Governor candidate Diane Black said in Chattanooga on Monday that she wants to keep Christian values in Tennessee.
She told a large crowd at the Pachyderm Club, "We need to guard our Christian values jealously. We know that God is a God and life is a life."
The Congresswoman added, "We need to be standing for the flag and kneeling for the cross."
Rep. Black also praised President Donald Trump, saying she works with him closely and often sits by him at budget meetings.
She called him "a brilliant man with a lot of energy" and "a tough negotiator" who is always thinking of new ideas.
Ms. Black said, "He has been nothing but gracious to me."
The speaker said one reason she is leaving Washington is because she believes in term limits. She said some members of Congress stay way too long and become "stale."
She said she had not sought out the governorship, but saw an opportunity to lead the state with the departure of Bill Haslam after two terms.
Rep. Black termed herself "a fighter," saying she battled former Democratic House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh as well as a Republican governor who asked her to switch course on the income tax. She said she told him no, though he threatened to take away funding for a local bypass.
She said one reason she ran for Congress, after serving in both the state House and state Senate, was to do away with the Affordable Care Act. She said progress is being made on that front, while saying the act is "neither affordable or caring."
Rep. Black said she is concerned that rural areas of the state are not sharing in the economic prosperity. She said they need infrastructure, broadband and educational opportunities.
She said she wants to see more vocational schools, including a thriving one at Loudon County.
Rep. Black said she spent several years as a child in public housing before her parents could afford a home of their own. She said at age 92 and 93 they still live in the same house.
She said her parents did not expect that she would go to college because they could not afford it. However, she said a high school counselor put her on a path to winning a college scholarship.