Grass-roots campaign backs Mattis for public office

Grass-roots campaign backs Mattis for public office
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A grass-roots campaign in James MattisJames Norman MattisThreatening foreign states with sanctions can backfire Overnight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Amazon to challenge Pentagon's 'war cloud' decision in federal court MORE's hometown is pushing for the former Defense secretary to run for office, the Tri-City Herald reported Thursday. 

“If we could get a grass-roots effort started, I would do anything to make this happen,” Richland, Wash., City Councilman Phil Lemley told the paper. “Let’s twist his arm.”

Lemley, a former Marine, is spearheading a small group of people campaigning to push Mattis to run.

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Mattis, so far, has been silent on the matter. Lemley said he did not get permission from Mattis and has not heard from the former Trump administration official.

Lemley told the paper that he became friendly with Mattis after coordinating with him to speak during a Rotary Club meeting. Mattis reportedly hailed Lemley as a fellow Marine after he expressed interest to Mattis's mother about having him visit the service club.

The paper noted that it was unclear whether Mattis had visited the area since New Year's, just after he left office.

Mattis resigned as Defense secretary in December, writing a stinging resignation letter that cited disagreements with President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE over the two's values.

Trump told The New York Times earlier this month that he forced Mattis out, saying he "wasn't happy" with him. 

"So I wasn’t happy with Mattis. I told Mattis to give me a letter,” Trump told the Times. “He didn’t just give me that letter. I told him.”