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Roe cruises to victory in First Congressional District GOP primary

Hank Hayes • Aug 2, 2018 at 8:51 PM

GOP U.S. Rep. Phil Roe easily defeated two Republican challengers Thursday and will face off against Democrat Martin Olsen in the November general election.

Roe, who is seeking a sixth term in office, defeated Todd McKinley and Mickie Lou Banyas in Northeast Tennessee’s First District Congressional GOP primary.

The Associated Press declared Roe the victor less than an hour after the polls closed. Roe took 72 percent of the early/absentee voting in Sullivan County.

“I am just very appreciative of the support I’ve gotten and especially in a situation where I couldn’t get back and really run a race because I had to do my job in Washington,” Roe, who chairs the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, said. “I just appreciate the fact three out of four primary voters put the lever in for me. I can’t thank them enough.”

Roe now turns his attention to a fall campaign against Olsen, and the congressman has promised to debate him.

“I think people need to see those ideas shared,” Roe said. “They need to see whose vision fits the people of the First Congressional District the best.”

Roe pledged he won’t be a “bomb thrower” this fall.

“I’m a problem solver. I’m a guy who’s very calm and looks at an issue and tries to solve it,” Roe stressed. “It’s frustrating to me that people try to shout you down. We’re not going to get shouted down. I’m going to have a civil discourse. I can’t speak for anybody else. … I like the direction the country is going.”

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