Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Seventh District Republican Senate Candidates Face Off

There are four Republican State Senate candidates on the August 5, 2010 Republican ballot. Nicholas Ciparro is a candidate and he did not attend a forum at the West Knox Republican Club last night. The other three candidates did attend. The order of speakers was determined by alphabetical order.

State Representative Stacey Campfield spoke first. He discussed this years legislative session. He said that he has served in the minority and the majority and it is much better serving in the majority. The income tax was defeated again, it didn't even come out of committee. The legislature stopped $120 million in tax increases. The legislature cut $450 million in proposed spending. 853 positions in state government were eliminated. Campfield stated that we are in a great time to be cutting government. The legislature was not able to get tort reform. They were not able to ban foreign owned red light camera operations. He discussed the TEA party activist. He said they are "our" people. They believe what we believe. We do not need to scare them away.

Steve Hill spoke second. He opened up with a reference that Campfield made about guns. Hill said "I'm from Carter, I didn't know we couldn't carry guns until I read it in the paper." The crowd laughed. Hill is retired from Mercy Health, where he spent 17 years as Director of Economic Development. He stated that the engine that drives our economy is created by small business. Hill stated that he has visited over 60 small businesses and said that the message from those small businesses is "leave us alone". He said that there is no position in the State Department of Economic Development for small business. He discussed his idea for reforming public education by stating that our (state's) focus is wrong, we have thrown millions of dollars at education and we are still 42nd in the country.

Ron Leadbetter went last. He stated that he is a Ronald Reagan Republican. I believe that most all of us believe in what is on that card. (referring to his campaign card) He said that the question is not what you will do but what have you done in the past. He said that he is involved in the deacon ministry of his church and is a Sunday school teacher. He states that a leaders should desire to be a role model. He spent 36 years in the University of Tennessee's General Counsel office. He stated that he was a go to person at UT. He stated that he led the way to create the UT licensing office. He said that he has knocked on 6,000 doors.

The evening was a good event, as the Red Lobster on Kingston Pike's meeting room was standing room only.

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