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 can play a role in economic growth and job creation best by assuring that the state government is providing only essential services and providing these services well. This is the first step to determine the level of state taxes needed to fund government functions. States with the lowest taxes are the most attractive to industries and businesses. There are other positive issues such as quality of life, available housing, quality highways, etc. that are important also. Small businesses are the catalysts for job growth. Therefore, economic growth should center on small businesses first that would generate a sustainable economic base rather that the “big scores” that cost taxpayers massive incentive funding, like the VW incentive package of $233,000 per employee, to entice, say, automobile manufacturers with free land, site preparation, rail connections, etc. to come, make their money that goes mostly back to a home base, often in another country. These companies many times have no appreciation for our quality of life and culture, and bring with them unacceptable business practices such as northern (rust belt) unions that have a history of leaving the cities devastated.
What particular regulations of abortion would you support or oppose and why?
At the least, I would support (1) ultrasounds for expectant mothers to show them the life that is in them, (2) education for the mother about the adverse effects of choosing abortion, including potential physical, mental, and emotional effects, (3) enacting a waiting period to prevent abortion-on-demand, (4) requiring abortion facilities to adhere to strict safety regulations, and (5) eliminating tax-payer funded abortions. I believe life begins at conception and, therefore, I would be a strong voice in support of innocent life. I believe for Tennessee to continue to offer unregulated abortions is irresponsible and unconscionable.
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 the parent(s) have the primary and ultimate responsibility. Parents should ensure a home environment that is conducive to children learning. They should attempt to live in areas where there are good schools. In most cases, governments provide the facilities, equipment, and transportation, and, in some cases, even breakfasts and lunches, so parents should at least be responsible for getting the kids in bed timely, getting them up, getting them on the bus, and ensuring they get their homework. In addition, vouchers and other programs could be put in place to require schools to compete and make improvements. This facet is a whole other means to improving school performance.
What is one of the most satisfying things you have ever accomplished and what made it so satisfying to you?
I am an engineer and I love to fix things. I love to plan and build things. One of the most satisfying things that I have done was in 2004, when I was recruited to go to Iraq and plan and begin the execution of the plan to rebuild the electric power grid that served 25 million people. At that time, the grid was essentially on the ground, generators were not running at capacity, and total generation was less than 2/3 of the generation prior to the liberation of Iraq. In less than 4 months, electricity production was up 25% and the plan was in place to restore production and delivery to the level exceeding pre-liberation levels. This was done at a reduction of $1 billion from a $5.4 billion budget.
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 have been a conservative since I was 18 years old and have been developing principles and values my whole life. I believe the Bible is the Word of God and is instruction for all facets of my life, just as it was for the Founders of the country. This is how I make decisions in my own life and in our family. I am married to a wonderful woman and am totally dedicated to her in all ways and to our family. She is my life and we share a love of Christ. If elected, I will apply these moral, ethical, and Conservative values to serving in the Tennessee legislature. Other qualities that I possess that I think will be helpful as a legislator include the following: tenacity, vision, ability to stand firm under pressure, ability to disagree without holding grudges, humility, sense of humor, and strength of convictions.