State Representative Martin Daniel Announces He Will Not Seek Re-election in 2020


State Representative Martin Daniel (R-Knox County) announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election in 2020.

Daniel is serving his third term in the state House, representing Tennessee’s 18th House District.

In his Facebook announcement, Daniel said he essentially made his decision on election night in November 2018.

“After much consideration before then and since, I have determined that I will not be a candidate for re-election in November 2020 as Representative of our State’s 18th District.”

Daniel went on to say that in running for office in 2014, “I was motivated to represent West Knoxville because of my love for our great state, for West Knoxville, and for freedom and liberty. Since you have sent me to Nashville, among other things, I have consistently worked for a smaller, more efficient government, to foster freedom, and to thereby enable all Tennesseans to pursue happiness to their heart’s content with minimal government interference.”

In the current 2019-2020 legislative session, he has sponsored several bills that align with the philosophy he shared in his parting announcement.

As a matter of public record, Daniel sought to prohibit government payments and other financial benefits paid or bestowed to a private entity from being deemed a confidential “trade secret” by the entity, thereby keeping that information from the taxpaying public.

His legislation, HB 0370, came as the result of the Google deal in Clarksville, Montgomery County, where Google claimed it would allow more effective competition to them if other companies knew how much taxpayer money they were getting from the government.

As The Tennessee Star reported, the measure was killed by voice vote in a House subcommittee.

In HB 1839, he would prohibit a higher education from contracting or affiliating with a foreign nation for instruction programs or learning center.

Daniel’s LIFT Act – “Licensing Independence for Future Tennesseans Act” – would recognize professional licenses from other states, requiring Tennessee’s licensing authority, under a set list of conditions, to issue a license to a Tennessee resident who holds a professional license from another state.

For several years, Daniel has worked diligently to reform the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws, a topic The Star has reported on extensively.

In fact, the state’s Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights found that Tennessee’s civil asset forfeiture laws are among the nation’s least protective of property owners.

It is a perennial battle that Daniel undertook, despite the resistance from members of law enforcement as well as his colleagues in the state House.

Reflecting on his time in the Tennessee General Assembly, Daniel said, “It has been a privilege to represent West Knoxville over the past 5 ½ years, and I am eternally grateful for the responsibility and honor that you have bestowed upon me.”

“I hope that I have played a small part in making Tennessee a better place now and for those who will come after us.”

On the successes of the state, the Republican Daniel offered, “With recent Republican leadership, Tennessee has enjoyed a great period of prosperity. I believe, however, that its greatest moments lie ahead of it.”

As far as future plans, Daniel said, “I hope to continue to be involved in politics and government in other ways, but very soon, I look forward to spending more time with my children – Sophie and Matthew – and tending to my business, both of which have been neglected in the past few years.”

Especially important in this unusual year when the legislature is looking to go into recess for a period of about two months after passing a bare bones budget this week,

With the legislative battles Daniel took on the past two years, even though he had already decided not to run again, his constituents can probably rely on his assurances, “Please know that I am here to serve you until November of this year, and I will be gladly taking care of the duties for which you elected me.”

In the 2018 election, he weathered a formidable Democrat opponent who won 12,118 votes against Daniel’s 12,865.

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Laura Baigert is a senior reporter at The Tennessee Star.
Photo “Martin Daniel” by Martin Daniel.







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