State Rep. David Hawk, R-Greeneville, spoke to the Hamblen County Republican Women Party Monday night as a trial balloon on a potential run to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Johnson City.
Hawk said he is heavily mulling over a run for U.S. Congress.
“I’m feeling that calling more and more every day to serve Congress,” Hawk said. “And the conversations I’m having across the First Congressional District is getting louder and louder and better every day.”
Roe announced two weeks ago that he would be stepping down from his job as a congressman for the 1st Congressional District.
Hawk has served in the Tennessee General Assembly for 18 years and said if reelected one more time, he would become the most senior politician in the Tennessee House of Representatives. The Greeneville native attended Tusculum College and later graduated from East Tennessee State University with a degree in marketing.
He said he has been going around the First Congressional District, which includes Hamblen County and the Tri-Cities, to see if he had support for such a run.
Hawk said on Monday he went to Kingsport that morning, Johnson City for lunch and in Greeneville during the afternoon before coming to Morristown.
“I’m trying to test the water, see what people think,” he said. “See if they believe I’m viable for Congress of the United States, see if I’m worthy of your consideration.”
He talked to the Hamblen County Republican Women just before heading to Nashville for the start of the Tennessee General Assembly session, which began Tuesday.
Hawk said he is tired of the dysfunction in Congress and wants to be part of the solution.
He has two daughters, one enrolled at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, studying chemistry engineering.
Hawk said if he runs and gets elected, he will serve the people of the First Congressional District. He said he would “not blindly follow the president, but support the issues of the First Congressional District.”
But, he also said it would not be hard to support the president since polls find 90 percent of those in the First Congressional District support President Donald Trump and 80 percent strongly support him.
Hawk said the Tennessee General Assembly is working well together and while there may be disputes on policy, at the end of the day, members of the Tennessee House and Senate band together to work for what is best for Tennessee.
“Should I decide to run for Congress, which I’m strongly considering, that’s what I want to bring to D.C.,” he said.