GOP chairman believes Trump vote will set record in Tennessee

Robert Houk • Jan 13, 2020 at 7:42 PM

State GOP Chairman Scott Golden told area Republicans Monday that even with an impeachment trial pending in the U.S. Senate, he has no doubt President Donald Trump will be his party’s nominee in November.

“We all recognize the president is not going anywhere,” Golden told members of the East Tennessee Republican Club Carnegie Hotel in Johnson City.

He noted the president’s re-election coffers are in a “fantastic position,” with the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign raising a combined $335 million.

Golden also said there is little drama concerning Trump’s re-election chances in Tennessee. He said the party hopes to break a record in Tennessee with 1.6 million votes counted for the president.

“We are not going to see a lot of resources from the president’s campaign,” Golden said. “Tennessee is a red state, and will remain a red state.”

Instead, Golden said the Trump campaign will be concentrating its time and resources in the neighboring battleground states of Virginia and North Carolina.

The GOP chairman said U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., rushed the president’s impeachment “through the House in 85 days.” He said Congress had engaged in nearly two years of impeachment hearings by the time President Richard Nixon resigned from office in 1974.

Golden said it was “crazy” that as of Monday, Pelosi had not sent the two articles of impeachment to the Senate.

“The case for the Democrats is very weak,” he said.

Golden said the state Republican Party is “embarking on a really important election year.” He said the GOP will look to hold its supermajority in the Tennessee General Assembly, as well as retain its majority of the state’s seats in Congress. That includes the 1st District seat held by U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, who is not seeking re-election in November.

He said the retiring Republican lawmaker had helped to transform the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“You can’t replace him, but you will get new representation,” Golden said of Roe.

The chairman said that while Northeast Tennessee has been a safe district for Republicans since President Abraham Lincoln, there are other areas of the state where the GOP will have to work hard to hold or add to the majority it has enjoyed in the last 10 years.

“The question in 2020 is what kind of America will we see going forward,” Golden said. “We are debating socialism versus capitalism.”

Washington County Republican Party Chairman Turney Williams said that is why the local GOP has opened a campaign headquarters at 3300 Browns Mill Road, Suite 200, in Johnson City.

“This is an incredibly important election year,”  Williams said. “We can’t be lackadaisical.”