I often say that a vote is one of the most powerful tools an American citizen has. We each get one vote, regardless of our wealth, social standing, or influence. The most powerful and wealthiest individuals in the country can cast the same number of votes as the meekest and lowliest among us: one.

On Tuesday, Tennesseans exercised our rights and responsibilities as citizens and voted for leaders to represent us in our cities and counties, in our state legislature, and in Washington, D.C. Over three million Tennesseans voted in this election, and it was encouraging to see so many voters exercise that right and make their voices heard.

Our region was blessed to have a number of excellent candidates running in these elections, and I commend everyone who ran for your dedication to serving our community. I also offer my congratulations to all who ran and were elected to public office this week. Our friends and neighbors have entrusted you with representing them, and it is my hope that you will uphold this responsibility humbly and honorably.

We still don’t know the final election results for president, but one thing is clear: Tennesseans overwhelmingly selected Donald Trump as their choice for president. It’s no surprise – as I’ve said before, President Trump has pursued a commonsense, conservative agenda, and he deserves tremendous credit for keeping our country running while dealing with the deadly coronavirus. Now, we must make sure election rules in all states are fully and fairly enforced and not simply cast aside to help ensure a predetermined outcome. I am hopeful that President Trump will be able to continue America’s comeback.

Since I am retiring this Congress, I am especially proud to congratulate Diana Harshbarger on being elected to represent Tennessee’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. I know Diana will work hard to make East Tennessee’s voice heard in Washington.

I look forward to working with her to ensure there is a smooth transition between my office and her office. If you have contacted my office for assistance with casework and your case has yet to be resolved, I want to encourage you to be in touch with Representative-elect Harshbarger’s office early next year once the new Congress begins in January.

Likewise, I congratulate Bill Hagerty on his election to the United States Senate. Our state has been blessed with terrific senators over the years, and I am certain that Senator-elect Hagerty and Senator Blackburn will continue this tradition.

As we begin the transition to a new year, I thank you all again for the opportunity to serve as your representative in Congress. It has been one of the greatest honors of my life, and I am grateful and humbled that you put your trust in me to be your voice in Washington for twelve years.

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