State of Tennessee Archives: on Principles & Values

Marquita Bradshaw: Lost election but will continue to build grassroots movement

With her primary victory, Bradshaw became the first Black woman nominated for statewide office by a major party in Tennessee, securing the primary win with just $22,000. At the conclusion of his victory speech, Hagerty wished Bradshaw well and said she had "broken significant barriers in Tennessee." Bradshaw said, "Those skills went into building a grassroots movement across Tennessee that will not stop Nov 3. It's going to continue to grow until this state represents working people issues."
Source: Nashville Tennessean on 2020 Tennessee Senate race Nov 5, 2020

Marquita Bradshaw: One job away from middle class, one loss away from poverty

Bradshaw has said she has been "one job away from middle class and one job-loss away from poverty." She said she was once under-employed, riddled with student loan debt and without adequate health insurance. Then she experienced a foreclosure and bankruptcy. "The progressive movement is undeniable!" Bradshaw tweeted after her victory. "Thank you all so much for your support and this victory. It's time to put hardworking people first. Onward."
Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press on 2020 Tennessee Senate race Aug 26, 2020

Manny Sethi: Work to fight for our Christian values

Matthew 9:13 tells us, "The harvest is plenty but the workers are few." My faith is everything to me. It's what guides me; it's who I am. It's why I became a doctor. It's why I do what I do. After my father passed away, it led me to a closer relationship with Christ. My faith is what shapes my views, and will guide every decision I make in Washington, as I work to fight for our Christian values.
Source: 2020 Tennessee Senate campaign website, Jan 12, 2020

Bill Hagerty: America, greatest country, at risk from radical Left

We are fortunate to live in America - the greatest country in the world, and we Americans shouldn't shy away from that. However, the radical Left's constant call for socialist policies demonstrate that they are trying to deconstruct the very essence and tear apart the very fabric that makes America so great - the American Dream. Our country was founded on the principles of freedom and liberty. America is a beacon of hope across the globe.
Source: The Jackson Sun on 2020 Tennessee Senate race Oct 16, 2019

Bill Hagerty: Must stand up to radical liberals and their socialist agenda

Hagerty said, "Serving in President Trump's administration was the honor of a lifetime, but when I saw the threat to Tennessee and to our county from the Democratic Socialists' agenda, I felt called to act. We must stand up to radical liberals, like the Squad and their socialist agenda that would deeply damage the America we know and love. Their aim is to deliver more government, more crippling debt and less freedom for my children and yours."
Source: Nashville Business Journal on 2020 Tennessee Senate race Sep 9, 2019

Bill Hagerty: Endorsed by President Trump for nomination

On the 2020 Tennessee Senate race: "There's only one candidate in this race that President Trump has endorsed," Hagerty said. "President Trump has endorsed me to be the person to carry conservative Tennessee values forward for the people of Tennessee and that's where I stand, that's where the president stands."

The president wrote on Twitter: "Tennessee loving Bill Hagerty, who was my Tennessee Victory Chair -- will be running for the U.S. Senate. He is strong on crime, borders & our 2nd A. Loves our Military & our Vets. Has my Complete & Total Endorsement!"

Source: on 2020 Tennessee Senate race Sep 9, 2019

James Mackler: Change broken system with Jewish tradition "Tikkun Olam"

Across Tennessee, people ask how one person can change a broken system. It's a tall task, and I find the answer in my faith.

The most important voice in my life is my wife, Rabbi Shana Goldstein Mackler. She often cites the Jewish tradition of Tikkun Olam, a Hebrew phrase meaning repair the world. "The fact that you cannot change everything doesn't absolve you of an obligation to try," she'll say.

It's my duty, and my mission, to try.

