congressional campaigns

Citing ‘Trump fatigue,’ Democratic doctor plans run for Congress against Republican Dr. Phil Roe

Dr. Martin Olsen, an East Tennessee State University ObGyn professor and medical practitioner, says he intends to run for the Democratic nomination to the 1st Congressional District seat now held by Republican U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, also a physician, reports the Johnson City Press.

“I think I can win,” Olsen said rather earnestly. “Now, am I an underdog? Well, yes, I am an underdog. There’s no doubt about that. But the path to victory is to get about one-third of the (Donald) Trump voters. I think there’s enough Trump fatigue that it’s legitimate.”

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Burchett officially kicks off campaign for Congress

Hundreds of people came out Saturday to hear Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett deliver a speech declaring himself a candidate for the 2nd Congressional District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr., reports the News Sentinel.

“The House was created before the Senate. It was created to represent the people…the farmers, the laborers and the small business owners, people we call our blue collar workers,” he said. “People, who in 2017, go to work every day with their names on their shirts.

“There’s a reason House seats are on the ballot every dad-gum two years, it’s because these seats belong to the people, not to any one candidate or elected official,” he continued.

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Rep. Jimmy Matlock announces run for 2nd Congressional District seat

News release/statement from state Rep. Jimmy Matlock (R-Lenoir City)

On Monday my dear friend Congressman Jimmy Duncan announced that he will not seek re-election to Congress. It has been an honor to watch him serve and lead our community over the years. Since his announcement I’ve been overwhelmed and humbled by the flood of contacts I’ve received from people encouraging me to fill the void that will be left by his departure. In light of this encouragement and after much prayer, today I am announcing the organization of a campaign for Tennessee’s Second Congressional District.

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Besides Burchett, Duncan retirement may bring out other candidates for 2nd Congressional District

Beside Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, who is scheduled to announce his political plans Saturday, the News Sentinel has a rundown on other prospective candidates to replace retiring U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr. in the 2nd Congressional District. The article quotes former Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe as saying Burchett is the clear frontrunner at this early juncture.

Among other Republicans: State Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenoir City, who says he think about it. Also, listed as “rumored” but not quoted are Blount County Sheriff Jim Berrong, state Sen. Richard Briggs, R-Knoxville; state Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville.

State Rep. Jason Zachary, R-Knoxville, who ran against Duncan in the 2014 GOP primary, said he’s not running for Congress.

On the Democratic side, Joshua Williams, a clinical psychologist, had already announced as a candidate before Duncan said he is retiring. Renee Hoyos, executive director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network, says she’s considering a run. Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero says she is not.

The district, of course, is solidly Republican and hasn’t elected a Democrat since the Civil War.

Duncan won’t seek reelection to Congress

Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., the longest-serving Tennessean in Congress, will not seek re-election next year to the 2nd Congressional District seat he has held since 1988, reports the News Sentinel.

“It has been a very special privilege to represent the people of the Second District in the U.S. House of Representatives,” the Knoxville Republican said. “However, I will not be running for re-election in 2018.”

Duncan, who turned 70 on July 21, said he had considered retiring even before his last election in 2016.

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Burchett schedules political announcement — likely that he’ll run for 2nd Congressional District seat

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, a former state senator, is widely expected to announce his candidacy for the 2nd congressional District seat now held by U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr. next weekend. He’s scheduled an event in Knoxville Saturday to declare his future political plans, reports the News Sentinel.

“From my family’s military service, to my parents’ careers as public educators, I was raised around public service, and it’s something I enjoy,” Burchett said in a news release Monday. “I am thankful to have had the opportunity to work in the state Legislature and as Knox County mayor, and I am excited about what lies ahead for me and my family as we launch this campaign.”

Duncan, who has held the seat since 1988, has not yet announced whether he will seek another term.

Duncan: Payments of campaign funds to son ‘has been done according to law’

U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr. is defending payments from his campaign account to his son, John J. Duncan III, reports the News Sentinel. The newspaper’s report pegs the payments since the younger Duncan’s conviction of official misconduct as Knox County trustee at $293,250, a bit less than reported earlier by the Nashville Post.

“Every expenditure from my campaign has been done according to law and in compliance with all pertinent regulations of the Federal Election Commission,” (Congressman Duncan) said. “Many members of Congress, past and present, have paid family members for campaign work. The fact that family members have run, and worked in, my campaigns has been public for a long time.

“In the last four years, I have paid my son, John, who has been in charge of my entire political operation doing everything from putting up yard signs and answering campaign calls to conducting polls, giving speeches, and raising funds. He was paid far less than many campaign managers and consultants while doing many things that they would not do.”

“Every expenditure in relation to my family was done because I got family members to do things for much less than Washington campaign people. These are important positions of trust and I have the utmost trust in my family.”

Note: Previous post HERE.

Duncan paid $316K in campaign funds to son; other family members also on payroll

U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr.’s congressional campaign account has paid the Knoxville Republican’s son, John J. Duncan III, $316,500 in salary since July, 2013, when the younger Duncan pleaded guilty to misconduct charges and resigned as Knox County trustee, reports the Nashville Post.

The campaign also pays for his son’s cellphone and reimburses his mileage, many meals and multiple other expenses, according to reporter Cari Wade Gervin’s review of campaign disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The article says that the veteran officeholder has also made thousands of dollars in payments to other family members – another son, a niece, a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law and his sister – through his campaign fund and through his political action committee, Road to Victory PAC.

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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.”

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Democrat announces run in 6th Congressional District

Justin Kanew, a past contestant on the TV show “Amazing Race” who moved to Tennessee last year, tells The Tennessean he’s running for the Democratic nomination to oppose Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn in the 2018 7th Congressional District election.

Kanew said he feels driven to step up in the ongoing battle over health care to fight the alternative proposal pushed by President Donald Trump to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

“It’s a cruel bill and we need as many people as possible in Congress that are are willing to fight against something like this,” he said of Republicans’ alternative health care plan. “This is exactly the kind of thing that shows there are people putting corporations and the wealthy ahead of the people of Tennessee.”

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Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.

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