Despite questions from constituents and local media, Representative Phil Roe (R-TN-01) has not yet announced if he will run for re-election in 2018.
The most recent inquiry came from, the Kingsport Times News, who asked on a conference call Friday if the retired physician had decided if he would be adding his name to the August primary ballot.
“I have not,” the ten-year incumbent answered, adding:
“… from a health standpoint … I’ve had a CT (computer tomography) scan, which was normal. I’m very pleased about that. … In another three to four weeks, I’ll have a blood test to see whether that’s normal and OK. Those things will impact the decision you make. So far, I’ve gotten great results. Physically I’m feeling better.”
Roe was diagnosed with an early form of prostate cancer in 2017 and is reported to have responded well to treatment.
As for the timeline on when he is decide one way or another, the Times News writes that Roe said he has “some things for the VA [Veterans Administration] that are critical” and, “All of these are weighing on my decision and it’s going to be coming rather quickly. … I have a national platform now. … a chairmanship has added a lot of extra work.”
During the conference call, Representative Roe also answered questions about the shutdown (which has now concluded) and the controversial Steel dossier:
Will the federal government shut down and what will that affect in our region? (A continuing budget resolution passed, which Roe voted for, in the GOP-controlled House on Thursday night, but was being considered by the Senate on Friday.)
“What a CR (continuing resolution) does is you just continue to spend the money like you did last year, and it’s not a good way to govern, but it’s the only way we’ve got to keep the government open. … The Democrats are saying they’ve got to have DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). There is no way on this earth we should confound immigration debate which we need to have with the funding of our troops and health care for children. … We have inquiries going into the Department of the Interior and Secretary (Ryan) Zinke. … He’s going to try to keep the national parks open. … I don’t think you’ll notice any difference how the VA works.”
What is the Steele Dossier, which alleges misconduct by the Trump campaign in 2016?
“I just 30 minutes ago left the Capitol Visitor’s Center Room 302, which is a secure location. I just read a four-plus page top secret document. … Obviously I can’t comment other than to say I absolutely am going to push as hard as I can to make this document public. It is outrageous what is in there. … It basically affirmed the worst fears I had.”
First elected to the US Congress in 2008 by defeating fellow Republican David Davis after only one term in office, Representative Phil Roe has steadily climbed the ranks of leadership, and now serves at the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and co-chairs the House GOP Doctors’ Caucus.
Should Roe opt for re-election, he will face first-time candidate, Todd McKinley, who may serve to be a tough rival to beat.