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Haslam Backs Brooks Against Self-Funding Challenger

Gov. Bill Haslam is coming to the aid of another incumbent Republican legislator with primary opposition, namely Rep. Kevin Brooks of Cleveland, So reports Andy Sher as part of a story on legislative primary races, especially in Southeast Tennessee.
He is scheduled to be at Brooks’ scheduled campaign kickoff Monday. The three-term lawmaker, now assistant majority leader, faces opposition in his District 24 reelection bid from Jack Epperson, pastor of Fairview Worship Center.
Epperson, a one-time Cleveland policeman and a TVA retiree, said he intends to self-fund his bid.
…Cleveland’s Epperson said he decided to run against Brooks after reading the U.S. Constitution and Federalist Papers and “seeing the way government was going.”
“I think they never envisioned these career politicians” who are “just growing government … [to] make their jobs more secure,” he said.
Epperson said he’s not a tea party member but agrees with the party’s views on limited government and fiscal matters.
Brooks said he is hardly a career politician as he finishes up six years in office and seeks another term. He and other Republicans point to cuts they made this year in taxes and state programs.
Epperson’s remarks, he said, “show how out of touch with the Republican majority he truly is. I have a full-time job in Cleveland, every day. I’ve never considered myself a full-time politician.”
In District 31, Cobb faces Dayton insurance agency owner Ron Travis. Travis did not return a message left on his office phone Friday.
In House District 22, David Kimbro of Cleveland is challenging Watson. Kimbro, who said he once taught school in Dallas, Texas, but now works as a line cook, said he believes all incumbents should have an opponent. He said he intends to conduct most of his campaign via the Internet.