Can an atheist candidate win election in Tennessee?

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The atheist beliefs of a state senate candidate has become the headline grabbing story of a closely watched election Tuesday in Middle Tennessee.

Gayle Jordan, who is a farmer, mediation lawyer and a Democrat, doesn’t hide her beliefs as she pursues the seat.

“We have not considered it a negative for our campaign,” she told News 2 today in Murfreesboro. “It’s given me the opportunity to tell what does drive me and my campaign. [It] is driven by reason and compassion.”

Shane Reeves, who is a Murfreesboro pharmacist, Christian and Republican points out differences in campaign material.

(Photo: WKRN)

“I do believe the voters–when you are looking at a district that is 80 percent Christian where faith is a really big part of them–they simply want to align with them and their core values. I think that is a big deal,” he said.

Reeves has spent heavily in the state senate race compared to Jordan and brought in big Republican names like Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Lt. Governor Randy McNally to campaign with him.

“There is a lot of very good things going on in Tennessee economically,” Reeves said, adding, “And I want to continue to be part of that as a businessman and in healthcare and as a pharmacist. I think I can make a big difference in that.”

Jordan feels a very close senate race a few months back in a neighboring district bodes well for her and stances like pro-medical cannabis.

“It’s not just pro-cannabis platform, it’s pro-education, pro-teacher. The pro-infrastructure, everything that is…let’s invest in this. These are not expenditures. They are investments,” she said.

The winner fulfills the remaining term of former Senate Republican leader Jim Tracy who resigned his seat last fall for a job in the Trump administration.