KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Congressman Jimmy Duncan’s announcement not to seek reelection, after 30 years holding the Second Congressional District seat, is starting a political shake up. Potential candidates to fill this seat are only now just starting to announce, or consider, running. WATE 6 On Your Side is taking a closer look at these rumored candidates, to find out who is running, who isn’t running, and who is considering.
Previous story: Congressman Jimmy Duncan will not seek reelection
State Senator Becky Duncan Massey
Senator Massey is Congressman Duncan’s sister, named quickly after his announcement as next-in-line for a congressional seat that once belonged to their father, John Duncan Sr., until his passing in 1988, when Congressman Jimmy Duncan was elected. Massey says, “I’m very content serving in the state senate. I have no plans to run.”
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett
It’s likely Mayor Burchett will announce a congressional campaign Saturday. He’s been talking about the big announcement since Monday afternoon. WATE 6 On Your Side Political Analyst George Korda called his plans “the worst kept political secret” in Knoxville. Either way, he’s not giving any hints about his plans. Only that he will run for Senate or Congress.
Rep. Jimmy Matlock (Lenoir City)
Rep. Matlock is considering running for the Second District seat, but no official campaign announcement has been made. He said, “I’ve decided to give it really the best of consideration. I’ve decided to spend the next several hours investigating. Is the timing right? Is this the window of opportunity?” Matlock says he’s expecting to announce his plans by the end of the week.
Rep. Bill Dunn (Knoxville)
Rep. Dunn will not be running for the Second District seat. He says he wants to continue his work at the state level. “I think Tennessee is heading in the right direction and is doing so at a very fast paced. I would like to continue that. Washington D.C., whatever is happening there, seems very frustrating.” Dunn says it’s “Burchett’s destiny” to represent Tennessee in Washington D.C.
Rep. Jason Zachary
Rep. Zachary will not be running for the Second District seat. He says it’s “not his time” and he’s enjoying his work at the state level. He plans to run for reelection in the 14th District. Like Dunn, he says he hopes Burchett announces a run for the open seat. “He’s led well in our county, he’s got executive experience, legislative experience He’s passed legislation. I think he fits the bill on the type of leader we’re looking for. Sending somebody there, that’s one of us, to be our voice. To rattle a few cages and I think that’s what needs to be done.”
Blount County Sheriff Jim Berrong
Sheriff Berrong has not announced any plans related to running for the 2nd District Seat. He released a statement shortly after Congressman Duncan’s announcement:
“Congressman Duncan is and always has been a great friend to me as well as to the Blount County Sheriff’s Office. He has worked hard for us and assisted us in obtaining grant money. I will miss him, but I am happy for him too. He has served our state proudly.”
Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero
Mayor Rogero won’t be running for the open seat. She is planning to finish what she started and serve her term as mayor which runs until December 2019.
Dr. Joshua Williams
Williams officially declared he would be running as a Democrat for the open seat. “The polarization that we’re seeing in Washington, is very distressing to a mental health professional. To someone who has been working in the public health sector for many years. It seemed like a very important time to have an action plan for how to help things and make them better.” Williams said.
Hoyos is considering running for the Second District seat, she has not formally made an announcement. “I’m not necessarily partisaned or turfed out on the issues. I’m really interested in creating a large tent for people that a lot of people can get under. It’s a new day both in politics, and in the second district.” said Hoyos.