Mike Padgett finished third after Gary Davis, who did not campaign and used no money. Many were surprised at the results. They claimed that perhaps there was name confusion, with two incumbent congressmen David Davis and Lincoln Davis.
In Tennessee, a candidate seeking a House or Senate seat at the state or national level must gather 25 signatures from registered voters to be put on the ballot for any elected office. Presidential candidates seeking to represent an officially recognized party must either be named as candidates by the Tennessee Secretary of State or gather 2,500 signatures from registered voters, and an independent candidate for President must gather 275 signatures and put forward a full slate of eleven candidates who have agreed to serve as electors. In order to be recognized as a party and have its candidates listed on the ballot under that party's name, a political party must gather signatures equal to or in excess of 2.5% of the total number of votes cast in the last election (about 45,000 signatures based on the election held in 2006). The last third party to be officially recognized was the American Party in 1968; none of its candidates received five percent of the statewide vote in 1970 and it was then subject to desertification as an official party.. Due to these hurdles third party candidates almost always appear on the ballot as independents.
On April 3, 2007, Alexander confirmed that he would seek re-election to the Senate in 2008. Alexander has remained a popular figure in Tennessee since his first term as governor and faced no opposition in the Republican primary Tuke is a former Marine who served in the Vietnam War. Tuke served as Barack Obama's Presidential campaign chair in Tennessee. Tuke declared himself to be a candidate March 3, 2008, and he secured the help of several high profile Democratic campaigners including Joe Trippi. There were many minor candidates in the race. Chris Lugo announced on January 17 that he was seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party as a 'Progressive Democrat.' In March 2008, Lugo announced he was dropping his candidacy for the Democratic nomination, and would run either for the Green Party nomination or as an independent.