gave up the seat he inherited from his father to run for U.S. Senate. During the campaign, Cohen critics said the predominantly black district should be represented by a black member of Congress. Tinker and 11 other candidates in the race are black.

Together, the top four black candidates got 57% of the vote. Cohen, a champion of minority rights during his 24 years in the state Senate, said the voters proved those critics wrong, though voting in Memphis has traditionally fallen along racial lines.