The House Freedom Fund (HFF) announced Tuesday that it has endorsed current State Representative Timothy Hill (R-Blountville) for the Republican nomination for the U.S. House First District.
The seat is being vacated by retiring U.S. Representative Phil Roe (R-TN), after serving six terms in Congress.
Hill is currently serving his fourth term in the Tennessee House of Representatives for District 3, which includes Johnson and parts of Carter and Sullivan counties.
Hill told The Tennessee Star about the HFF endorsement, “For the first time in this congressional race, there is a delineator” which sets Hill apart from the other 15 Republican primary candidates in what he says is a very conservative district.
The HFF is a grassroots-funded political action committee (PAC), affiliated with the House Freedom Caucus, that helps elect conservative candidates to the U.S. House of Representatives.
The House Freedom Caucus was established in January 2015 by a handful of Republican U.S. Representatives and initially chaired by Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH-04). Members of the House Freedom Caucus are generally considered to be more conservative than other Republican House members, although the membership list is not published.
HFF says it only supports candidates who are dedicated to open, accountable, and limited government, and who support policies that promote the liberty, safety and prosperity for all Americans.
The announcement includes quotes from Jordan and Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA-10), explaining the purpose of the HFF.
“The House Freedom Fund helps grassroots candidates get the financial support they need to compete with establishment candidates,” said Jordan.
“Some groups offer candidates token support, but HFF is different. HFF provides candidates with substantial resources to help them win,” said Perry.
Between January 2019 and March 2020, HFF contributions to other committees and independent expenditures totaled over $3.3 million. As of March 31, HFF reportedly had $646,950 cash on hand.
HFF said of Hill, “Timothy is a small business owner with a proven record of fighting for lower taxes, less spending, the 2nd Amendment, and the sanctity of life. He is the conservative choice in this race who will stand with President Trump and fight the liberal policies promoted by Nancy Pelosi.”
HFF points out that the election is in a very strong Republican district, with Phil Roe having won 77 percent of the vote in November 2018 against a Democrat and Independent candidate.
Therefore, as HFF says, the August 6 Republican primary will determine who wins the seat in November.
Hill told The Star that the endorsement process started with his record in the Tennessee House which was the draw to the HFF. After a discussion with the executive director, Hill then had a discussion with Jordan.
Normally, those discussions would have happened in person, but could not because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Hill said that he thought it might take more discussion, but the decision was made very quickly.
The word Hill used to describe to the HFF endorsement to The Star: “Humbling.”
“It’s humbling, because the reason I was Conservative in my voting habits in Nashville was not for recognition. The reason I was Conservative in my decision making is because that’s who I really am and that’s who my district is.”
Hill said it’s not only getting recognition for his record, but really an invitation.
“Really, what it is, it’s an invitation to come join them [the House Freedom Caucus] and fight for what we believe in,” he said.
Hill summed it up, “It’s humbling, and it’s a step in the process. We’ve got plenty of work to do, but it is very gratifying to be mentioned and to get that kind of recognition.”
Currently, Hill is one of 16 candidates that HFF has endorsed in the 2020 election cycle, but the only one in Tennessee.
Should Hill be the successful Republican nominee in the August 6 primary, he would face off against a Democrat and Independent candidate in the November 3 general election.
– – –
Laura Baigert is a senior reporter at The Tennessee Star.