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.
Government does not create jobs or economic growth. At best, expanding government takes money otherwise available to fuel jobs and growth away from the private sector. At worst, government speculates, literally gambles, placing wagers with little or no hazard to themselves while taxpayers absorb all the risk. Our government acts on our behalf, we pay the price for its actions, yet we don’t have direct control over what is done in our name. It’s wise, therefore, to limit the power we give our government. Most of us don’t know our elected representatives very well, if at all. A good biblical principle might be “Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer” (Proverbs 11:15).
Hemlock Semiconductors is a glaring example. Our leaders gave away a property on which we owed $20 million in a bad gamble that has since sent property taxes escalating rapidly. The banks and a few others made money, but now Clarksville Montgomery County is stuck with that debt. Many in Clarksville invested years of study and a good deal of money to train for jobs that are not nor will ever be available here.
Limit the state’s function to reduce barriers to doing business in Tennessee. Businesses operating in states not so inclined will seek us out. Tennesseans starting new businesses would have fewer hurdles to overcome and be much more likely to prosper and enrich the state in the process.
Here are some positive examples of providing an atmosphere for business in Tennessee:
- Repealing the Hall Tax
- Refuse adoption or application of Obamacare to Tennessee businesses and their employees
- Deny state expenditures or manpower for enforcement of rules written by unconstitutional federal agencies such as the EPA, DHS, DOE, etc.
- Reducing regulation tending to disadvantage businesses or increase costs
What particular regulations of abortion would you support or oppose and why?
Abortion must end. It devalues life affecting virtually every other decision we make individually and as a society. I’ve campaigned vigorously for Amendment 1 to restore the right of the people, through their legislature, to regulate the abortion industry. The origins of the pregnancy, inconvenience, or the wishes of anyone else not withstanding, science now confirms a fertilized embryo is, in fact, an individual life with its own DNA. I hold a Biblical worldview. Long before science caught up with it, the Bible declared every human life as created in the image of God and sacred from conception to natural death. Until an outright ban on abortion is possible, I support the following abortion legislation:
- Avoid stand-alone abortion laws for the procedure itself so as not to invite court invalidation in the future. Standardize laws for abortion with procedures of similar risks. Using good medical practice, define requirements for proximity to hospitals, equipment, functionality, facility, suitability, facility licensing, inspection, records, reporting, and qualifications of individual practitioners.
- Require Informed Consent:
a. Patient must be educated and given printed information regarding the details of the procedure
b. Details about known possible physical, mental, and emotional complications
c. List of available alternatives, including support programs for carrying the baby to term, and adoption with local points of contact provided
- Perform and provide an accurate ultrasound and printed photo with “Informed Consent” materials.
- At least a 48-hour waiting period: Allow women time to digest the information and the alternatives available; prevents or reduces undue pressure on a woman by the abortion industry, spouse, boyfriend, or family member regarding a choice that can never be reversed.
- Find ways to make adoption more available and less cost prohibitive. The cost of a newborn adoption often exceeds $30,000.
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.
From a constitutional point of view, there is no authorization for the federal government to be involved in education. Since the Constitution is a limiting document, that is the powers of the federal government are “enumerated” and specified, that which is left out of the U.S. Constitution, according to the 10th Amendment, is in the purview of the “States and the people.”
The Tennessee Constitution which authorized “support and eligibility standards” for “free public schools” and “post-secondary schools” established by the state legislature. The Tennessee Constitution grants no authority to mandate or control anything else in education. Article XI Section 12.
From a biblical point of view, parents are responsible for education of their children. It does not take a village to raise a child. Any good leader understands when something is everyone’s job, it never gets done.
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
So, from constitutional, practical, and biblical perspectives, education is a parental, not governmental, responsibility.
What is one of the most satisfying things you have ever accomplished and what made it so satisfying to you?
By far the most satisfying thing I’ve been blessed to participate in is bringing people to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. On occasion, I’ve also performed their baptisms. Nothing is so satisfying as those things with eternal value as the grace of God through the blood of our Lord Jesus is applied. At that point, every sin is washed away, and the penalty, which is death and eternal punishment, is “paid in full” once and for all time by the loving Savior. Everything we do for ourselves, everything that does not advance His Kingdom, is of little consequence. Saving a soul from eternal death and gaining a friendship that will never end—now, that is satisfying.
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’ve been a student of the Bible for decades. I hold a Biblical worldview. I don’t expect others to conform to my worldview, but I have a competence with and confidence in the Creator’s instruction manual for life. Biblical principles always represent the best solutions of any individual, community, state, or nation. We have 6,000 years of faultlessly recorded history showing the consequences of following these principles, or not. I understand I may not always win every battle, but if God receives glory in the undertaking, I have been successful.
I got hooked on serving others by age 14 volunteering at Angel View Children’s Hospital. There I became friends with Danny Munday, who had polio. He couldn’t raise his hand to scratch his own nose. To talk, Danny had to cover a hole with his finger where there was a “trache” in his neck, a permanent stainless steel access port for suctioning phlegm. Danny was a licensed ham radio operator. We spent many hours together. He tutored me to get my license, too. But my family moved as I was turning 16, and shortly after Danny passed away.
I served at church, provided emergency communication for the Red Cross and other organizations to include Clarksville’s 1994 Ice Storm and 1999 Tornado. I’ve passed thousands of messages and radio phone patch calls over time between families and deployed military: to and from ships at sea and while deployed in the Gulf War. I’ve founded two service organizations, served as officers in two others. I continue to serve my church, Loaves & Fishes, and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and serve as Tennessee Chairman of the National Veterans Coalition.
I’m a U.S. Coast Guard Vietnam-era and U.S. Army Gulf War veteran, awarded the Bronze Star. I live to serve.