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.
State government is necessary for the security of private property and protecting as far as possible every citizen of Tennessee from the injustice or oppression of every other citizen. State government should provide an environment to encourage risk taking and capital accumulation, which results in economic growth and job creation. Government should not be involved in picking winners and losers in businesses; that is the role of the marketplace. Crony capitalism should be prohibited, and the government should not regulate legitimate businesses out of existence or cause them to be non-competitive with businesses in other estates or the rest of the world. The natural effort of every individual to better their life and condition, will, if unrestrained by government, result in the prosperity of society as a whole. State government should maintain low taxes. It is proven that investment goes where it is appreciated, and low taxes are a great indicator of where it will go.
What particular regulations of abortion would you support or oppose and why?
I will take a proactive pro-life agenda to Nashville. Simply put, I believe human life begins at conception and deserves the full and equal protections of Tennessee law. Doctors who perform abortions and facilities that perform abortions should be licensed, regulated, and inspected. Government should not encourage or promote abortion. Churches and pro-life organizations should be allowed to provide adoption counseling. The government should not interfere with those Americans who believe abortion is wrong and try to persuade a democratic majority to restrict abortion. I fully support “Yes on 1” and informed consent, parental consent, 24- hour waiting periods and hospitalization requirements.
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.
Parents have the primary and ultimate responsibility for educating their children. My mom and dad raised four boys, and all four boys received college degrees from three different universities. At the age of thirteen, my parents had to quit school to work on the family farms, and they insisted their sons would graduate from high school and obtain a college education. Growing up in my parents’ home, we knew school work came first and the teacher would be supported by my parents. Our big fear was that if we got in trouble at school, our parents would find out about it and our punishment would be swift. My parents never wavered in their firm conviction that a solid public education would be the best way to improve our lives. My brothers and I knew that our parents could not afford to send us to college, so we found ways to pay for our education. This included work, most of the time at minimum wage, and the GI Bill. A government cannot instill the values you need to succeed in life and be a net contributor. I will fight for the rights of home school families and stand up to bureaucratic bullies who try to curtail their choices.
What is one of the most satisfying things you have ever accomplished and what made it so satisfying to you?
Assisting business owners in establishing and saving over 3,000 jobs during my business career has to be one of the satisfying things I have accomplished. This process begins by advising and counseling business owners with respect to the risks and rewards of growth, capital contribution, and financial support a bank and banker can provide. There is a great deal of satisfaction in seeing a person with a great product, process, and/or service that can solve problems and help people go from an idea to an organization that can make it a reality. Seeing local business grow jobs never gets old. Seeing local workers support their families with solid, well-paying jobs is always gratifying. Busniness owners have a unique focus when they have their money at risk in a business venture. When local businesses are successful, it is very satisfying to see the owners and employees supporting our non-profit organizations with their money and time to make Washington County a great place.
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?
An important quality that has helped me is my ability to work with and encourage people who do not think as I do. I have sought the input from people who approach problems from a perspective that differs from mine. I have always sought the advice and opinions from people that do the work. This approach has enabled me to solve problems and not make many bad decisions. I think voters look at government and want an organization that can take differing views and opinions and solve problems without growing the size of government and will be a good steward of the taxpayers’ money. Starting my own business at age 47 is an experience that has given an insiders’ view of what it means to be an entrepreneur. You must work with potential employees and convince them to come to work for the new company. They are entrusting their future and that of their families in the new venture. You must gain the confidence of investors that you will be a good steward of their life savings. Finally, you must convince the regulators that you know what you are doing, that you have great employees, and a Board of Directors that is business smart and strong in overseeing the enterprise. Failure is not an option. You know that problems will arise and your team will find ways to overcome any issue. I will take this problem solving attitude to Nashville if I am elected.