timothy hill

Air war intensifies as 1st District race concludes

The free-for-all in the GOP primary to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Phil Roe (R-Johnson City) in the 1st Congressional District is reaching its final hours.

A poll commissioned by WJHL-TV indicates a tight race. The survey conducted by Spry Strategies has the race as:

  • Rusty Crowe: 16.1%
  • Diana Harshbarger: 15.8%
  • Josh Gapp: 11.7%
  • Timothy Hill: 10.4%
  • Steve Darden: 9.3%
  • John Clark: 8.9%
  • David Hawk: 6%

The poll of 665 likely voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

The Club for Growth has been advertising heavily in support of state Rep. Timothy Hill of Blountville while also attacking Kingsport pharmacist Diana Harshbarger, state Sen. Rusty Crowe of Johnson City, and Knoxville dermatologist Josh Gapp. A Club for Growth poll had Hill leading the race, with Harshbarger and Crowe within the margin of error.

Harshbarger has her own ads out attacking Hill, Crowe and former mayors Clark of Kingsport and Darden of Johnson City.

“I try to love all God’s creatures, but I’m sorry, I just hate snakes,” Harshbarger says in one ad. “And if you release a snake in the swamp, it’s never coming back.”

Crowe has his own spots out, highlighting his affable nature as a contrast to the attacks going on all around him.

“As a veteran, I know when you’re taking fire you’re over the target,” Crowe says in the spot. “And the Washington, D.C., swamp is firing on me.”

“Ignore the attacks and join my fight to give D.C. a good ole’ dose of Tennessee,” he says.

Gapp, who lives outside the district boundaries, has poured $1.2 million of his own money into his bid. His ad includes images of the candidate wandering through a set tipping over a Planned Parenthood sign, wielding an AR-15 rifle, and pledging to let Nancy Pelosi know that “in Tennessee we celebrate Easter, Christmas, our flag, our national anthem, and we always will.”

Big outside money flows into Senate, 1st District races

While Bill Hagerty’s and Manny Sethi’s campaigns slog it out against each other, a series of outside committees are also spending heavily in hopes of influencing the outcome of the Republican U.S. Senate primary.

The biggest player among them has been the Protect Freedom PAC, a group linked to U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has endorsed Sethi. The PAC has spent $1.47 million on ads backing the Sethi. Another group called Conservative Outsiders’ PAC has spent $1 million attacking Hagerty.

Meanwhile, a super PAC called Standing with Conservatives has poured $1.3 million into the race, nearly all of it to oppose Sethi. U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton’s America One PAC has spent another $375,000 to oppose Sethi. The Arkansas Republican is backing Hagerty.

The primary to decide the Republican nomination to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Phil Roe (R-Johnson City) is also experiencing heavy independent expenditures. The Club for Growth, which has endorsed state Rep. Timothy Hill (R-Blountville), has spent $945,000 so far. About $425,000 has gone toward ads supporting Hill, while the rest has gone toward attacking GOP rivals Diana Harshbarger ($366,000), Rusty Crowe ($132,000), and Josh Gapp ($22,164).

The House Freedom Fund has kicked in $16,000 to support Hill and the delightfully named Bless Your Heart Coalition has spent $15,000 to oppose Harshbarger.

Club for Growth ad targets Harshbarger in 1st District

The Club for Growth is out with an ad targeting 1st Congressional District candidate Diana Harshbarger for her own spot demanding medical manufacturing to be brought back from China when her own husband pleaded guilty to mislabeling drugs from that country.

The Club for Growth has said it will spend more than half a million dollars in support of rival Republican candidate Timothy Hill, a state representative from Blountville.

“Harshbarger was the officer of a company busted for selling counterfeit Chinese drugs to treat American dialysis patients, claiming the drugs were American-made and approved,” the narrator says. “Used on innocent veterans and Medicare patients, Harshbarger’s company charged taxpayers full price for cut-rate Chinese drugs. Dishonest Diana Harshbarger, wrong for Congress.”

Former Kingsport Mayor John Clark, another candidate among the 16 Republicans running for the seat, is out with a new ad pledging to stand with President Donald Trump against the “cancel culture.”

