1st Congressional District

Timothy Hill running for Congress in 1st District

Rep. Timothy Hill (R-Blountville) confers with House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) March 29, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

State Rep. Timothy Hill of Blountville is running for the congressional seat being vacated by retiring U.S. Rep. Phil Roe (R-Johnson City).

Hill joins a field of Republican candidates that includes former Kingsport Mayor John Clark, state Sen. Rusty Crowe of Johnson City,  former Johnson City Mayor Steve Darden, and Kingsport pharmacist Diana Harshbarger.

Here’s the release from the Hill campaign:

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. — State Representative Timothy Hill today announced that he will be a candidate for Congress in Tennessee’s 1st district. Hill released the following statement:

“This district is strongly Republican, but it is critical that our nominee also be a proven conservative who will be a stalwart ally of President Trump against radicals like Nancy Pelosi and AOC. When it comes to supporting our conservative values my record is second to none- I’ve been a leading voice in Tennessee for the unborn, for our second amendment rights, and against tax hikes. As your member of Congress I’ll continue the fight for those same values, put people first, and I’ll support President Trump’s agenda 100%, especially the fight to build the wall and recover quickly from the Chinese Coronavirus.”

Hill has represented Johnson County and parts of Carter and Sullivan County since 2012. He currently serves as chairman of the House Commerce Committee and previously served in leadership as House Majority Whip. Representative Hill has been recognized by a number of conservative organizations for his leadership including a ranking of 3rd Most Conservative Legislator out of 132 members by the Club for Growth and the highest recognition for Conservative Excellence by the American Conservative Union.

To guide his campaign, Hill has hired Mike Lukach who served as a state director for President Trump’s 2016 campaign and later served in his administration.

Timothy Hill is a small business owner and dedicated family man. Timothy is a 7th generation East Tennessean, and he reside in Blountville with his wife Charity their two sons and their bulldog Winston.

The long hello: Crowe officially joins 1st District congressional race

Sen. Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City), right, confers with colleagues as they await Gov. Bill Lee arrival for his second State of the State address in Nashville on Feb. 3, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

State Sen. Rusty Crowe has officially announced his candidacy for the 1st District Seat being vacated by the retirement of U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, a fellow Johnson City Republican.

Here’s the release from the Crowe campaign:

Jonesborough — State Senator Rusty Crowe (R) picked up his petition to officially join the race to represent Tennessee’s open First Congressional District seat Thursday. U.S. Representative Phil Roe (R) announced in January he will retire rather than seek a seventh term. 

Crowe said he is running for Congress “because Tennessee’s on the right track and D.C. needs a good dose of Tennessee.”

“I’ve spent my life serving Tennesseans as a volunteer for the Vietnam War and then as a citizen legislator in the Tennessee Senate,” Crowe said. “Today, Tennessee is thriving because we’ve applied common-sense conservative principles to achieve extraordinary results.”

Crowe noted Tennessee is now the top state for fiscal stability with the lowest debt as a percentage of personal income and leads the nation in business climate, advanced industry jobs, and small business growth.

“It Matters Who Governs,’ and it matters how Republicans govern when they get the chance,” Crowe continued.

“In Tennessee, we’ve done exactly what we campaigned on, but the last time Republicans controlled Congress, they broke their promises to the voters, especially regarding federal spending, Obamacare, and border security and immigration. Sometimes you have to hold your own party to its principles. When a Republican governor tried to impose an unconstitutional, job-killing state income tax on Tennesseans, my decisive opposition was what stopped it dead in its tracks once and for all.”

“The current Speaker of the House and her socialist colleagues want to fundamentally transform our nation into something our Founders never intended and obstruct President Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda,” Crowe said. 

“With the House and the Senate so completely polarized, President Trump under relentless partisan attack, and a socialist likely to be leading the other party in the general election, D.C. has never needed a good dose of Tennessee as badly as it does right now,” Crowe concluded. 

“That’s why I’m officially running for Congress. It’s about personally serving the people of Northeast Tennessee, supporting our president, and protecting our fundamental constitutional rights.”

