Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles will win the Republican nomination in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District, CNN projects.
The newly drawn district attracted a crowded field of candidates vying to represent part of the Nashville area. Ogles, an entrepreneur, will defeat state House Speaker Beth Harwell and retired Brig. Gen. Kurt Winstead.
Tennessee’s new congressional map split Davidson county, home to Nashville, into three separate districts, likely shifting the state’s delegation from seven Republicans and two Democrats to eight Republicans and one Democrat.
Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper, who currently represents the Nashville-anchored 5th District seat as it is currently drawn, cited the new map when he announced he wouldn’t be seeking another term.
Ogles, whose campaign is backed by outside super political action committees including the USA Freedom Fund and Americans for Prosperity, received criticism over where his support comes from – though Winstead and Harwell have outraised the field, according to FEC filings.
Ahead of the primary election, Harwell told a local outlet in a statement, “It’s clear if Andy Ogles wins, he will be controlled by the DC swamp.”
“He owes everything to them, and I don’t think that’s right for the people of middle Tennessee,” she said.
For his part, while Ogles said that while, “of course you can’t coordinate, you can’t communicate,” his campaign made a strategic decision to encourage outside support.
“We firewalled off some of our donors away from the campaign to go run positive ads… so there’s been radio and there’s been mailers, there’s been doors knocked that I have not been able to control because the campaign wasn’t doing it,” Ogles told Nashville area radio host Michael Delgiorno on SuperTalk 99.7 WTN.
He said that strategy allowed him and his campaign to focus more on the “grassroots” effort in Tennessee.
Still, the field was less crowded than it was earlier this year, after the Tennessee Republican Party voted to boot three candidates from its primary ballot for the district – including Trump-endorsed hopeful Morgan Ortagus. That decision came after state GOP officials agreed to review challenges to the three candidates that raised questions about their Republican bonafides, including whether they had voted in three of the last four Republican primaries, as required by the state party’s bylaws.
State Sen. Heidi Campbell ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination. She has raised significantly less than the leading GOP candidates, per FEC reports.
This story has been updated with CNN’s projection in the race.
CNN’s Ethan Cohen, Melissa DePalo, Clara Grudberg, Nicholas Anastacio, Gabby Orr and Alex Rogers contributed to this report.