NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tennessee Congressional member Diane Black hopes her reputation as a fighter will propel her to the next chapter of her political chapter.
The D.C. lawmaker who represents areas north and east of Nashville joined the crowded Republican field for governor last week.
She wants to come back to the state capitol after 12 years as a state representative and senator before moving on to Washington for more than six years.
Like the other four major Republican candidates in the field, Black accents a voting of conservative credentials.
“I think that people know that I just don’t say the right things, but I fight for the right things,” she told News 2 last week in an interview.
While Black is considered one of the wealthiest members of Congress after helping her husband build a drug testing company, she often speaks about humble beginnings. Black lived in public housing growing up in Baltimore and by her late 20s, she was a single mom and nurse.
After moving to Tennessee, Black eventually entered politics as a House member from Gallatin in 1998.
She likes to be called congressman, but gender has not been an issue with her or the other women in the race, even though if one of them wins, it would be a first for Tennessee.
“It does not matter to me whether it’s a male or a female,” she said. “I just think we just need a good strong governor who is fighting for conservative principals.”
Black did make history as the first woman to chair the powerful U.S. House Budget Committee.
For now she has no plans to resign that role while campaigning.
“I feel obligated, morally obligated, to finish my job and get the budget passed and working with the president and vice president in doing that and then we will make that decision,” said Black.
The congressman said improving education, bringing more good jobs and keeping families safe as her top priorities.
“Those are the kinds of things I will fight for,” she said.
After a very tight Republican Congressional primary win in 2010, Black has easily won re-election since.