Politics

Tennessee’s Diane Black Running for Governor

Four-term Republican was first woman to chair Budget Committee

Tennessee Rep. Diane Black won seek a fifth term in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Tennessee Rep. Diane Black announced a long expected run for governor on Wednesday. 

The four-term member, who became the first woman to chair the Budget Committee earlier this year, will not run for re-election to the 6th District in 2018. She’s vying to become the Volunteer State’s first female governor. 

“I’m Diane Black, and I don’t back down,” the congresswoman says her in announcement video. “It’s just how I’m wired.”

One of the wealthiest members of Congress, she can afford to self-fund part of her campaign. 

President Donald Trump won Black’s district by nearly 50 points. Black won re-election by a similar 49-point margin last fall. She leaves behind a safe GOP seat that’s likely to attract a crowded primary field. 

Former state Commissioner of Agriculture John Rose could afford to self-fund a campaign. Republicans in the state also point to state Rep. Cameron Sexton, state House GOP Caucus Chairman Ryan Williams and Secretary of State Tre Hargett as potential contenders. State Sen. Mae Beavers is running for governor, but she lives in the 6th District and because her fundraising lags her competitors', she could consider switching to the congressional race.

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