|Matlock backers gather to show support for candidate
About 40 local leaders and members of the Republican Party faithful gathered at the home of Peggy and John Lambert in Maryville’s Turnberry Vista neighborhood to offer their support to State Rep. Jimmy Matlock in his campaign to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr.
Duncan currently represents Tennessee’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes Blount County.
Well-wishers at the Tuesday evening event included Blount County Sheriff James Berrong, Blount County Commissioner Dave Bennett, attorney Jim Snyder, State Rep. Bob Ramsey, philanthropist Ed Harmon, Patsy Lunde, who is president of the Republican Women of Blount County, and businessman Jim Rudd. Members of the host committee for the evening and invited guests contributed $250 and $100, respectively, to attend.
The gathering gave supporters an opportunity to hear Matlock share his thoughts on what it means to seek the office, which has been held by the Duncan family for the past 52 years, beginning with John Duncan Sr., first elected in 1965, and then his son, “Jimmy” Duncan, who succeeded him in 1988.
Matlock, who currently represents District 21, shared his personal thoughts with the group, expressing his love for the community and his appreciation for the group’s support. “It is humbling to stand among people that I have so much respect for,” he said. “You are doers as well as givers. I feel blessed to have raised my family in Loudon County and to be part of this area where we were welcomed into the business environment. We believe that by the grace of God, we can do something different. I hope to take your values to Washington where there is currently a lack of values these days.”
“I believe in Jimmy Matlock,” hostess Peggy Lambert, a former Republican national committee woman of Tennessee, said. “I’m a firm believer in citizen legislators and not in professional politicians. Jimmy will represent a constituent consensus.”
Matlock, who also owns Matlock Tires in Maryville, expressed confidence that he could bring his business experience to his role as a legislator in Washington. He noted his commitment to serving his customers will prepare him well in representing his constituents. He added that as a state legislator he’s been able to work across the aisle and find common consensus even with people with whom he disagrees.
“I’m more comfortable with acting, rather than reacting,” he added.
Matlock’s wife of 33 years, echoed those comments. “I tell people, ‘Don’t ever say that God called you to do a job. God puts things in your life to equip you to do the job.’”
She noted that her husband had always paid his own way, whether it was for college or buying his first car. “He’s always been a worker,” she said.
Matlock will face Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, Young Republicans National Chair Jason Emert, financial advisor Brad Fullington, steelworker Vito Sagliano and businessman Marc Whitmire in the Republican primary. Psychologist Joshua Williams and Renee Hoyos, head of the Tennessee Clean Water Network, will compete for the Democratic nomination.
The primaries will take place on Aug. 2, 2018, with the general election slated for Nov. 6.