Wilder’s seat up for grabs in contentious race

BROWNSVILLE, TN (WMC-TV) - There's a hotly contested Tennessee Senate seat that's up for grabs this year.  Most recently, the seat belonged to Fayette county farmer and lawyer John Wilder.

Wilder held that Senate seat for forty-four years, but this year announced his retirement.

The two candidates campaigning to fill Wilder's District 26 Senate seat were in Haywood County Wednesday, where Brownsville's court square served as a battleground for the contentious race.

Democrat Randy Camp held an early voting rally Wednesday morning.  There, he promised that he would bring more jobs to West Tennessee.

"People who don't have jobs are trying to help people find jobs, people that have jobs trying to help them keep them and trying to help people find better jobs," he said.

Camp was joined by Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen and others.  He said his political connections in Nashville will help him get things done.

"That's the thing that I've been really pushing is a non-partisan relationship with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents," Camp continues.

With eight counties, the Senate district is one of the largest in the state.

Camp's opponent, Dolores Gresham, wants to make sure every voter in the district understands each candidate.

"Its really important that I get the message across as to who I am, why I want to represent their district, and what I have in mind for the future," says Republican candidate Dolores Gresham.

During a lunch time presentation, Gresham promised economic help by reviewing every tax in the state.

"Can that be reduced?  Can that be repealed?  We need to put that money back in people's pockets so they can spend it and get the economy going," Gresham continues.

Despite their differences, both candidates believe the economy is the main issue in this year's election.  Both Camp and Gresham promise to continue visiting voters in the district day telling them how they plan to fix the problem.

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