Green Beret Democrat campaigns via surrogates in 7th Congressional District

Matt Reel, a Democrat seeking the 7th Congressional District nomination, is on active duty with the Green Berets until this summer and is campaigning for now through surrogates including former U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis. But his campaign has put out an online ‘introductory’ video.

An opponent in the Democratic primary is Justin Kanew, a film writer and producer from Williamson County. On the Republican side, state Sen. Mark Green is seeking nomination to the seat now held by U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackurn, who is running for the U.S. Senate rather than seeking reelection.

The Reel video is HERE; a press release below.

Press release from Matt Reel campaign

CENTERVILLE, TN – Special Forces Green Beret Matt Reel comes from a long line of public servants, including preachers, teachers, farmers and members of the Armed Forces. He’s a 5th generation Tennessean who grew up in the rural Hickman County community of Primm Springs, southwest of Nashville.

This week, his campaign began introducing him widely to voters in a web video where Matt talks about his family, upbringing, why he serves his country and why he is prepared to help fix a broken, hyper-partisan Washington.

In short, Matt strongly believes in “people over politics.”

In the video, Matt says, “We need leaders who put the country’s needs over their own political ambitions. And that’s why I’m running for Congress. The current leadership on both sides of the aisle is failing us. Both Democrats and Republicans have played partisan games instead of fixing health care. They’ve done too little to help Tennessee families to make a living, and they’ve done nothing to rein in out-of-control government spending.”

Matt acknowledges he has launched an unconventional campaign. After all, his life is also about country and service over politics.

Almost as soon as he announced his plans to seek Tennessee’s 7th District Congressional seat, he was mobilized by his National Guard unit for active duty service with the U.S. Army. He has served on combat deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and parts in between. Matt has fought Al Qaeda, ISIS and the Taliban face-to-face, and while serving as a Congressional aide, he has worked on policies to help veterans and their families receive the benefits they deserve.

“As a Green Beret, I served tours on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq – fighting ISIS, the Taliban and America’s enemies overseas so they don’t make it over here,” Matt says in the video.

Matt has served more than 15 years in the Army National Guard and currently serves in an operational reserve unit of the 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne, U.S. Special Operations Command.) He will return in early summer to meet voters across the 7th District on the ground, full time.

Until then, his campaign will be run by staff, friends and family, including surrogates like his longtime boss, former Tennessee U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis, D-TN04, who served four terms and was continuously rated as one of the most independent members of Congress, and people who endorse him over the coming months. Those endorsements will be announced in coming weeks with additional announcements as the campaign progresses.

While Matt is on active duty, he is prohibited from conventional campaigning. Fundraising, stumping, political outreach, press and field must all be done by staff, volunteers and family. The campaign is organizing in each of the district’s 19 counties using longtime residents of each community for outreach.

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