Unofficial final results in Marshall County show Ketron had a better than 2-1 victory over his rival from Maury County. District-wide, Ketron was doing better with 50 of 66 precincts reporting at press time showing he had 33,140 votes, or 70 percent, over Matthews' 14,408 votes that were 30 percent of what had been counted.
At his victory party in downtown Murfreesboro, Ketron was asked about the political composition of Tennessee government. January will be the first time the state of Tennessee has had a Republican as governor and both the house and senate are controlled by Republicans, Ketron said just before going to the podium for his victory speech.
Ketron had just received the concession call from Matthews.
Asked about the road ahead, Ketron replied, "This will be the toughest budget ever."
State governments nationwide have faced the ravages of recession and Tennessee is no exception, he said.
Ketron emphasized the need for government "to lead the way."
"Just as families and businesses have had to cut back," Ketron said, "so must government... A smaller, more efficient government is needed."
Marshall County Democratic Party Chairman Chris Collins was asked about Matthews' campaign.
"I think that race was hard fought by the Matthews campaign, but I don't think it's her year," Collins said.
"She ran a good campaign," Collins said as early vote results were announced. "But I don't think it will be enough."
The Ketron-Matthews campaign was marked by her contention that he had not represented the district well enough, citing roads that needed widening and his use of expense account money when he commutes to and from Nashville.
During a debate in Columbia, Ketron countered with his announcement that he would sue her in Maury County Chancery Court for misuse of his name in an e-mail address that led to a solicitation for contributions to her campaign.
That civil court case is pending. So is a district attorney's probe into the matter. Maury County's grand jury was scheduled to meet this week and it appeared that there might be an announcement on whether that probe bore fruit or not.