Burchett: I'm running for U.S. House or Senate

June 27, 2017: Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett says he plans to run next year for either the U.S. Senate or a local Congressional seat.

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett plans next year to seek either Sen. Bob Corker's statewide seat or Congressman Jimmy Duncan's East Tennessee seat.

Burchett, 52, long rumored as a likely U.S. House  candidate, outlined Tuesday where his election ambitions stand.

It's certain that voters will see Burchett's name on a ballot next year, the former state lawmaker said.

"I think that I need to run for one of those seats (Senate or House)," he said Tuesday. "We'll be making a decision shortly."

Corker has said he's weighing his political options next year. A Duncan representative couldn't be reached Tuesday. Duncan, who turns 70 next month, first was elected in 1988 to represent the 2nd District, which includes Knoxville.

Burchett, a Republican, earlier this year told WBIR's "Inside Tennessee" he hadn't ruled out a possible run for governor next year. The field includes Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd, a Republican, and Democrat and former Nashville mayor Karl Dean.

On Tuesday, Burchett said he'd decided against running for governor.

He said he'd "never been real interested" in the governor's job. He first was elected in the early 1990s to the state House and then moved on to the state Senate, spending a total of 16 years in the General Assembly.

He was first elected Knox County mayor in 2010. Term limits bar him from running next year when his second term expires.

The primary for mayor isn't until next May, and the general is in August.

Several candidates for mayor have emerged already, however, and more may be coming.

Knox County Commissioner Bob Thomas has made it plain he's running as a Republican in next year's primary.

In April, businessman and pro wrestler Glenn Jacobs, aka "Kane," formally announced his intent to run as a Republican.

Knox County Commissioner Brad Anders said Tuesday he expects to announce "soon" if he'll seek the seat.

On Monday, state Rep. Jason Zachary told 10News he'd been approached about running for mayor but was happy right now to continue in the Legislature. Zachary, a Republican from Knoxville, called the idea "intriguing." 

Democrat Tracy Clough formally named a treasurer a year ago for a run as mayor.

Last week, Knox County Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones announced he was halting his bid to become county mayor to care for an ailing family member.

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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