There may be some surprises on election day next month as 17 Republican House members have primary challengers. Republican leaders have been funneling money to reliable administration votes but mavericks need not apply.
It's not unheard of, but it is unusual for party leaders to contribute money to candidates in a primary. Gov. Bill Haslam and House Speaker Beth Harwell are doing just that, either making direct contributions or funneling the money to unopposed House members who then make the contribution themselves. They are not funding challenges to incumbents, but there are incumbents who are not receiving any help, or much smaller contributions than might be expected.
With a Republican super majority, the primary has become tantamount to election, not just in East Tennessee but across the state. Reliable administration votes seem to be getting support, while others, not so much.