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Tally in key county in DesJarlais race delayed

Associated Press Modified: November 6, 2012 at 10:46 pm •  Published: November 6, 2012
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Stewart hoped that conservative voters who backed Romney were upset enough by the revelations about DesJarlais' personal life to split their tickets and vote for him.

Heather Grader, a 27-year-old preschool teacher from Murfreesboro, said she voted for DesJarlais because she voted straight Republican. She was not bothered by the allegations against the congressman because she saw them as part of political mudslinging.

She criticized both Stewart and DesJarlais for running negative campaigns. "I would say they both did it," she said.

DesJarlais has blamed "a disgruntled, defeated ex-congressman, a vindictive ex-wife, and a desperate Democratic candidate" for dredging up details from his past.

Among the remaining Republican members of the congressional delegation, freshman Rep. Diane Black of Gallatin faced no opposition after trouncing Lou Ann Zelenik in the Republican primary in August; Rep. Phil Roe of Johnson City defeated Democrat Alan Woodruff of Gray; Rep. John J. "Jimmy" Duncan won over Troy Goodale, both of Knoxville; Rep. Chuck Fleischmann of Chattanooga defeated Mary Headrick of Maynardville; Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Brentwood won over Credo Amouzouvik of Clarksville; and Stephen Fincher of Halls beat Timothy Dixon of Germantown.

Among the Democrats, Rep. Jim Cooper of Nashville beat Republican Brad Staats and Rep. Steve Cohen defeated George Flinn in Memphis.

Voters expressed strong interest in the presidential race even though Tennessee was expected to go strong for Romney.

In the Memphis suburb of Collierville, financial adviser Kevin Baltier, 44, said he voted for Romney because he believed the Republican's tax plan and economic strategy would spur investment in the United States and help the overall economy. He praised Ryan's knowledge of budget issues and ability to work with fellow members of Congress.

The married father of two boys also said Obama's campaign failed to reach him.

"This class envy that the president has created to get re-elected, I don't know whether he believes it or not, but he certainly has used it as a populist message," he said.

In Knoxville, Micki Fox said she has known who she was voting for four years.

"Barack Obama in 2008, and I have never wavered," said Fox, an administrator at the University of Tennessee College of Law.