Incumbent Duncan endorses Matlock in 2nd Congressional District GOP primary

U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr. on Tuesday announced he was endorsing State Rep. Jimmy Matlock for the congressional seat that has been tied to the Duncan name for more than half a century, reports the News Sentinel.

The incumbent was first elected in 1988, and before that, his father, John J. Duncan Sr., had held the seat since 1965.

But political observers questioned whether an endorsement, even in the name of a political dynasty, would have much impact in the hotly contested race to represent Tennessee’s Second Congressional District.

… “Jimmy Matlock is one of the finest men I have ever known, and he is running for Congress for all the right reasons.” Duncan said. “Jimmy Matlock is running because he has a real heart for service and because he wants to help as many people as he can by doing the right things for this nation, this state and this district.”

Other candidates in the GOP primary are Jason Emert, Vito Sagliano, Ashley Nickloes, Marc Whitmire and Hank Hamblin.

Joshua Williams and Renee Hoyos are running as Democrats. Libertarian William Samples is also running.

… Matlock responded to Tuesday’s announcement saying, “Congressman Duncan and his family are the standard by which public service is measured. He has been an excellent representative, and I am sad to see him go. I am truly humbled and honored to have earned his support in this race.”

… Republican opponents of Matlock brushed off Duncan’s words.

Tim Burchett: “As the congressman himself has said, ‘endorsements don’t mean a whole lot,’” Burchett said in an emailed statement. “No one gets anointed. Personally, I don’t rely on endorsements; I always rely on the voters to make their own decisions.”

Jason Emert: “The choice for Congress is clear: two political insiders and career politicians in Jimmy Matlock and Tim Burchett, or a businessman and conservative outsider in Jason Emert,” Emert campaign spokesman, Chris Olmstead, said in an emailed statement.

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