GOP lawmaker to be challenged by Dem he delivered as a newborn

GOP lawmaker to be challenged by Dem he delivered as a newborn
© Greg Nash

A Tennessee lawmaker who operated a private OB-GYN practice will face a unique challenge in 2020 from a Democrat who says the Republican congressman delivered him as a baby.

The Nashville Post reported Tuesday that Rep. Phil RoeDavid (Phil) Phillip RoeWant to solve surprise medical bills? Listen to patients House conservative's procedural protest met with bipartisan gripes This Memorial Day, I challenge everyone to find a way to honor our nation's fallen MORE (R-Tenn.), who operated a private practice in Johnson City, Tenn., for 31 years, faces his first announced challenger of the 2020 campaign cycle: Air Force veteran Chris Rowe, who says his mother was one of Roe's patients.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rowe is the first Democrat to declare his candidacy in the 2020 cycle against Roe. He could face off against other Democrats in a primary election before getting the chance to challenge the incumbent congressman.

A graduate of Lewis University in Illinois, Rowe told the Post that his father's ailing health inspired him to run against the congressman, citing the difficulty his father faced navigating the health care system.

“Tennessee being Tennessee, chances aren't great for anybody running under the Democrat banner, and I am prepared for that,” Rowe told the Post. “But I also plan to run a campaign that I can be proud of, one that I can say at the end of the day that I stood up for my values and win or lose not feel ashamed for anything I did on the campaign trail.”

A Facebook page dedicated to Rowe's campaign does not list any issues or link to a website for his congressional bid, and appears to have been created less than a week ago.

Roe easily won reelection in Tennessee's 1st Congressional District last year, claiming more than 70 percent of the vote over a Democratic challenger.

His office thanked Tennesseans for their support in 2017 after he underwent a procedure for cancer treatment. He was diagnosed with the disease in July of that year, but has been cancer-free since that August.