Green gets out of governor’s race, eyes run for Congress instead

State Sen. Mark Green declared Friday that he won’t resume his campaign for governor and instead will “look to Washington, D.C.” for a next step in his political career.

The Clarksville physician/businessman didn’t say what office he would seek, but speculation immediately focused on the 6th Congressional District seat now held by fellow Republican Rep. Diane Black, who is expected to become a candidate for governor later this year. (Note: Most recent previous post HERE.)  If so, she would not seek reelection to Congress in 2018 and Green would be running for an open seat. He doesn’t actually live in the 6th (Clarksville is in the 7th, represented by Rep. Marsha Blackburn), but the law would allow him to run — subject to moving into the district if he won.

Another possibility would be the U.S. Senate seat now held by Bob Corker. But Green, despite some differences on issues, has recently praised Corker for the senator’s support of Green as President Trump’s nominee to become U.S. Army secretary. Green dropped the effort after coming in for strong criticism from LGBT and Muslim groups.

In the GOP governor’s race, the Green retreat from a run may most benefit Sen. Mae Beavers, who scheduled her formal announcement as a candidate on Saturday. Both Green and Beavers have strong support among tea party folk and a primary clash between the two state senators would have split that vote.

Here’s Green’s statement:

“Since withdrawing my name from nomination for Secretary of The Army, so many friends, family and fellow Tennesseans have voiced unbelievable, and overwhelming support for Camie and me.  We so appreciate the calls, texts, and messages.

Tennessee truly is an amazing place.  America is too, only it is in trouble – far more trouble than Tennessee.

I saw firsthand what President Trump calls the swamp over the past few months, and what I saw was shocking.

The liberal left will stop at nothing to advance its anti-American agenda and to bring down our president.  Very clearly from our experience, the truth no longer matters; their bold face lies about my statements, and intentional twisting of words advanced with little pressure to stop it.  They collude with the media to cast conservatives as hateful, stingy and mean while they partner with our enemies to weaken the nation.

Returning to Tennessee made me realize the real fight is in Washington, DC.

Many Tennesseans are asking me to return to my campaign for governor.  Camie and I would love nothing more.  Being the Governor of Tennessee would be an honor like none I have yet attained.  Leading our great state to the next level would please us very much.  And, Tennesseans would get to know the best First Lady we could ever have in my incredible wife.

Yet as I came home from DC, the burden in my heart for our nation just won’t go away.  As we’ve prayed, it’s been clear: conservative voices and leaders are outnumbered in DC.  Tennessee’s greatest treasure, our people know the secret to effective government because it’s in our state…but, it’s absent in Washington.  After traveling our state in the Tennessee Next Tour, the commonsense approach expected by working Tennesseans happens in Nashville.  It doesn’t exist in our federal government.  My heart aches for our country.

My mission is the conservative cause, not a position.  The very difficult task of electing a true conservative to be the 50th Governor of Tennessee when the vote will clearly be split among several candidates, harms that cause.  For that reason, I will not be resuming my campaign for governor.

I will instead look to Washington DC to help serve our country and provide real help to President Trump.  Several options exist in the near future to do this and I will continue discussions with people around the state and Washington as I find the best path of service.

I remain committed and will continue my duties as a Tennessee State Senator.  Serving the amazing people of District 22 is the icing on any cake.  I am honored to represent them in Nashville.  Camie and I will continue to travel Tennessee and learn from our people.  The chance for us to serve in a higher capacity is just around the corner.  We hear God’s call to serve, and if Tennesseans will continue to elect us, we will continue to work diligently on their behalf.

Thank you and God bless.”

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