congressional campaigns

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.

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FBI agents asking questions about Knox County Mayor Burchett

FBI agents have interviewed at least four people, asking questions about Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, who is running for the 2nd Congressional District seat, according to the News Sentinel. The people interviewed said FBI agents asked about issues ranging from possible tax evasion to potential bribery and a county contract.

When reached Thursday, Burchett said, “No truth to any of it.”

The USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee obtained a copy of a document drafted by an attorney that states Burchett’s ex-wife, Allison, was a confidential informant for the FBI, with the code name “Carbon,” since 2012.

Allison Burchett said she began working with the FBI in 2012 but declined further comment.

“I’m sorry I cannot comment on an ongoing FBI investigation,” she said.

The three other sources requested anonymity for fear of reprisals.

Federal investigators conducted several interviews this year, including as recently as October, sources said. The interviews were conducted in various locations, including the FBI’s Knoxville headquarters.

One source said an IRS agent also has been involved in the inquiry.

… “I’m not sure what they’re charging, but it’s coming pretty soon,” one source said. “This is very, very serious. It’ll blow Knoxville wide open.”

UPDATE: Burchett responded “defiantly” to the article a day later, reported the News Sentinel and other Gannet newspapers. Excerpted quote:

“I’ve never been contacted by the FBI concerning any of this stuff. I really don’t think there’s any such inquiry… To have a major news story based upon my convicted ex-wife and unnamed sources and for this to be treated as legitimate news, to me is beyond belief,”

Pence PAC donates to six TN U.S. Reps — including Black, Blackburn and Duncan

Politico has a list of Vice President Mike Pence’s “first round of political contributions” through a political action committee he has established —  including donations of $5,400 each to six Tennessee members of the U.S. House – Reps. Marsha Blackburn, Diane Black, John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr., Scott DesJarlais, Chuck Fleischmann and Phil Roe.

Blackburn is running for the Senate instead of reelection to the House, but money donated to her House campaign can be switched into the Senate race. Black is running for governor and, under applicable rules, she cannot shift money from her congressional campaign account into her run for a state office.

Duncan, of course, is retiring and not running for reelection in the 2nd Congressional District.

The only Tennessee Republican congressman not on the list is freshman Rep. David Kustoff of the 8th Congressional District.

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Burchett offered check (declined) and apology (accepted) after Saudi teen’s attack

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, a candidate for the 2nd Congressional seat being vacated by Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan, was one of several motorists who came under attack from a Saudi Arabian citizen who recently enrolled at the University of Tennessee to study nursing, reports the News Sentinel. The youth’s lawyer says he suffered “an unexpected mental breakdown” in the episode, which warrants say involved pounding on cars and grabbing at the drivers as they passed him on a street near the UT Knoxville campus.

“Did they screen this guy at all for mental health issues?” Burchett said Friday of 19-year-old Nofl Hassan Alatyah. “I’m not getting any answers, and I’m very frustrated.”

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Republican songwriter announces for 7th Congressional District seat

Prominent Nashville songwriter Lee Thomas Miller has officially announced his run for Congress to represent Tennessee, reports tasteofcountry.com.

Miller is a songwriter behind numerous country hits, including the No. 1 hits “The Impossible” for Joe Nichols, “The World”, “I’m Still a Guy” and “Perfect Storm” for Brad Paisley, “You’re Gonna Miss This” for Trace Adkins, Terri Clark’s “I Just Wanna Be Mad” and Tim McGraw’s “Southern Girl.” “You’re Gonna Miss This,” “The Impossible” and Jamey Johnson’s “In Color” were also nominated for Grammy Awards for Best Country Song. Miller is running for the District 7 House seat that U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn has held since 2002. Blackburn is vacating the seat to run for the Senate.

“I’ve been writing the stories of real Americans for as long as I can remember,” Miller said in a press release (and video, above) announcing his candidacy Tuesday (Nov. 14). “Stories about life and loss. Love and regret. Songs about innocence and youth. Songs about faith and the struggle to keep it. I give a voice to those who can not find the words they are looking for. I give a voice to those who are not being heard.”

…The songwriter is running as a Republican, and he lists religious liberties, a pro-life stance, cutting taxes and regulations and border security as key items he supports. Prior to his announcement, a number of top Nashville music business leaders signed a letter of support for his candidacy, including Curb Records CEO Mike Curb, songwriters Luke Laird, Liz Rose and busbee, and Brad Paisley and Dustin Lynch.

Jason Emert, narrow loser in 2014 state House race, joins GOP candidate clutter in 2nd Congressional District

Jason Emert, who lost to state Rep. Eddie Smith of Knoxville by 28 votes in the 2014 Republican primary for state House District 13 after a substantially self-funded campaign, has announced as a candidate for the GOP nomination to the 2nd Congressional District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr.

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Songwriter/conservative activist eyes run for 7th Congressional District seat

Lee Thomas Miller, a country music songwriter prominent in the industry both for his hits and his advocacy for conservative causes, is on the verge of joining the field of Republicans who want to succeed Rep. Marsha Blackburn in the 7th Congressional District seat.

So reports the Nashville Post, following up on Miller comments reported in Tennessee Star on Monday as creating “a lot of buzz” and adding a bit more commentary.

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Former state Rep. Page Walley eyes run for 7th Congressional District seat

News release from Page Walley

Bolivar, Tennessee—Dr. Page Walley, former State Representative and current Vice Mayor of Bolivar, is considering a run for the 7th U.S. Congressional District.  Since Rep. Marsha Blackburn announced she will not be seeking reelection, voters from across the district have expressed to Walley their desire to see him run.

Walley served five terms in the Tennessee House of Representatives and six years in executive branch leadership under Republican governors as Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and the Alabama Departments of Children’s Affairs and Human Services.  Under his leadership, Alabama became the first state to fundamentally reform its child and family protection system and exceed federal court expectations.

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Democrat Olsen announces run against Republican Rep. Roe

Dr. Martin Olsen, an East Tennessee State University Obstetrics and Gynecology professor, formally announced Saturday his run as a Democrat for the 1st Congressional District seat now held by Republican Rep. Phi Roe, reports the Johnson City Press.

To win, Olsen says he needs one-third of those in the district who voted for Trump to vote for him. And though Tennessee is a consistently red state, Olsen believes that people have seen that what is happening now isn’t working and hopes that those who voted Republican will try something new.

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In 6th Congressional District, Rose takes big money lead over Matheny with $250K loan and Haslam help

Former state Agriculture Commissioner Charles Rose has loaned his campaign for the 6th Congressional District Republican nomination $250,000, giving him a strong financial advantage over state Rep. Judd Matheny in the race to succeed U.S. Rep. Diane Black, according to disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission this week.

The reports show Rose, who owns a farm and runs a small business in DeKalb County, raised $292,450 in contributions and, with the $250,000 loan, his campaign had $542,450 in receipts. He reported $74,421 in expenditures, leaving a cash-on-hand balance of $468,038 on Oct. 1.

Matheny reported $166,544 in donations to his campaign and $62,458 in expenditures, leaving a cash balance of $104,086. He reported no loans.

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ABOUT THIS BLOG

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

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