Crowe will appear on the August 6, 2020 GOP primary ballot to serve as the Republican nominee for the First Congressional District.

 

Former Kingsport Mayor Clark announces congressional bid in 1st District

John Clark (Photo credit: Clark campaign)

Former Kingsport Mayor John Clark has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to start raising money for his bid to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Phil Roe (R-Johnson City). Clark’s announcement comes amid decisions by state Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) and state Sen. Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol) against running for the seat.

Clark told WJHL-TV on Monday that his decision to run for the seat wasn’t contingent on Roe retiring.

“I was going to move forward regardless,” he said. “But as it turns out Congressman Roe made it his announcement and the timing couldn’t be better.”

Here’s the full release from the Clark campaign:

Kingsport, Tenn.— Former Kingsport Mayor John Clark announced today his candidacy for Tennessee’s 1st District congressional seat. Clark has filed the required Federal Election Commission documents needed to compete in the August 2020 Republican primary election.

Clark served on Kingsport’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BMA) for seven years, three years as alderman and four as mayor. His term ended in July 2019. “During my time on the BMA, we worked with many community and business leaders to improve the quality of life for all residents, thereby ensuring a prosperous future for our city. We achieved a lot on both fronts and I’m very excited to do the same for the 1st District,” said Clark.

Clark said he is running for congress because, “I have a passion for public service. Making a positive difference in the lives of my fellow Northeast Tennesseans truly energizes me. My focus is on conservative Republican values with a special emphasis on jobs, healthcare, and expanded opportunities for veterans and farmers. I will be a strong voice in support of President Trump’s policies and will fight against big government and for expanded freedoms for all Americans.” 

Clark is a man of faith and a dedicated family man, businessman, and public servant. After a 36-year career in business, Clark said, “Community service is the most personally rewarding experience of my life. Working with people to improve the lives of others is a passion of mine. I would be honored to serve the people of the 1st District and am committed to giving my all to the residents of our region.”

Clark is excited to begin this campaign, which will be his fourth but first full-time campaign. His family, particularly his wife Etta, will be very involved in his campaign. Clark said, “I look forward to having my family and friends actively participate and experience this opportunity with me. I am ready to work hard over the next eight months to meet as many voters as possible throughout the 1st District. I’m all-in for the 1st District. We can do more and we can do better for our residents and businesses. I have the experience, passion, and energy to bring more high paying jobs to our citizens and ensure our freedoms are protected.”

Lundberg out of 1st District race, Crowe in?

State Sen. Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol) is the latest sitting lawmaker to bow out of the running for the 1st Congressional District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Phil Roe (R-Johnson City).

I have been greatly humbled by the visits, phone calls, texts, messages and words of encouragement to run for congress. …

Posted by Jon Lundberg on Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Lundberg’s decision follows an announcement by state House Republican Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison of Cosby that he won’t run for the seat.

Meanwhile, WJHL-TV reports fellow state Sen. Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City) said he is now considering a bid after receiving several calls encouraging him to run.

“I believe I’ve helped improve the state of Tennessee for 30 years, and would be interested in the opportunity to work on the federal level and represent the district,” Crowe said.

Crowe, 72, wouldn’t have to give up his seat in the state Senate to run because his four-year term isn’t up until 2022. Lundberg wouldn’t have had that same luxury, as his seat is up for reelection this year.

The Tennessean reported last week  that former Kingsport Mayor John Clark has announced he will run. Former state Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, former House Minority Leader Jason Mumpower, and former Safety Commissioner David Purkey said they won’t make a bid.

Faison won’t seek vacated congressional seat

Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) speaks to colleagues after being elected House Republican Caucus chair in Nashville on Aug. 22, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

State Rep. Jeremy Faison, the new chairman of the House Republican Caucus, has announced he won’t run for the congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Phil Roe (R-Johnson City) this year. Faison will instead run for re-election to the House District 11 seat he has represented since 2010.

