Tennessee Republican Rep. Diane Black announced Wednesday she’s running for governor in the state, following months of speculation.
Black, who has been in Congress since 2011 and selected to chair of the House Budget Committee in January, will be running against at least five other Republicans in the 2018 gubernatorial race.
She formally announced her candidacy in a video Wednesday, just weeks before the August primary.
She will run against Republicans Randy Boyd, Bill Lee, House Speaker Beth Harwell and State Sen. Mae Beavers. There is only one Democratic candidate, Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.
“Diane Black is a force of nature, and is simply unstoppable. Her work in the House and specifically on the Budget Committee has been pivotal to what we’ve been able to accomplish. I’m proud to be able to call her my friend, and will miss her tenacity. I wish her and her family the best of luck in her future endeavors,” National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Steve Stivers said in a statement.
“Most people in politics say the right things, but they never fight for the right things,” Black said in her video announcement. “They’re too meek or maybe even too weak … I don’t back down. Maybe’s it’s because I grew up in a family where we had nothing or maybe it’s because I was a single mom working in the night-shift as a nurse. It’s just how I’m wired.”
Black’s late announcement could affect her campaign efforts, but a poll released in May showed she was the most recognizable candidate for governor.
“Black has a strong following among conservatives in Middle Tennessee and has never lost a primary or an election. As Budget Chair, she has been a key ally of President Donald Trump and one of Congress’s most successful pro-life legislators” a spokesperson for Black said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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