Second Democrat enters 7th Congressional District race

Matt Reel, a Hickman County native and longtime staffer for Democrats in Congress also currently serving in the U.S. Army, has announced a run for the Congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, reports the Nashville Post.

According to a press release, Reel is a member of the U.S. Army’s Green Beret special forces unit who has seen combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan and leaves on another deployment in a few weeks. He is also a longtime staffer for Democrats in the U.S. House. He was named deputy staff director for the Democrats on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs earlier this year and previously worked for former Congressman Lincoln Davis, a Democrat who represented Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District.

Reel grew up on a farm in the unincorporated community of Primm Springs, attended Hickman County High School and played football for Austin Peay State University, according to his announcement. He filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Sunday and registered his website last week.

“I’ll be leaving for another deployment soon, so unfortunately I’ll be missing the first few months of the campaign,” Reel said. “When I return home in early summer, I’ll spend every waking hour working to earn the job of representing Tennesseans in Congress.”

In fact, Reel has already missed a few months of campaigning. He will face former television producer and new Tennessee resident Justin Kanew in the Democratic primary. Kanew has already proved he can raise money, particularly from his celebrity friends and supporters. Actress Mindy Kaling is among the high-profile names who have urged support of Kanew.

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