By Jeff Keeling
State Rep. Matthew Hill officially kicked off his re-election bid at a Tuesday news conference, saying he would continue a theme of “standing up for Washington County” if 7th District voters send him to a sixth two-year term in Nashville.
Hill faces former Johnson City Commissioner and retired banker Phil Carriger in the Aug. 7 Republican primary for the seat representing most of west Johnson City, Jonesborough and southwest Washington County.
Speaking at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, Hill said the most recent legislative session – his 10th since first being elected in 2004 at the age of 25 – saw several wins for Washington Countians. Those included economic development efforts, sound fiscal management including tax and spending cuts, and legislation designed to help business.
“We’re working hard to continue to reduce regulations and red tape so that we can help the businesses that are here to continue to create new jobs and expand, as well as recruit new businesses here,” Hill said.
Hill also touted his involvement in legislation that would prevent Tennessee’s governor from expanding Medicaid (and thus qualifying the state for additional federal health care funds) without the state legislature’s permission. He said he remained “committed to stopping the further implementation of Obamacare here at the state level.”
Hill said he had helped pass legislation protecting the unborn and sponsored legislation “supporting the Second Amendment and protecting and expanding our God-given rights when it comes to the Second Amendment.”
He reserved the term “groundbreaking,” however, for laws he had co-sponsored that in his words “once and for all put an end to forced annexation in the state of Tennessee.
“No longer can a government come and take your property and smack it with double taxation overnight without your approval, either through consent or through a referendum vote,” Hill said in reference to a new law preventing cities from annexing by ordinance without either of the two prerequisites he mentioned.
Hill concluded by inviting supporters to visit his newly redesigned website, matthewlistens.com, to learn more about his campaign, including a schedule of upcoming town hall meetings across the district.