Hill launches first TV ad of congressional bid

State Rep. Timothy Hill (R-Blountville) has launched his first TV ad of his bid for the Republican nomination to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Phil Roe.

According to Hill’s campaign, the ad “touts Hill’s record of being a Christian conservative fighter with a pro-life, pro-gun, pro-Trump record, and highlights the fact that Hill was personally invited to the White House by President Trump earlier this year due to his strong support for the Trump agenda.

Sixteen candidates are seeking the GOP nomination in the heavily Republican district. Other candidates include former Kingsport Mayor John Clark, state Sen. Rusty Crowe of Johnson City, former Johnson City Mayor Steve Darden, Kingsport pharmacist Diana Harshbarger, and state Rep. David Hawk of Greeneville.

Harshbarger has been running ads through her self-funded campaign and Clark recently got on the airwaves as well.

House Freedom Caucus endorses Hill in 1st District

Rep. Timothy Hill (R-Blountville) confers with House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) March 29, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The House Freedom Caucus is endorsing and raising money for Timothy Hill bid for the Republican nomination to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Phil Roe (R-Johnson City) in the 1st District.

Here’s what the House Freedom Fund had to say about Hill, who is giving up his state House seat to run for Congress:

Timothy is a small business owner with a proven record of fighting for lower taxes, less spending, the 2nd Amendment, and the sanctity of life.

He is the conservative choice in this race who will stand proudly with President Trump and fight the liberal policies promoted by Nancy Pelosi.

This election is in a very strong Republican district so the August 6 primary will determine who wins this seat in November. Please help push this principled leader on to victory.

Hill is one of 16 Republicans running for the seat, including state Kingsport Mayor John Clark, Sen. Rusty Crowe of Johnson City , former Johnson City Mayor Steve Darden, Kingsport pharmacist Diana Harshbarger, and state Rep. David Hawk of Greeneville.

Harshbarger has been the biggest spender so far, dropping most of her $231,500 in expenditures on TV ads.

Clark has announced he wouldn’t seek more than three terms in Congress.

“I’m not a career politician, and as Mayor of Kingsport, I limited myself to two terms in office because I didn’t believe it was a job for one person forever,”  Clark said in a release. “I feel the same about Congress. Our Founding Fathers wanted Washington, D.C. to be a place that public servants visited for a brief period of time, did the people’s work, and went back home to live under the laws they had made. I hope by signing the term limits pledge I can encourage others, including my opponents, to take the same approach.”

Timothy Hill running for Congress in 1st District

Rep. Timothy Hill (R-Blountville) confers with House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) March 29, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

State Rep. Timothy Hill of Blountville is running for the congressional seat being vacated by retiring U.S. Rep. Phil Roe (R-Johnson City).

Hill joins a field of Republican candidates that includes former Kingsport Mayor John Clark, state Sen. Rusty Crowe of Johnson City,  former Johnson City Mayor Steve Darden, and Kingsport pharmacist Diana Harshbarger.

Here’s the release from the Hill campaign:

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. — State Representative Timothy Hill today announced that he will be a candidate for Congress in Tennessee’s 1st district. Hill released the following statement:

“This district is strongly Republican, but it is critical that our nominee also be a proven conservative who will be a stalwart ally of President Trump against radicals like Nancy Pelosi and AOC. When it comes to supporting our conservative values my record is second to none- I’ve been a leading voice in Tennessee for the unborn, for our second amendment rights, and against tax hikes. As your member of Congress I’ll continue the fight for those same values, put people first, and I’ll support President Trump’s agenda 100%, especially the fight to build the wall and recover quickly from the Chinese Coronavirus.”

Hill has represented Johnson County and parts of Carter and Sullivan County since 2012. He currently serves as chairman of the House Commerce Committee and previously served in leadership as House Majority Whip. Representative Hill has been recognized by a number of conservative organizations for his leadership including a ranking of 3rd Most Conservative Legislator out of 132 members by the Club for Growth and the highest recognition for Conservative Excellence by the American Conservative Union.

To guide his campaign, Hill has hired Mike Lukach who served as a state director for President Trump’s 2016 campaign and later served in his administration.

Timothy Hill is a small business owner and dedicated family man. Timothy is a 7th generation East Tennessean, and he reside in Blountville with his wife Charity their two sons and their bulldog Winston.