Candidate for U.S. House District 2 Jimmy Matlock announced Wednesday that he has earned the endorsement of the current House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows.
Matlock is in a heated race for the 2nd Congressional District seat which has been represented by a member of the Duncan family for over 50 years, with John J. Duncan Sr. preceding his son “Jimmy” from 1965 to 1988. The conservative known for his independence announced in August 2017 he would not seek re-election, and Congressman Jimmy Duncan has since thrown his support behind Matlock.
While the Federal Election Commission reports a 10-year record of 17 candidates running for the office, since the Civil War the seat has not been held by a Democrat and the race is essentially between the two Republican front runners Jimmy Matlock and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett.
Meadows, who has served North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District since January 2013, was one of the original nine founding members of the House Freedom Caucus which originated out of a Hershey, Pennsylvania Republican congressional retreat at the start of Meadows’ second term in January 2015.
In 2017, Meadows became the second Chairman of the estimated thirty-plus member Caucus, following the two-year chairmanship of Ohio’s 4th District Congressman Jim Jordan.
For voting against a procedural motion presented by Republican leadership in mid-2015 in which former House Speaker John Boehner supported President Barack Obama’s fast-tracking of trade agreements, Meadows was punished by stripping him of his chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Government Operations.
Meadows boldly led the coup to force Boehner out of his leadership position by filing a motion that declared the speaker’s chair to be vacant, because the House, in order to “function effectively in the service of all citizens of this country, requires the service of a Speaker who will endeavor to follow an orderly and inclusive process without imposing his or her will upon any member thereof.”
Two months later, after being in Congress for 24 years and House Speaker for four years, Boehner announced he would resign from the House at the end of October that year.
Continuing his fight against leadership, just last week Meadows went toe-to-toe with Speaker Paul Ryan regarding two competing immigration bills that were coming up for a vote.
The Matlock campaign release quoted Meadows’ endorsement, “Jimmy Matlock is the conservative we can trust to help President Trump drain the swamp in Washington, D.C.” Further expressing his support for Matlock, Meadows continued,
He’s the businessman in the race who understands what it’s like to make a payroll and be accountable to his customers. His record as a state legislator is solidly pro-life and pro-small business, and he’s never supported a tax increase.
Matlock responded to the endorsement from the Trump confidant, “I am honored to have earned the endorsement of my friend, Congressman Mark Meadows.” Matlock continued, recognizing Meadows’ admirable traits,
Congressman Meadows has proven himself to be a man of tremendous character and integrity with unshakable conservative credentials, and I cannot wait to stand alongside him in Congress as we fight to drain the swamp and pass President Trump’s agenda.
Primary election day is Thursday, August 2, with early voting Friday, July 13, through Saturday, July 28, 2018. The successful Republican primary candidate will undoubtedly go on to be the next U.S. Representative in Tennessee’s 2nd District.