MURFREESBORO, Dec. 1, 2016– In the days following Donald Trump’s win, the media and coastal elites expressed shock. They had never doubted that Hillary Clinton would win, and were stunned with the trouncing that took place. But those of us in communities across ‘flyover’ country were less surprised: we have been watching the Republican wave build steam for some time. Here in Rutherford County, our constituents have consistently voted Republican for the last several years, because they connect with our message of less government intrusion, better education, and more economic opportunities.
While Donald Trump was popular in Rutherford County, those of us running for seats in the Tennessee General Assembly—Senator Jim Tracy, Representative Mike Sparks, Representative Dawn White, Representative Tim Rudd, and myself—outperformed him on the ballot. I believe this shows not only the trust the voters have placed in us, but also the strength of the Republican Party in Rutherford County. Our constituents expect us to hold to the conservative values we always have in the past, and I know that is our intention as we head into the 110th General Assembly in January.
One of the greatest experiences of my life has been to serve in the Tennessee House of Representatives, and I appreciate my constituents placing their trust in me and sending me back for a second term. We have much work to do over the next two years, and I am hopeful that under the Trump Administration, the state will have more flexibility to pursue policies that will ensure the prosperity of Tennesseans.
Under the Obama Administration, the federal government has incorrectly been seen as the answer to most of our problems. But we know that our leaders on the state and local level can find solutions that benefit Rutherford County far better than an unelected bureaucrat in Washington, D.C. Giving the states back their sovereignty should be high on the priority list.
President-Elect Trump has expressed an interest in unshackling the states from some of the burdensome federal mandates that are imposed on them. Instead, he would like to see each state’s leaders to come up with their own set of ideas and solutions to solve the unique problems facing their state. This is closer to what our Founding Fathers envisioned, where states would be the laboratories of democracy.
If he is successful in doing this, Tennessee has very exciting opportunities ahead, as my conservative colleagues and I have been eager to address issues and challenges in Tennessee without the burden of federal mandates.
In Tennessee, we know the best way to grow the economy and ensure prosperity for Tennesseans is to get out of the way of small business owners and entrepreneurs and let them grow their businesses. Despite an obtrusive federal government, we have been successful in doing this over the last several years. Now that we have the opportunity to have even more flexibility, we can continue these policies that will result in even more jobs and economic prosperity.
Unfortunately, extremists from all over the political spectrum, especially from the left, continue to be grounded in divisiveness and failed ideas. However, as I have spoken with friends, constituents, and other legislators, the common themes of hope, unity, and opportunity have emerged as the focus moving forward. While others may look to undermine the hope of an even greater Rutherford County and State of Tennessee, I will be steadfast in my resolve as a self governance legislator to be a unifying voice of the people as “we the people” have been presented with an opportunity that we must champion.
I am excited about the possibilities over the next two years and working with my colleagues in the General Assembly and citizens on the issues facing Rutherford County and Tennessee. The 110th General Assembly will be called to order on January 10th, and I am looking forward to advancing our conservative principles and ensuring Tennessee is the best place in the country to live, work, own and operate a business, and raise a family.