Getting hotter in Knoxville

For longer than your correspondent has called Tennessee home, the Second Congressional District has been represented by the second John Duncan in a row, causing one family’s hold on the seat to span more than 50 years. The majority of voters okay with this arrangement might well have continued on the same path someday with John Duncan III, but there’s been a snag in the works. (HT Humphrey)

Enter Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, whose affability and skill might overflow the constraints of his public service to-date, which comprises two paltry terms in countywide office and his previous statehouse stints. Burchett surveyed a horizon rich with higher office opportunities—an open gubernatorial spot, a U.S. Senate seat whose incumbent hasn’t publicly committed to running for re-election, and…the U.S. House of Representatives? Sure, why not? It’s just a half-century dynasty.

Besides, the contest for governor has already started in earnest, with fellow East Tennessean Randy Boyd out front in the money race. And even if U.S. Sen. Bob Corker’s favorability has flagged a bit among likely GOP voters, winning a statewide primary against other challengers and a two-term incumbent is no easy task.

However, as a friend points out, Duncan has skills of his own, to say nothing of his aforementioned tenacity. Consider this recent maneuver. It’s bacon, wrapped in an unassailable coating of help for veterans, and tied up with a bow from a president who, though he may be embattled in Washington or New York or San Francisco or many, many other places, enjoys persistent support from his base.

Former and future congressional candidate in the neighboring Third District, Weston Wamp, tweeted his encouragement to Burchett this week.

Additional open displays of support are sparse at this point, but we might keep our eyes on the Knoxville area as things progress. And yes, there is a Democrat running for this seat as well.

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  1. […] this week, U.S. Rep. John Duncan, Jr. announced that he is not seeking re-election. This removes a significant hurdle for Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, whose upcoming announcement on Saturday presumably is about […]