Source: The Tennessean OpEd on 2020 Tennessee Senate race Mar 16, 2019

Bill Lee: Faith-based & community initiatives better than government

The voters did not send us here to create more government. They sent us here to protect their freedoms and their hard-earned money. So, to help protect taxpayer dollars and to engage some of our under-utilized citizens, one announcement I am particularly excited to make is the Governor's Office of Faith-based & Community Initiatives. This office will leverage the non-profit community to not only make lives better but to reduce the responsibilities and ultimately the size of government.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Tennessee legislature Mar 6, 2019

Bill Lee: Religious liberty is guaranteed to us by the constitution

We cannot compromise on religious liberty. Tennessee has a rich tradition of faith and civic leaders lifting up families and working together to make communities stronger. But that tradition cannot survive if religious liberty comes under attack.˙ Our constitution protects an absolute, fundamental right to live your life - at home and in the workplace - according to your values and your faith. Our state's leaders should defend that right.
Source: 2018 Tennessee Gubernatorial website Jul 4, 2018

James Mackler: Wife is a rabbi at Congregation Ohabai Sholom

James' wife, Rabbi Shana Goldstein Mackler, has been serving as a Rabbi at The Temple, Congregation Ohabai Sholom, in Nashville, since her ordination at the Hebrew Union College (HUC) in Cincinnati in June 2004. In 2016, Rabbi Mackler was named one of America's 32 Most Inspiring Rabbis by Forward Magazine.

Together the Macklers are a power couple, if you will, at the convergence of religion and politics, working to help Tennessee, and the LGBT community, reach a better state.

In 2017, James resigned from his job and ran for U.S. Senate because he saw politics in Washington hurting Tennesseans. But, in December of 2017, Mackler stepped aside to support Governor Phil Bredesen.

Since withdrawing from the race, James has returned to practicing law, but he has also founded a political action committee (PAC) known as Believe in Service, an appropriate name for someone who believes in raising the issue of national service.

Source: Out & About Nashville on 2018 Tennessee Senate race Jun 7, 2018

Phil Bredesen: 1960s scholarship to Harvard; millionaire businessman at 43

Born in New Jersey, Bredesen's father left his mother for another woman. His mother worked as a bank teller while his grandmother took in sewing to support the family.

Getting into Harvard University on scholarship in the early 1960s, Bredesen earned an undergraduate degree in physics. He later worked for several companies, married and then divorced.

He then met Andrea Conte, a nurse. The couple married, then moved to Nashville in 1975 when Conte was recruited to work for HCA, the Nashville-based hospital company. After arriving, Bredesen focused on creating his own company, HealthAmerica Corp., an insurance company.

When the company sold in 1986, he became became a multimillionaire at age 43. The businessman says he got his taste for politics while at Harvard, inspired by President John F. Kennedy, also a Harvard graduate. Bredesen ran as a Democrat in 1969 for a Massachusetts Senate seat against a Republican incumbent. He lost.

Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press on 2018 Tennessee Senate race Apr 7, 2018

Bill Lee: We accomplished my vision at granddad's company

Rather than political service, Lee, who still lives on the cattle farm in Fernvale where he was raised, will lean on his lifelong career at Lee Co., a full-service home facilities and construction company founded by his grandfather in 1944, which Lee later purchased from his father and became president in 1992.

Today, the company--which has offices in Huntsville, Ala.; Cookeville, Tenn.; and Bowling Green, Ky., in addition to its main office in Franklin--employs 1,150 people, mostly plumbers, pipe-fitters and welders, and generates about $225 million in annual revenue. "When I came to that company, I had a vision for it and we've accomplished that vision," Lee said. "Those experiences in life have really caused me to have a vision for Tennessee, so I've decided to pursue this endeavor."

Source: The Tennessean on 2018 Tennessee gubernatorial race Apr 23, 2017

Bill Lee: Former chairman of the Tennessee Prayer Breakfast

Though he figures to attract pro-business Republicans, Lee, a self-described social conservative and former chairman of the Tennessee Prayer Breakfast, could find traction with faith voters. He said faith would influence his decisions as governor, but insisted he is not running for office to focus on social issues.

[One analyst] called Lee a top-tier Republican candidate who is not a politician in a traditional sense. "He can and will credibly argue that he is running for office to make a difference," Geer said. "Lee has all the ingredients to be a very successful candidate."

In a race most believe will be Tennessee's most expensive political primary ever, Lee is among multiple candidates who are expected to be in a position to self-finance a portion of their campaigns.

