8th District House Race is Country’s Most Expensive

An open seat in Tennessee’s 8th Congressional District has generated the most costly race in the country. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the more than $5 million spent and $7 million raised in the district west of Nashville makes it the most expensive House race this election cycle.

Nearly half the 8th District money comes from Shelby County commissioner George Flinn, and most of that’s from his own pockets. A radiologist by trade, he also owns more than 40 TV and radio stations. Flinn has out-spent his Republican opponents three-to-one.


“This money was made by creating jobs. I didn’t get it donated from so and so. I made it myself. And I’m spending it to get the message out because my kids, my grandkids, deserve better than they’re getting.”

Flinn is referencing Democrat John Tanner, who will retire from the 8th District seat after two decades. Stephen Fincher was the first Republican in the race. The farmer from Frog Jump has raised a total of $1.5 million, including $250,000 of his own money. Dr. Ron Kirkland of Jackson has also put a quarter million into his own campaign, which bumps up his total over the million dollar mark.

The expected Democratic nominee – state Senator Roy Herron – is sitting on most of the $1.5 million he’s raised, waiting for the general election in November. Herron also gave his own campaign $250,000.

Here’s a graphical breakdown of the 8th District fundraising.

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