Grainger Today Correspondent
BLAINE – State Rep. Jimmy Matlock says he has an advantage over other candidates in the 2018 Republican primary to succeed the retiring U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr.
Since 2006, he has served the 21st State House district in the Tennessee General Assembly. He has also been in business all his adult life as the owner of the Matlock Tire Store chain.
“I have moved from customer service to public service,” he said in a one-on-one interview with Grainger Today.
He said that constituent services has been a hallmark of Duncan’s nearly 30 years in Washington, and he hopes to continue that if he is elected.
“I consider him a standard of how to serve,” Matlock said.
He said although it is important for lawmakers to adopt beneficial legislation, he does not see his main goal is to write new laws.
“When I went to Nashville, people told me we don’t need new laws. There are just too many laws. We just need to modify some of the ones we have.”
He said his experience in business will help him in Washington in another respect.
As a businessman, I have seen the impact of laws and governmental rules and regulations. They don’t just affect us. We are all affected by it,” he said.
He referred to one area specifically, health care, and said the government should get out of the business.
“Give that money back to the states and let them create competition,” he said.
Matlock said if he is elected, he will push for a return to the ideals of the U.S Constitution, which he said the country has strayed from.
“Let’s go back to where we were founded,” he said.
He also said more emphasis should be placed on personal responsibility and personal accountability.
Matlock said a primary responsibility of government is to protect the nation by the precepts of the constitution. People do not want to be overregulated.
“But the best thing you can do is get out of our way,” he said.
Other announced candidates for the Republican primary are Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and Knoxville businessman Brad Fullington.