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GOP Leader Found Dead In Home As Authorities Launch Investigation

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A Republican mayor in Tennessee has been found dead inside his home, triggering an investigation by authorities into its nature and cause.

The Tennesee Bureau of Investigation has launched a probe into the incident, according to the Tennessee Star, after officers with the Tullahoma Police Department found Coffee County Mayor Judd Matheny deceased on Tuesday.

“Matheny, 53, formerly served as a Republican member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, representing District 47 from 2002 to 2018. He was elected mayor of Coffee County on August 4, 2022,” the outlet reported.

“Just after 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, TPD announced that Matheny was discovered deceased by officers at his home, located at 1909 E Lincoln St., after the department received a call ‘reporting a possible death,'” the report continued.

The local department said that the investigation is ongoing and has been handed off to the TBI.

“The Tullahoma Police Department expresses its deepest condolences on the passing of Coffee County Mayor Judd Matheny. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and constituents during this difficult time,” TPD said in a Facebook post. “Mayor Matheny dedicated his life to serving our community, both as a successful businessman, farmer, and as a committed public servant. His leadership and dedication will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

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Matheny passed away one day after recording the latest edition of The Mayor’s Message, a weekly show on YouTube where he shared county updates and interviewed members of the community.

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett was among those who paid tribute to the late mayor: “I am heartbroken to hear about the passing of my longtime friend and public servant, Coffee County Mayor Judd Matheny.”

“Since Judd was elected to the House in 2002, we were close friends. As an elected official, he attacked his role as a public servant with vigor and passion and always had the safety and success of Coffee County and our state in mind when taking action. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this time of grief,” Hargett added.

Tennessee U.S. Representatives Mark Green (R-TN-07) and John Rose (R-TN-06) also remembered Matheny.

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“Camie and I join Tennesseans in praying for the family and loved ones of Coffee County Mayor Judd Matheny. A statesman, businessman, and farmer, his service as Mayor and a State Representative will never be forgotten,” Green noted on the X platform.

“Coffee County Mayor Judd Matheny will be remembered by many for his decades of public service, both at the county and state level. I hope you’ll join me in praying for his family and friends in the days ahead. This is an unexpected and tragic loss,” added congressional colleague Rose.

Green, who is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said last month he is “ready to return home” after delivering on his promise to “pass legislation to secure our borders and to hold Secretary Mayorkas accountable” by leading the passage of H.R. 2 and two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas. But after being contacted by former President Donald Trump, he changed his retirement plans.

“While my strong desire was to leave Congress at the end of this year, since my announcement, I have received countless calls from constituents, colleagues, and President Trump urging me to reconsider,” Green said in a statement released by his office to The Tennessee Star.

“I was reminded of the words of General MacArthur on a statue at West Point: ‘Duty, honor, country.’ I realized, once again: I had a duty to my country to fulfill,” the statement continued.

“I will be running for re-election so I can be here on Day 1 next year to help President Trump end this border crisis once and for all,” Green concluded.

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