Last week, 15-term veteran Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R-Knoxville) announced his retirement at the end of the current term, and already two local office holders have declared their congressional candidacies. As expected, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett (R), who even hinted at a primary challenge to Rep. Duncan before the 70 year-old Congressman decided to complete his career, announced that he will enter the open seat campaign. Additionally, state Rep. Jimmy Matlock (R-Lenoir City), who failed in an attempt to topple state House Speaker Beth Harwell (R) in an internal caucus political move, also became a congressional candidate. Since this seat hasn’t been open in a regular election cycle since 1964, we can expect a large number of Republican primary candidates to file in a district that has never elected a Democrat.
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