A Beavers-Burchett alliance in 2018 GOP primary?

State Sen. Mae Beavers, campaigning for the 2018 Republican gubernatorial nomination, and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, a former state senator who says he’ll run either for the U.S. House or the U.S. Senate next year, got together at a Knoxville restaurant last week and said nice things about each other afterwards.

Excerpt from the Tennessee Star report, which says that the meeting “sparked discussions about a potential alliance in the August 2018 Republican primary between the two well respected independent minded conservatives.”

“Tim is one of the best retail politicians in Tennessee and I appreciate him introducing me around the famous Vol Market. It certainly won’t be my last visit!” Beavers told The Tennessee Star. “His leadership as Knox County Mayor proves that actually governing as a conservative rather than just talking like one at election time produces great results for our citizens. Like many, I can’t wait to see what challenge Tim takes on next as his terms as Mayor come to an end.”

… “I really enjoyed introducing Mae Beavers to the folks at the Vol Market. She was very warmly received and I hope she will come back often. She has definitely been one of the most dependable and outspoken conservatives in the legislature and that’s why her campaign is already attracting so much attention,” the Knox County mayor told The Star.

“The Vol Market is one of my favorites because when you listen to working people who have their names on their shirts instead of initials on their cuffs you get a real sense of what everyday Tennesseans are thinking. If more of our elected officials in Washington and Nashville spent more time in places like the Vol Market instead of hanging with lobbyists in fancy restaurants we might actually fix our problems.”

Note: Burchett has declared that he won’t run for governor next year, but will seek a seat in Congress – the same stance declared by state Sen. Mark Green of Clarksville. In Burchett’s case, most speculation centers on the 2nd Congressional District seat now held by U.S. Rep. Jimmy Duncan, who has hinted he might – or might not – retire at age 70. In Green’s case, most speculation centers on the 6th District seat now held by U.S. Rep. Diane Black, who has hinted (rather strongly) that she will run for governor. Either, or both, could also get to their Washington, D.C., destination by running for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Bob Corker – a much more formidable undertaking, especially if Corker seeks reelection (as expected, though he hasn’t said so).

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