Menu JTA Search

In Tennessee, Steve Cohen trounces primary challenger

(JTA) — Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) easily survived a primary election challenge, making it likely he will continue to represent Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District.

Cohen defeated challenger Ricky Wilkins by a more than 2-to-1 margin in Thursday’s primary, winning 66 percent of the vote to Wilkins’ 33 percent, according to vote totals compiled by The Associated Press. That makes Cohen the overwhelming favorite to win a sixth consecutive term in the general election; the 9th district is overwhelmingly Democratic.

Cohen will face Republican Charlotte Bergmann in the November general election. Bergmann challenged Cohen in the 2010 general election and lost by a 74-25 margin.

The 9th district encompasses much of the city of Memphis and is majority African American. Cohen, who is Jewish, first won the seat in 2006 when he took 31 percent of the vote in a crowded primary. Since then, he has faced an African-American primary challenger each year and has won overwhelmingly each time. Wilkins, an African-American attorney, earned the highest vote percentage of any primary challenger since Cohen was first elected to office.

NEXT STORY