Dolores Gresham

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Dolores Gresham (born July 16, 1942) is a Republican politician from Tennessee. She was elected to the Tennessee Senate in the 2008 elections after having served three terms in the Tennessee House of Representatives. Her Senate District 26 encompasses the counties of Chester, Crockett, Fayette, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, McNairy and Wayne in the western part of the state.


Gresham holds a Bachelor of Arts from University of the Incarnate Word, Master of Arts from Loyola University New Orleans and a Master of Science in administration from The George Washington University. She served in the United States Marine Corps, retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Career in politics[edit]

In 2002, Gresham was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives from District 94, which includes all of her home county of Fayette as well as parts of Tipton and Hardeman. She was re-elected in 2004 and 2006. During her House term, Gresham served on the Agriculture and Education Committees.

In 2008, she vacated her House seat to run for the senate seat of John S. Wilder, the former Lt. Governor, who was retiring after 42 years in the senate. She faced Democrat Randy Camp, a former aide to Governor Phil Bredesen. The seat was considered one of the most competitive as both parties sought to end a 16–16–1 stalemate in the senate. Gresham defeated Camp 54%–46% as the Republicans took control of both Houses of the Tennessee General Assembly for the first time since Reconstruction.

Personal life[edit]

Gresham lives with her husband Will in Somerville. They attend St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church.


Preceded by
John S. Wilder
Member of the Tennessee Senate from District 26