Rep. Womick gets a GOP challenger; considers retirement

Murfreesboro attorney Jimmy Turners has announced as a Republican candidate for the House District 34 seat now held by Rep. Rick Womick, R-Rockvale. The Daily News Journal reports that Tim Rudd of Murfreesboro — Womick’s friend and former campaign manager — says he will run if Womick decides to leave the seat.

“If Rick doesn’t run, I’m definitely in,” said Rudd, a real estate agent who won a four-year term to the Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee in 2014.

Womick, however, said he’s yet to make a final decision if he’ll seek another two-year term.

“Right now, I’m planning on running,” said Womick, who first won his seat in 2010, replacing the retired fellow Republican state Rep. Donna Rowland, now known as Donna Barrett since remarrying.

Although Rudd said he’ll only run if Womick retires, Turner said he’s running in the August Republican primary for the 34th District seat regardless.

“I’m planning to run period if there’s 10 people in the race or it’s just me,” Turner said during a Tuesday phone interview.

Turner emailed a press release Tuesday to announce his candidacy.

“There is a true passion in the community to build on the continued success of Rutherford County,” Turner’s press release said. “It is exciting to be a part of that mission by providing effective, conservative representation. That’s why I am running.”

…Rudd noted that he’s worked on behalf of all of the Republican nominees seeking to represent the 34th House District, including as the campaign manager for Womick in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

“If he runs for election, he’ll have my support,” Rudd said. “He’s voted very conservative on most issues. In the end, that’s what’s most important to people is how you vote and the core issues you believe in. The district is very important to me. I have been a part of it for a very long time. I want to make sure it’s well represented.”

Womick said if he decides to retire, he’ll back Rudd.

“Tim’s a good man,” Womick said. “He’s a good conservative.”