Cumberland River Hospital (CRH) owner Johnny Presley has announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate.
Presley said he’s motivated to run because of delays he’s experiencing with reopening the Celina hospital.
“The first thing I’m going to do is present a bill stating that companies issuing medicare provider numbers have a maximum of only 60-days to turn these things around,” Presley said. “Secondly I’m going to put in legislation that reimbursements in rural areas should be equal to what it is in metropolitan areas. Therefore, it should give more ability to recruit rural physicians to small towns.”
Presley can pick up a petition to run for U.S. Senator beginning February 3. The Cumberland County resident plans to run as a Republican and must file the petition by the April 2 deadline. Senator Lamar Alexander announced last year he would not be seeking re-election to the seat.
Since purchasing CRH, Presley has expressed frustration about his dealings with the state and federal government. Delays with both entities prevented him from opening a clinic at CRH on November 15.
“Tennesseans are better than that. I’m glad that we’re conservative and that we’ve got money,” Presely said. “But I think it’s sad that we brag that we’ve got a $3 billion surplus, but at the same time we’re closing down rural hospitals on a monthly basis.”
Presley plans to make an official announcement about his candidacy during an event at Cumberland River Hospital on Thursday.