For the second time this week, a member of the Tennessee congressional delegation announced that he or she would not seek re-election. Earlier, 15-term Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R-Knoxville) said he will not run in 2018 in order to retire from public life. Now, four-term Rep. Diane Black (R-Gallatin) is vacating her congressional post to enter the open Governor’s race.
Rep. Black, chair of the House Budget Committee, will be a strong candidate in the GOP primary, and arguably begins the campaign as the favorite. In her announcement video, she aligned herself with the party’s conservative wing, and looks to be taking strong, unequivocal positions on the campaign trail. She becomes the seventh Republican in the race. Gov. Bill Haslam (R) is ineligible to seek a third term.
Her open 6th Congressional District will remain in Republican hands. Already several state legislators and business leaders are making preliminary moves to enter. One state Representative, Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma), announced several weeks ago in anticipation of Rep. Black running for Governor. This middle Tennessee district supported President Trump with a 73-24% margin.
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