U.S. Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN-08) of Memphis said he will not run for Lamar Alexander’s Senate seat in 2020’s primary race.
The race to succeed U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) as he retires next year is shifting the political scene in Tennessee as Republicans either declare their candidacy, prepare to declare their candidacy or announce they’re going to stay where they’re at.
Kustoff, one of the latter, said on his Twitter campaign account, “Over the last few weeks I’ve been humbled by the tremendous support from across the state, but at this time Roberta and I have decided there’s more work to be done here in West Tennessee and in the House of Representatives. I look forward to working with conservatives across the state to ensure a Republican wins this Senate seat and with my colleagues across the country to re-elect President Trump and retake the House.”
My decision on the 2020 Senate race pic.twitter.com/r5xnLMdmYG
— David Kustoff (@DavidKustoff) July 27, 2019
On his campaign website, Kustoff says he is a Shelby County native and a former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, having been appointed by President George W. Bush in 2006. He says he oversaw most of the Tennessee Waltz trials. He and his wife Roberta have two children.
Kustoff is not the only Republican to make an announcement regarding Alexander’s seat recently.
Just this week, Knoxville Dr. Josh Gapp announced his candidacy for Alexander’s seat, The Tennessee Star reported. Gapp is a pathologist specializing in dermatopathology, and he owns and operates his private practice.
Another physician, Dr. Manny Sethi, in June declared his intent to run, The Star said. Sethi is an orthopedic trauma surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Saying “No” to Alexander’s seat was former Gov. Bill Haslam, who on July 11 ended speculation he would run for the Senate when he said he would not in fact do so.
With those Republicans saying either “Yes” or “No,” there remains a looming question of who else may run—especially Bill Hagerty.
U.S. Ambassador to Japan Hagerty this past week stepped down from his post; he is expected to run for Alexander’s seat, The Star reported.
President Trump recently endorsed Hagerty’s potential Senate bid, which likely would be announced after he leaves federal government service, The Star said.
Hagerty has not announced his candidacy but may have been waiting to leave federal service.
Another potential candidate is former state lawmaker Jamie Woodson, UPI said.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.