State Senator Mark Green (R-Clarksville) released a statement on his Facebook page Friday afternoon that he will not be running for Governor of Tennessee in 2018.
“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,” Green said in the statement, which you can read below.
“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 appreciate the calls, texts, and messages,” Green said in the statement.
“I saw firsthand,” Green continued “what President Trump calls the swamp over the past few months, and what I saw was shocking.”
Green then explained his decision not to get back in the race for governor.
“Many Tennesseans are asking me to return to my campaign for governor. Camie and I would love nothing more,” he said in the statement.
“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,” Green said.
“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,” he added.
“I will not be resuming my campaign for governor,” Green stated.
“I will instead look to Washington DC to help serve our country and provide real help to President Trump,” he said.
The language of his statement suggests he is considering a number of future possibilities.
“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,” he said.
Green’s statement today leaves the door open for a run for the U.S. Senate Senate seat currently held by incumbent Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) , who is up for re-election in 2018. Alternatively, should Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) challenge Corker for the GOP Senate nomination, Green could run for what would then be Blackburn’s open seat in the House of Representatives.
Green’s decision to opt out of the governor’s race gives State Senator Mae Beavers (R- Mt. Juliet) the clear conservative lane in the race for the 2018 Republican Gubernatorial nomination.
“While Beth Harwell, Bill Lee, and Diane Black may try to muddy the waters on her claim as the only real conservative in the race, if she is more bold and clear than the rest of them, it will be hard to diminish her conservative credentials,” media and political strategist Steve Gill tells The Tennessee Star.
“With three or four or more Middle Tennessee Republican candidates in the race or considering the race, East Tennessee moderate Randy Boyd has to feel pretty good about his prospects today,” Gill adds.
Political strategists all say the biggest challenge facing Beavers is whether she can raise enough money to mount a credible race.