Source: The Tennessean on 2018 Tennessee gubernatorial race Apr 23, 2017

Bill Lee: Faith would influence my decisions as governor

Lee said his faith would influence his decisions as governor if elected, although he is not running to focus on social issues. "No one will outwork me and I will run the most aggressive campaign in Tennessee history," he said. "We may not have as much pocket change as everyone else, but we'll burn more shoe leather than anybody."
Source: US News & World Report on 2018 Tennessee gubernatorial race Apr 23, 2017

Karl Dean: Pro-business centrist: good things happen in the middle

Karl Dean is running for governor of Tennessee in an uphill bid to become the first Democrat elected statewide since 2006. Casting himself as a pro-business moderate focused on education and jobs, the former Nashville mayor said he made the call after consultation with family, deciding he had "a reason and purpose" to run.

He's looking to stake out the sort of centrist lane that helped catapult Democrats' most recent statewide officeholder, former Gov. Phil Bredesen, who also was an ex-mayor of Nashville. For now, Dean is avoiding partisan attacks. In fact, Dean called Haslam, a Republican, a "very good governor" and he declined to offer a single criticism of the sitting governor when asked.

"I think I'm a moderate," Dean said, claiming support of Democrats and Republicans as mayor, which was a nonpartisan office. "My sense is good things happen when you're in the middle of the road. That's where you can find agreement and move things forward.

Source: The Tennessean on 2018 Tennessee Gubernatorial race Feb 26, 2017

Joe Carr: Endorsed by Tea Party Patriots on anti-amnesty grounds

Sen. Lamar Alexander's primary challenger, state Rep. Joe Carr, picked up another national Tea Party endorsement Thursday, the same day he released a new statewide radio ad.

The issue at the center of both the Tea Party Patriots' endorsement and Carr's new ad is Alexander's alleged support for "amnesty" for illegal immigrants, a charge Carr has made central to his campaign.

The Tea Party Patriots endorsement praised Carr as a "genuine leader" in the fight against illegal immigration, criticizing Alexander for being one of the 14 Republicans to vote for the reform bill that passed the Senate last year.

"Joe wants to preserve American sovereignty; Lamar Alexander's policies are producing a human wave of criminality and disease on the Rio Grande," the group's chairwoman said. Carr's radio ad also hits Alexander on his support for the immigration measure, charging that the senator "voted with Democrats to pass a bill creating a border crisis by giving amnesty to 11 million illegal aliens."

Source: The Hill AdWatch on 2014 Tennessee Senate race Jul 10, 2014

Lamar Alexander: Declined to debate in Republican primary

Tennessee state Rep. Joe Carr, Alexander's Republican primary challenger, has a new radio ad that hits Alexander on his support for the immigration measure, charging that the senator "voted with Democrats to pass a bill creating a border crisis by giving amnesty to 11 million illegal aliens." The 60-second spot attacks Alexander for refusing to accept Carr's invitation to debate the issues, saying the senator would rather have voters read his website.

"Lamar's website doesn't tell you a lot of things," Carr says in the radio ad. Carr led the charge for stricter immigration laws in the Tennessee Legislature and believes the focus on immigration reform could pay off for him in the Aug. 7 primary election.

Source: The Hill weblog AdWatch on 2014 Tennessee Senate race Jul 10, 2014

Bill Haslam: Tennessee--America at Its Best: we are a model to the nation

I want to take you back 50 years to 1963. Merritt Potter, a Kingsport realtor, entered a contest to come up with a slogan to promote Tennessee. He won, and the prize was a $21,000 savings bond. A bill was introduced in the General Assembly to adopt it as the state's official slogan. It passed and was signed into law.

Fifty years later, Merritt Potter's words are still our state's official slogan, and they still are true: "Tennessee--America at Its Best." Today in Tennessee we are more than a slogan. We think we are a model to the nation in so many ways.

Source: 2014 State of the State address to Tennessee legislature Feb 3, 2014

Al Gore: Take your souls to the polls

I feel it coming. I feel a message from this gathering that on Tuesday we’re going to carry Tennessee, and Memphis is going to lead the way. I feel it coming. I believe that on Tuesday morning, very early, before the sun rises, in congregations all across Memphis, you’re going to be saying, ‘Wake up, it’s time to take your souls to the polls!’
Source: Speech in Tennessee Nov 4, 2000

  • The above quotations are from State of Tennessee Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Principles & Values.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Principles & Values:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Please consider a donation to!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Jan 29, 2021