Another Republican Announces Retirement — By: Church Militant

On Wednesday, the second full committee chairman in less than a week announced that he will not seek reelection later this year.

U.S. Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn.

Tennessee’s U.S. Rep. Mark Green, R-Clarksville, joins Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., as the committee chairs most recently announcing their retirements.

Reps. Kay Granger, R-Texas, and Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., chairs of the Appropriations and Financial Services Committees, respectively, are also ending their long congressional careers.

In a statement Wednesday, Rep. Green said he has accomplished his promised goals in the House with the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and the passage of the border bill earlier in this Congress. As chairman of Homeland Security, he was a key figure in both actions.

Open Seats Abound

Just when one House seat was filled last night with the election of Rep.-Elect Tom Suozzi, D-NY, the next opening occurs. Rep. Green’s retirement from the House means that 49 districts are open headed into the next election, with each party now risking 24 seats.

A final open district resides in Alabama, where the court-ordered redistricting plan created a new district stretching from Montgomery to Mobile. This resulted in Reps. Jerry Carl, R-Mobile, and Barry Moore, R-Enterprise, being paired in a 1st District that lies between the Louisiana and Georgia borders.

Green’s Ascent

Rep. Green was a career military man, graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point and later going to medical school. As an Army medical surgeon, he served a tour of duty in Afghanistan and two in Iraq. He was highly decorated in the service, earning the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medal in addition to several other honors.

It is looking good  in the district for the Republican who wins the primary election.

Former President Trump nominated Green as U.S. Army Secretary, but his U.S. Senate confirmation process deteriorated over comments he once made about the transgender issue. He withdrew from consideration before a vote on him could be called.

It has been rumored for months that Rep. Green would run for governor of Tennessee in 2026, when Republican incumbent Bill Lee is ineligible to seek a third term. Dr. Green was looking to run for governor in 2018 when he was still a state senator, but then-Rep. Marsha Blackburn opted to enter the U.S. Senate race, thus leaving the 7th District open. At that point, Dr. Green switched his sights to the congressional seat.

Dr. Green was first elected to the Tennessee Senate in 2012. When he ran for Congress in 2018, he found himself unopposed in the Republican primary for an open seat — a rarity that a safe district with no incumbent would be uncontested within the dominant party. He would go on to easily win the general election and then serve an additional two terms. In his three congressional elections, Rep. Green averaged just over 66% of the vote.

Crowded GOP Primary, Lone Democrat 

With the 7th District now open again, we will certainly see more than a single candidate file. In fact, expect to see a crowded Republican primary materialize prior to the state’s April 4 candidate filing deadline. The GOP primary is set for Aug. 1.

Megan Barry

Former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, who was forced to resign her position after pleading guilty to felony theft of property worth more than $10,000, is the lone Democratic contender. 

It is looking good  in the district for the Republican who wins the primary election. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates Tennessee’s 7th District as leaning Republican by 21 percentage points. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks the seat as the 76th most vulnerable district in the Republican Conference. Former President Trump scored a 56-41% victory here in 2020.

The 7th District covers a sizable chunk of territory west of Nashville and east of Memphis and stretches from the Kentucky border on the north to Alabama on the south. The district encompasses all or parts of 14 counties as well as housing the city of Nashville’s western sector. Its racial breakdown is 72% White, 17% Black, 3% Hispanic and 2% Asian.

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