John Ragan’s Website

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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.”

Question 1:

Explain your view of state government’s role in relation to economic growth and/or job creation.


My perspective is that government should be small with fiscal responsibility and low taxes. Fully enfranchised and capable adults do not need a “Nanny State.” Furthermore, nobody, including government, should be allowed to pass an inheritance of “crushing debt” to the next generation.
Moreover, if conducting business involves no contract disputes, fraud, theft, coercion, or unsafe practices for the public or employees, then government has no mandate to be involved in it, at all!

Government’s role in job creation and economic growth is primarily to get out of the way of private enterprise. If there is any government role, it can best be summed up as business recruitment or expansion encouragement through easing regulatory requirements and providing incentives.

Question 2:

What particular regulations of abortion would you support or oppose and why?


I oppose any abortion except in the case of saving the mother’s life. In that situation, it should be a decision between the attending physicians and the parents.

Question 3:

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.


The primary responsibility of educating children is, without a doubt, a parental responsibility.  Governments do not create children; parents do.

Governments have an interest in an educated citizenry. Additionally, governments may serve as partners in helping parents and as guarantors of the availability of educational facilities and resources. However, government’s interest in an educated citizenry must never trump parental rights to inculcate their values and knowledge into their own children in accordance with their own sincere beliefs.

Home schooling and private religious schools are both examples of what I mean.

Question 4:

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 have ever done is continuing the fulfillment of my duty to my God, my family, my country, and my state. As Robert E. Lee noted:  “You should do your duty in all things, you can never do more and you should never wish to do less.”

Question 5:

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 am finishing up my second term as the representative for District 33 to General Assembly. These have been personally rewarding and historic sessions in a number of aspects.

The 107th General Assembly cut more taxes than any other in the state’s history while simultaneously reducing state spending. The 108th General Assembly continued this trajectory, although at a reduced rate.

The reduced rate was due to the negative impacts of the Obama administration on the national economy, in general, and state revenue, in particular. However, despite a negative influence from Washington, the results on Tennessee’s economy are starting to show.

Business Facilities magazine officially named Tennessee as its ‘2013 State Of The Year’ for economic development. Additionally, Tennessee was named #1 state in the nation for automotive manufacturing strength for an unprecedented four years in a row. Site Selection magazine ranked Tennessee in the top five states for the best business climate. Furthermore, Chief Executive Magazine’s Annual Best & Worst States for Business Survey put Tennessee as the fourth best state for business.

Furthermore, Tennessee remains the lowest debt state in the nation. We, in the General Assembly, continue to fund our state’s pension plan and other such obligations at more than 90%, the third best ranking in the nation.

On the education front, prior to my first term, Tennessee’s student achievement measures ranked in the bottom 20% of the nation where they had been for decades.

The results of our reforms on the education front are showing, as well.  Tennessee scored the largest improvement in achievement test scores in the history of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). On other student achievement measures, Tennessee has advanced from 47th to 35th. While this ranking still isn’t very much to crow about, the movement is definitely in the right direction.

John Ragan’s Website

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