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.

The House Veterans Affairs chairman cited family considerations as a reason he may opt against re-election.

If he decides against running, Roe will be the tenth Republican committee chairman to leave the House after this term. (That includes Rep. Diane Black, who announced her decision when she chaired the Budget Committee, a post she has since relinquished to focus on her campaign for Tennessee governor.)

…“I truly have not decided,” Roe said Monday night when asked if he was close to a decision.

The Tennessee Republican raised just $3,700 during the fourth quarter of 2017 — a reflection of his lack of a decision, he said. He raised less than $100,000 during each of the three previous quarters of 2017, including only $14,000 during the first quarter.

Roe said he wants to decide soon.

“The filing’s not till April, but if I decide not to, I want to make sure people have enough time to get a campaign together,” he said.

The retired OB-GYN represents the deeply red 1st District in northeastern Tennessee. He was first elected in 2008, unseating freshman GOP Rep. David Davis in the Republican primary.

…If he doesn’t run, Roe suggested the GOP field to replace him could include local elected officials and first-time candidates.

A number of names are already being thrown around in the state. They include state Rep. Timothy Hill; Washington County Mayor Dan Eldridge; Kingsport Chamber of Commerce President Miles Burdine, who represents the 1st District on the Tennessee Board of Regents; state Rep. David Hawk; and Patrick Jaynes, deputy chief of staff and state director to Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander. Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is mentioned as a wildcard. He played football at the University of Tennessee and could bring his own money to the race.

Note: Roe told the Kingsport Times News back on Jan. 2 that he expected to make a decision “in the next week or 10 days.” Most recent previous post HERE.

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