Harshbarger hopes to unite Republican Party as she eyes November election

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – It’s been three weeks since political newcomer Diana Harshbarger from Kingsport stunned East Tennessee Republicans by winning the party’s nomination and defeating several veteran politicians.

“I’ve been calling all the candidates that opposed me and I’m making [amends] with them,” she said. “We’re trying to unite the whole republican party. I’ve talked to the Tennessee delegation and everyone in that and I’m calling everybody in every county that holds an elected position.”

Thursday night, she encouraged republicans in Johnson City to carry their momentum through November as the invited guest at the Washington Co., Young Republicans dinner.

Diana Harshbarger speaks at Washington Co. Young Republicans Dinner

“I’m going to keep doing the same thing I’ve been doing — uniting the Republican Party, working very hard to get our president elected again and take the house back,” Harshbarger said. “And once we do that and keep the senate or grow that majority… it’s time to take our country back.”

This on the same night President Donald Trump accepted his party’s nomination rounding out the Republican National Convention.

“It’s been fantastic. This shows what has already been accomplished through President Donald Trump through his efforts to push our America first agenda,” she said.

Harshbarger has no plans to debate her Democratic opponent Blair Walsingham who she will face off with in November.

“I know my opponent’s platform and I’m not going to dignify that with a response to a debate,” she said. “I’m not going to share a stage when she has blatantly and openly defied our policemen and women.”

After a heated primary race, Harshbarger says she hopes to unite East Tennessee Republicans amid the centennial anniversary of women’s suffrage.

“I want to give every young woman hope that they can do anything that they set out to do,” she said. “Nothing is unattainable.”

In her speech to the room full of mostly young Republicans, she reminded them that they are the future of the party as she also encouraged them to get involved now.

Diana Harshbarger speaks one-on-one with News Channel 11’s Anslee Daniel

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