(WJHL) — Johnson City Republican State Senator Rusty Crowe said Monday evening he’s considering joining the race for First District Representative in the U.S. House.

Crowe, reached while driving to Nashville for a meeting, said he had expected six-term Congressman Phil Roe, who said Friday he’ll retire at the end of his current term, to run again. “Phil’s been everywhere in the district,” Crowe said. “He’s been so busy working I didn’t expect him to retire.”

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Once Roe’s announcement settled in, people started calling Crowe asking him to consider a run. “I believe I’ve helped improve the state of Tennessee for 30 years, and would be interested in the opportunity to work on the federal level and represent the district,” Crowe said.

Crowe 72, was first elected to represent the Third District in 1990 and was re-elected to his eighth term in 2018’s election — one that saw him without a Democratic opponent.

Crowe, who was first elected as a Democrat, is chair of the Senate’s Health and Welfare Committee. He also serves on the Education and Government Operations committees and the joint subcommittees for Commerce, Labor, Transportation and Agriculture and for Education, Health and General Welfare.

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