U.S. Congressional Republican nominee Diana Harshbarger said this week that she has already made allies in Washington D.C. and looks forward to representing the First Congressional District if elected.
“All my goal is to be the best congresswoman you’ve ever had,” she said.
Harshbarger visited the Country Club Wednesday morning for a fundraising event sponsored by the Hamblen County Republican Women.
Harshbarger is vying for the seat held by U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, who announced earlier this year he is retiring. She is currently battling Democratic nominee Blair Walsingham for the spot.
Harshbarger is the first Republican woman to win the nomination, going up against the first woman to garner the Democratic nomination.
The winner will not, however, be the first woman to hold the seat. Louise Reece served from 1961 to 1963. Reece was elected to finish the remaining term of her husband, B. Carroll Reece, who died two months into his 6th term.
Harshbarger ran in a tough 16-candidate field and she said that experience is what made her “Tennessee Tough,” the campaign slogan.
“That’s where Tennessee Tough comes in,” she said. “You got to be tough to take some of the beatings you get when you try to do things for this country. But, it is worth fighting for.”
Harshbarger took time talking about her recent visit to D.C. where she met President Donald Trump. She said he told her that he saw his poll numbers in the district and was astounded how far ahead he led.
She said she told him it was because people in the district love him. He was their type of president, an outsider who shook up Washington.
She said President Trump took that to heart.
“He knows who you are,” she said.
Harshbarger said she was not taking anything for granted in the race and told those in the crowd they should not either. She said her opponent is well funded.
The latest federal election commission records showing the latest fundraising efforts for the two candidates is not expected to be available until at least next week.
Harshbarger talked about how her own family made her think of entering the race. The congressional candidate is a long-term businesswoman who has been a pharmacist for years. She said looking at her children and grandchildren, she felt like she needed to enter the congressional race.
She said her fear is the country is venturing too far left.
“It’s possible to take our country back, it’s possible to change healthcare for the better, it’s possible to secure those borders, it’s only possible if you have the right leadership, am I right?” she asked.
Harshbarger praised Hamblen County’s industry and school system.