Beyond the 13 survey questions we asked each candidate on our voter guides, each candidate who answered the survey was given the opportunity, if they so chose, to respond to the following five essay questions in 300 words or less. On this page are the specific candidate’s answers. If a candidate answered some, but not all, of the questions, each unanswered question is marked as “No answer was provided.”
Explain your view of state government’s role in relation to economic growth and/or job creation.
The government should encourage free market solutions for economic growth. The government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers by enacting overly burdensome regulations that restrict the market and provide crony capitalism, but should provide for regulations that protect the citizens in areas such as health, safety, and general welfare.
What particular regulations of abortion would you support or oppose and why?
Ideally we wouldn’t have any abortions, but that is not the reality. I will be supportive of legislation that protects the health of the woman (informed consent, facility inspections, doctor privileges at area hospitals, etc). I will be supportive of legislation that works to decrease the number of abortions. Some supposed anti-abortion legislation actually harms the long-term goal of advocating for the unborn. In 2013, an ultrasound bill was considered. While it may have been a good bill, the timing was all wrong and it undermined Yes on 1. I believe Tennessee Right to Life even opposed that bill.
Do you believe parent(s) or government have the primary and ultimate responsibility for the education of children? Please provide at least one example that you believe demonstrates what you mean.
I believe that parents have the primary and ultimate responsibility for their children’s education; however, when that fails, the government needs to be there for the support of the child’s education. For example, parents should determine the type of education that best serves their child. However, some children do not have parents who are actively involved in their child’s education. In those instances, as a society, we should make sure the child has a proper education in order to be a productive member of society. I believe that those decisions are best made at the local level.
What is one of the most satisfying things you have ever accomplished and what made it so satisfying to you?
The most satisfying thing I ever accomplished was delivering my own daughter. As a physician, I have saved countless lives. I have, also, delivered several babies. However, bringing your own daughter into this world is a tremendous responsibility. Now that I have done that, I must fight to ensure the world is full of opportunity, liberty, and values for her future.
What personal qualities or experiences do you think will define the nature of your service, if elected, and why do you think they are important?
I think that I have a very unique background for a representative. I grew up in a third-generation auto salvage family. So, I have deep blue collar roots. I have severe asthma and allergies, and was frequently hospitalized as a child. I took personal responsibility for my health and desired to become a physician. As a physician and a small business owner, I have experience in the white collar and small business world, as well. I grew up with a family farm that we still own today. My mother, children, and I are enrolled members of the Choctaw Nation. I am formally trained in self governance, which is educating citizens and getting citizens involved in the legislative process. In addition, I have taken care of victims of domestic terrorism and I have dealt with the devastating effects of a natural disaster. We have significant voter apathy and a significant disconnect between our elected officials and constituents. I have a background that allows me to connect with an extremely wide array of people and I have the training to bring their concerns to the legislature. I believe that self governance and connecting to the people will define the nature of my service.