RUTLEDGE, Tennessee – At the Grainger County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner Saturday evening, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, invited to speak during the “Comments From 2018 Candidates and Political Guests” portion of the agenda, after joking that “These primaries make everybody nervous,” ended the suspense when he said, “I’m not running for governor.”
Burchett later said, “You’ll see me on the ballot in about 14 months, I can guarantee it,” but gave no indication as to which office he would be seeking. Burchett will be term-limited out of office as Mayor of Knox County in 2018. There have been rumors that he has considered a run for Tennessee governor, as he has been teasing pundits that all options are on the table.
Burchett’s comments immediately began speculation that he may run for either the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), or the Congressional seat currently held by Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan (R-TN-02)
Gubernatorial candidates State Sen. Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) and businessman Randy Boyd were both in attendance, as was House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) who gave the keynote address and has been rumored to be considering a primary run as the Republican candidate for governor.
“You know, it says in the Bible that steel sharpens steel, so one sharpens another,” Burchett said, continuing, “And really, that’s what the Republican Party’s about.”
This is something that’s fairly unique to our country.
We don’t have a dadgum fist fight out here. We discuss the issues and we pick the best person for the job, and God willing we’re going to do that next year.
As I stated, I’m not running for governor. The Gettysburg address in on your table. It’s 272 words. Abraham Lincoln changed the world in less than three minutes, and that’s about all I’m going to take.
I want to say thank y’all. I’m just here to make a lot of people nervous. You’ll see me on the ballot in about 14 months, I can guarantee it. Thank you very much.
You can watch the video of Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett’s comments to the Grainger County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner here: