Tre Hargett says he’s focused on ‘what’s now, rather than what’s next’

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, who has been included in speculation about 2018 Republican gubernatorial candidates, says he’s not running. At least not now.

From the Commercial Appeal:

Hargett was among several Republicans included in early speculation after the Nov. 4 election about potential candidates to succeed Gov. Bill Haslam, since Haslam can’t run for a third consecutive term.

But Hargett, who is in the middle of a four-year term, found such speculation uncomfortable and issued a statement Friday saying, “I am not running for governor in 2018. While I am honored to be mentioned and thought of in this regard, I am focused on being the best secretary of state I can be and the best one our state has ever had. The people of Tennessee deserve nothing less. I would rather focus on what’s now, rather than what’s next.”

“I am deeply appreciative of the trust placed in me by the General Assembly and I still have much I hope to accomplish as Tennessee’s Secretary of State.”

Hargett was a state representative from the Bartlett area from 1996 to 2006 and was Republican leader in the House during part of that tenure. He was appointed a director of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority in 2008 and was there until the state legislature appointed him secretary of state in January 2009. He was appointed to a second four-year term in January 2013.