Congressman John Tanner (D-Tennessee) announced Tuesday night that he will retire at the end of his term and not seek re-election. The lack of the 11-term Blue Dog incumbent in the 2010 race opens up a Republican gain. The mostly rural 8th Congressional District is rated as R+6 per Cook Partisan Voter Index, and John McCain carried 56 percent of it in 2008. Stephen Fincher has taken the early lead on the GOP side in fundraising and recently came out ahead in a straw poll reportedly organized by local Republican party officials.
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