Philostratus, Lives of the Sophists 1.18:
ἡ Ἀθήνησι δημαγωγία διειστήκει πᾶσα, καὶ οἱ μὲν βασιλεῖ ἐπιτήδειοι ἦσαν, οἱ δὲ Μακεδόσιν, ἐφέροντο δὲ ἄρα τὴν πρώτην τῶν μὲν βασιλεῖ χαριζομένων ὁ Παιανιεὺς Δημοσθένης, τῶν δὲ ἐς Φίλιππον ὁρώντων ὁ Κοθωκίδης Αἰσχίνης
W.C. Wright in the Loeb edition translates:
The whole government at Athens was divided into two parties, of which one was friendly to the Persian king, the other to the Macedonians. Now among those who favored the Persian king, Demosthenes of the deme Paeania was the recognized leader, while Aeschines of the deme Kothokidai led those who looked to Philip
ἐφέροντο τὴν πρώτην clearly means "were the leaders", but it looks like an idiomatic phrase in which some feminine noun has been elided. What is that noun?
LSJ s.v. φέρω mentions τὰ πρῶτα φέρεσθαι (sc. ἄεθλα) "win first prize", which is very close but has a neuter plural noun instead.