State Rep. Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma) made a bold political move on Friday, formally announcing his candidacy for Congress in the Sixth District of Tennessee currently represented by Congressman Diane Black in an interview with WMSR radio in Manchester.
Matheny made it clear he’s in it to win it, whether Black runs for governor, as many expect she will, or not.
The State Representative from Coffee County’s announcement comes less than three weeks after he told The Tennessee Star “I’m 100 percent in the race for Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. I’m not making a formal announcement until Diane Black announces for governor.”
A veteran of the Tennessee Army National Guard as well as local and state law enforcement who has served in the Tennessee House of Representatives since 2002, Matheny “has been one of Tennessee’s most consistently conservative legislators and activists,” his announcement said:
He has a perfect record protecting the unborn and our Second Amendment.
Judd opposes illegal immigration and was just recently responsible for leading the successful fight to stop Nashville City Council ‘s attempt to become a sanctuary city.
During the forced attempt to implement Common Core by establishment Republicans, Matheny orchestrated a maneuver to stop the initiative with only a handful of fellow House conservatives.
“As a strong advocate in federalism and the sovereign authority of states as defined in our Constitution, Matheny has constantly worked to improve dialogue, cooperation and the restoration of the balance of powers between not only the federal and state governments but also their respective, individual branches,” the statement said.
Matheny offered an interesting twist in his announcement.
“As the next Congressman from Tennessee, Matheny will be the only federally elected official to have a full time staff member in Nashville to liaise on a day-to-day basis with the Tennessee General Assembly, during legislative sessions. This arrangement will help ensure Tennessee and Washington, D.C. are in constant communication and that there is cooperation between the two governing bodies,” the statement said.
Matheny is clearly aligning himself with the policies of President Trump, as he outlined in the statement:
Judd Matheny has been delivering the messages and implementing the declared policies of President Trump for over 15 years:
1. Lower taxes 2. Fewer regulations
3. Reined in government spending 4. Private sector economic growth
5. Enforcement of the rule of law 6. Authority to the individual states
7. Individual responsibility and economic freedom
8. Providing strong security to protect Americans.
He also made it clear that no candidate in the race will get to the right of him on any issue:
Matheny also believes, along with the voters in the 6th Congressional District, that our Federal Government must not be allowed to dictate Tennessee’s definition of marriage, our bathroom policies or the makings of a school lunch. Citizens of Tennessee must not be forced to follow distorted ideas of social justice from organizations that actively vow to destroy our conservative way of life by forcing these and similar policies into our daily lives, businesses and institutions. In addition, Judd does not believe we should be forced to accept refugees from America’s enemies who don’t and will not respect our values or way of life.
“Judd Matheny is married to his wife, Christy, of 18 years. They have two children in high school and all three have been full supporters of his years in politics,” the statement concluded.
The Sixth Congressional District includes “the following counties: Cannon, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Robertson, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, White, Wilson and portions of Cheatham and Van Buren.”
Most political observers were waiting on Rep. Black to make known her political plans for “the other dominoes to fall.”
With his bold move Friday, Matheny has thrown everyone watching the Sixth Congressional District in Tennessee race off balance.
Should Rep. Black choose not to run for governor, she now faces a tough political challenger in the August 2018 Republican primary. She was able to easily defeat former State Rep. Joe Carr, who was considered a tough opponent for Black at the time he announced his campaign, by a 2 to 1 margin when he challenged her in the 2016 Republican primary. It is too early to tell how well she would be able to fend off a challenge from Matheny in 2018 if she passes on the governor’s race.
If, as many political observers believe, Rep. Black does jump in the race for the Republican nomination for governor, Matheny will have a significant head start over any other potential candidates to succeed Black.
As The Tennessee Star reported earlier this month conservative journalist and former Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes has said she is considering running for the Sixth Congressional District seat, but only if Black chooses to run for governor.