After eight terms serving the people of Warren and Coffee counties in Nashville, state Rep. Judd Matheny has his eyes set on Washington, D.C., as he has announced his candidacy for Congress.
“I’m officially announcing my run for U.S. Congress in the 6th District of Tennessee,” Matheny declared Friday morning, noting he has been quietly expressing his intentions at several events. “I’m saying now it is 100 percent certain.”
His announcement comes less than a week after he and present Congresswoman Diane Black attended the Warren County Republican Party Reagan Day Dinner here in McMinnville. Black is rumored to be seeking the Tennessee governor’s seat, which will be open since incumbent Gov. Bill Haslam is finishing his maximum two terms.
“I’m in the race, regardless of anyone who enters or anyone else who remains in the race,” Matheny said, his announcement tending to confirm Black has decided to run for governor.
His announcement clears the way for a new state representative to serve Warren County. The 47th District covers all of Coffee and about one-third of Warren County. A Warren County resident has never held the seat since the district was redrawn.
Matheny will continue in his role as state representative, win or lose in the congressional race, until November 2018.
Warren County residents will not get a chance to vote for Matheny for Congress as he is in a separate congressional district. Warren County is included in the 4th District with Scott DesJarlais currently holding the office.
Matheny’s announcement will close the book on his state House career which began in 2000 when he bucked tradition and ousted incumbent Democrat Butch Lewis to claim the seat for the GOP.
A former police officer, security specialist and farmer, Matheny has become a voice for conservative concerns in the General Assembly.
In listing his major accomplishments, Matheny said increasing enforcement of drug laws (especially targeting the meth and pill problems), defending the Second Amendment to bear arms, sup-port of pro-life and cracking down on immigration and increasing anti-terrorism initiatives are the things he will leave behind as his legacy.
Matheny said he is thankful for the support he has received over the years from his constituents. “They have supported me through major battles in Nashville that may not have been popular with some parties, but I always put this district first,” he said.
Matheny said he believes he can take the things he has done in Nashville and bring them to Washington.
“I’m going to do the same things I’ve done here in Tennessee,” Matheny vowed, noting he strongly believes in state’s rights and that states can have a strong voice on federal matters if they use it.
Matheny said he is confident in his run for Congress. Qualifying time has not arrived yet so his field on rivals has not been revealed.