Monday, February 20, 2006


Press Release: Huddleston Undecided on Candidacy for First District Seat

For those who didn't see it, the following press release was distributed Saturday evening:


Huddleston Undecided on Candidacy for First District Seat

February 18, 2006

KNOX COUNTY – Rob Huddleston, a Knoxville-based attorney, is undecided on a proposed run for the First Congressional District's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives

Huddleston, who formerly spent time in Washington, D.C., working for the National Rifle Association, current U.S. Senate candidate Ed Bryant, and former Senator Fred Thompson, announced on his award-winning blog, VOLuntarilyConservative, that he was caught off-guard by the announcement of Congressman Bill Jenkins on Wednesday that he would be retiring at the end of his current term.

"It's quite amazing how the Lord works," Huddleston wrote. "Just yesterday, I remarked to (my wife) that everything seemed to have settled down... Through my experiences, though, that is when God likes to put something before you that shocks your system from its routine, that tests you. That was the case when my good friend, Congressman Bill Jenkins, announced his retirement from the House of Representatives yesterday. He has served those of us from the First District admirably in the tradition of Jimmy Quillen, and he will be missed."

This has left Huddleston pondering his own political future. Born in Kingsport, Huddleston has lived the vast majority of his life in the First District. He graduated from Sullivan East High School, as well as East Tennessee State University before attending The University of Tennessee College of Law in Knoxville. Writing on VOLuntarilyConservative, Huddleston seemed intrigued by the current vacancy in the First District.

"For those who truly know me or have pegged me down on the issue, it is no secret that I consider being elected as the Congressman from the First District of Tennessee the highest honor an East Tennessean can be paid. I have gone on record as saying that if God led me to that particular office that it would be the highest political office I would ever seek. And now, in 2006, an opportunity presents itself."

However, Huddleston has not committed himself to the race. "There are many factors involved in this decision," said Huddleston on Saturday afternoon. "I have worked many campaigns and advised politicians in this very situation. Entering into any political contest is a decision that should not be taken lightly. I will confer with my family and friends, as well as put the matter in prayer, before I will announce my decision."

Tennessee State Representative David Davis (R-6) has already declared himself a candidate, as has former Johnson City mayor Vance Cheek. Huddleston is familiar with many of those rumored to be considering entering the race.

"No matter when a Republican incumbent decides to end his representation of the people of the First District, there will always be several extraordinary, qualified people ready to step forward and take the torch, " Huddleston said. "Whether it is Anne Pope, David Davis, Vance Cheek, Jeff Anderson, or whoever decides to enter what will always be a crowded Republican primary field, the quality of candidates is something of which East Tennesseans can always be proud."

"Those who have decided to enter the race or are still contemplating a run are not a tremendous factor in my decision," stated Huddleston. "There will always be great conservative candidates in the First District."

"The primary concerns I have are related to the effects this will have on my family," Huddleston elaborated. "While the faithful Tennessean in me may want to pursue this in 2006, the husband, son, brother, and uncle in me may have to realize that this is not the right time. It is certainly a difficult decision, and one that I will not enter into lightly."

Huddleston expects to announce a decision sometime next week.


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