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.

Hawk said he hoped Roe would decide to run again, “for at least another two-year term.”

“I am honored to have my name associated with individuals considering a potential run for Congress, should Dr. Roe decide not to run for reelection. At this point in time, my 16 years of service in Nashville have allowed me to rise to be one of the most senior members in the Tennessee General Assembly,” Hawk, the assistant majority leader, said.

“I currently have a desire to rise to an even greater position of influence in our state legislature, later this year, and look forward to making that announcement soon. If I am not successful in that endeavor, I will certainly look more closely at a potential run for Congress in the future.”

(Note: Hawk is among representatives eyeing a run for House speaker. The current speaker, Beth Harwell, is giving up her House seat to run for governor Her term as speaker ends next January.)

Although Eldridge was on vacation outside the county, he also replied via text message, once again declining interest in another public office after announcing he would not seek reelection as mayor in October.

“While I’m very interested in working to solve the economic and demographic challenges facing our region, I’m not sure a congressional seat is the place where I can be most effective. I really hope Congressman Roe will serve one more term,” said Eldridge.

Hill, who serves as House majority whip, did not decline interest in Roe’s seat, but said he is currently focused on “serving the men, women and families of our community.”

“I have tremendous respect for Congressman Roe, and it is an honor to be mentioned as a potential candidate for the first congressional district seat,” Hill said.

“Our state has experienced remarkable success under conservative Republican leadership over the last several years, and I’m excited about our work ahead in order to ensure that Northeast Tennessee continues to thrive.”

Dallas Cowboys’ tight end Jason Witten’s name was also mentioned, but he already told he would return to the NFL next year.

Note: Previous post HERE.

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