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Roe says Nov. 6 election is one for the books

Robert Houk • Oct 27, 2018 at 12:15 AM

With less than 11 days to go until voters head to the polls nationwide, U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Johnson City, said Friday the midterm election is like no other he has seen. Roe said “an amazing amount” of campaign money is being poured into Nov. 6 races for Congress.

“We’ve seen $50 million spent in congressional races in this state,” Roe said. “I don’t remember this much money being spent in Tennessee.”

Roe also said news of crude pipe bombs being mailed to outspoken critics of President Donald Trump has taken some of the attention away from the contentious races for the House and Senate. The 1st District congressman said he agreed with U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who earlier called the package bombs — sent to former President Bil Clinton, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, CNN and at least 10 others — acts of terrorism.

“We should be thankful no one was harmed,” Roe told reporters on a conference call.

Roe’s comments came just hours before federal authorities arrested a man Friday in connection with pipe bombs discovered in at least three different states. Law enforcement officials identified him as Cesar Sayoc Jr., 56, of Aventura, Florida.

The congressman said he was “concerned with safety” in today’s divided political environment. Even so, Roe said he doesn’t think candidates or the tone of their campaigns are solely to blame for the vitriol.

“People are running harder today.” he said.

Too Close To Call

Roe told reporters he thinks Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn will edge out former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen to win the U.S. Senate race in Tennessee. He said that victory will help Republicans maintain their narrow majority in the Senate.

“It will be a tight race, but I think she will win,” he said.

Meanwhile, Roe — who faces Democratic challenger Marty Olsen on the Nov. 6  ballot — said many of the races for the U.S. House are simply “too close to call.” He said the party that wins a majority in the House will do so by “a small margin.”

Build The Wall

Roe also told reporters he supports President Trump’s plan to close the Southern border with Mexico to all immigration. The president said earlier in the week he was considering an executive order to dispatch federal troops to the area to prevent immigrants from crossing into the United States.

The congressman said  immigration has re-emerged as an issue following news that a caravan of immigrants from Central America is heading north through Mexico. Roe said their number could “simply overwhelm” U.S. Border Patrol agents.

“There are thousands of miles of open border,” he said. “They (agents) need help.”

Roe said that’s why he supports construction of Trump’s border wall. He said it would help “protect the sovereignty of this nation.”

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