Faison won a four-way race for caucus chair after Rep. Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) was elected speaker. Faison is known for his outsized persona, his longtime support for legalizing medical marijuana, and his uncanny vote-counting ability.

The Tennessean reported last week that former Kingsport Mayor John Clark has announced he will run. Former state Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, former House Minority Leader Jason Mumpower, and former Safety Commissioner David Purkey said they won’t make a bid.

Roe announces plan to retire from Congress, setting off mad scramble

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe (R-Johnson City) announced Friday he won’t seek a seventh term in Congress, a decision likely to set off a mad scramble among potential successors. State lawmakers expected to consider bids include House Republican Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison of Cosby and fellow GOP Reps. David Hawk of Greeneville, Timothy Hill of Blountville, and maybe even Micah Van Huss of Jonesborough. Jon Lundberg of Bristol is the only sitting  state Senate member believed to be mulling it over. Add to that a laundry list of current and former mayors from northeast Tennessee district. It’s likely to be a wild ride.

For an in-depth look at previous races and potential candidates in the 1st District, see the Dec. 6 print edition of The Tennessee Journal.

Here’s Roe’s full statement:

Serving East Tennesseans these past 11 years has been the honor of my life, and I will be forever grateful for the trust my friends and neighbors put in me to represent them. As someone who practiced medicine for over 30 years, I said I would serve five or six terms because I never intended this job to be a second career. After prayerful consideration, I have decided to retire at the end of the 116th Congress.

First and foremost, I want to thank my family. No one could do this job without a loving a supportive family, and I look forward to spending more time at home with my wife Clarinda, my adult children and my grandchildren.

As a veteran, I was honored to be selected to chair the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs in 2017. I had one, three and six-year legislative goals for the committee: to increase access to care, improve the electronic health records system, review VA assets to ensure an effective use of resources, and bring true accountability to the department. I never could have imagined that we would accomplish all that in my first term leading the committee – in large part because of the leadership of President Trump. In particular, I was proud to author the MISSION Act – a transformative piece of legislation to ensure veterans have the ability to receive the best possible care now, and in the future – and the Forever GI Bill – to ensure veterans never lose access to the education benefits they have earned. I’ll leave Congress at the end of the year knowing that our nation’s heroes are better served today because of our work. I am still hopeful that, before the 116th Congress adjourns, we will pass important reforms that improve outreach to veterans in crisis to address the suicide epidemic.

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Roe says he’s undecided about re-election bid to Congress

Just when everyone thought U.S. Rep. Phil Roe was certain to run for another term, the Johnson City Republican has cast new doubt on those prospects.

Roe, 74, told WJHL-TV that he will gather with his family over Christmas to decide about whether to seek a seventh term.

Rep. Phil Roe considering re-election plans, will make decision at Christmas

“The hardest part of my job is not what you would think about going to Washington,” Roe said. “That’s what we do. That’s what I’m hired to do. But it’s the travel – getting on four airplane flights a week and being away from family. That, to me, is the hard part.”

Roe had a more than $445,000 balance in his campaign account at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Roe challenger opens a campaign headquarters

U.S. Army veteran Todd McKinley, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Phil Roe in the 1st Congressional District Republican primary, has set up a campaign headquarters and is voicing optimism about his chances despite a $475,000 lead the incumbent has in campaign money, reports the Johnson City Press.

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Trio mentioned as possible candidates to succeed Roe demur — at least for now

The Johnson City Press contacted state Reps. David Hawk and Matthew Hill, along with Washington County Mayor Dan Eldridge, after their names were mentioned in a Washington report as prospective candidates for the 1st Congressional District seat, should incumbent U.S. Rep. Phil Roe decide not to seek reelection. Perhaps predictably, the newspaper reports none of them said yes to a run at this point; but they didn’t give an absolute no, either.

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Roe remains undecided about reelection; speculation underway on candidates to succeed him

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe said in Washington Monday that he will decide in the “next week or so” whether to run for a sixth term, reports Roll Call, adding that there’s already some speculation underway on who might run to replace him. Names dropped include two state representatives and Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten.

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