Sen. Green drops gubernatorial bid after failed Trump nomination

Mark Green (Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican state Sen. Mark Green says he will not resume his bid for Tennessee governor after withdrawing from consideration for President Donald Trump’s pick for Army secretary.

The Ashland City physician in a statement Friday acknowledged the difficult prospect of winning in what is expected to be a crowded Republican field to succeed term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam.

Green said he will remain in the state Senate while turning his attention to serving in what he called a “higher capacity” in Washington.

He did not elaborate on whether he would seek to challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker or Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn next year.

Green dropped his bid for Army secretary last month amid bipartisan criticism about his past comments on LGBT issues and Muslims.

RELATED: Sen. Mark Green unapologetic about national criticism, hints at future plans

Below is a statement issued today from Tennessee Senator Mark Green:

Since withdrawing my name from nomination for Secretary of The Army, so many friends, family and fellow Tennesseans have voiced unbelievable, and overwhelming support for Camie and me. We so appreciate the calls, texts, and messages.

Tennessee truly is an amazing place. America is too, only it is in trouble – far more trouble than Tennessee.

I saw firsthand what President Trump calls the swamp over the past few months, and what I saw was shocking.

The liberal left will stop at nothing to advance its anti-American agenda and to bring down our president. Very clearly from our experience, the truth no longer matters; their bold face lies about my statements, and intentional twisting of words advanced with little pressure to stop it. They collude with the media to cast conservatives as hateful, stingy and mean while they partner with our enemies to weaken the nation.

Returning to Tennessee made me realize the real fight is in Washington, DC.

Many Tennesseans are asking me to return to my campaign for governor. Camie and I would love nothing more. Being the Governor of Tennessee would be an honor like none I have yet attained. Leading our great state to the next level would please us very much. And, Tennesseans would get to know the best First Lady we could ever have in my incredible wife.

Yet as I came home from DC, the burden in my heart for our nation just won’t go away. As we’ve prayed, it’s been clear: conservative voices and leaders are outnumbered in DC. Tennessee’s greatest treasure, our people know the secret to effective government because it’s in our state…but, it’s absent in Washington. After traveling our state in the Tennessee Next Tour, the commonsense approach expected by working Tennesseans happens in Nashville. It doesn’t exist in our federal government. My heart aches for our country.

My mission is the conservative cause, not a position. The very difficult task of electing a true conservative to be the 50th Governor of Tennessee when the vote will clearly be split among several candidates, harms that cause. For that reason, I will not be resuming my campaign for governor.

I will instead look to Washington DC to help serve our country and provide real help to President Trump. Several options exist in the near future to do this and I will continue discussions with people around the state and Washington as I find the best path of service.

I remain committed and will continue my duties as a Tennessee State Senator. Serving the amazing people of District 22 is the icing on any cake. I am honored to represent them in Nashville. Camie and I will continue to travel Tennessee and learn from our people. The chance for us to serve in a higher capacity is just around the corner. We hear God’s call to serve, and if Tennesseans will continue to elect us, we will continue to work diligently on their behalf.

Thank you and God bless.