HENDERSONVILLE, Tennessee — Gubernatorial candidate State Sen. Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) told a group of about 40 at the Republican Party of Sumner County monthly breakfast her on Saturday, “We’re not going to have the millions of dollars that a lot of the other candidates will have.”
“So, we’ll be depending on the conservatives — the people who want fiscal responsibility, who want a pro-life state, who want a 2nd amendment state, who want to do what’s right — to get out there and work and vote for us. We are confident that we can be the nominee for the Republican side,” the long-time conservative state legislator added.
Beavers, distinguishing herself on her credentials, said about others candidates for the Republican primary, “Everybody’s saying I’m a conservative,” continuing persuasively, “I will put my record up against anybody in this race. I think I have the most conservative record. I can back up what I’m saying to you today. And I’m not sure that anybody else can.”
Reaffirming her long-standing principles, Beavers said, “You don’t have to worry about me changing if you elect me. I have a 23 year-record of standing for the things we’ve talked about today.”
After giving some background of her entre into politics, Beavers, one of the leading opponents to the 2000 proposed income tax, spoke about the gas tax increase in light of a $2 billion surplus that could have funded the roads. “They tried to convince us that we were actually getting a tax break,” but the selective tax cuts primarily benefited only about 25 companies, the Hall Income Tax reduction was “disingenuous” when it would have happened anyway, and the grocery tax reduction had been proposed previously, making the “whole thing a charade,” said Beavers.
Having served on the Transportation Committee and “knowing about the federal government’s mandates that allow less than half of what the state gets back to be spent on roads, with the rest mandated to be spent on walking trails, sidewalks, welcome centers, historical structures, all kinds of things across the state,” Beavers passed a resolution urging President Trump to “Take those strings off, and let us manage those things at the local level.”
Beavers shared her experienced insights into what issues need to be addressed and reviewed her stance and record on an extensive list of issues affecting the state of Tennessee:
The cost of illegal immigration to the state of Tennessee for things like education, food stamps and housing is about $500 million per year, according to Beavers. When she learned that the Thomas Moore Law Center would represent any state for free, Beavers initiated a call to the Lieutenant Governor who called Sen. Mark Norris (R-Collierville) and they went to the State Attorney General to pursue a lawsuit against the federal government. The Attorney General’s refusal to do so is just one example of why Beavers has supported an elected versus appointed Attorney General, as most states have. As such, Beavers sponsored a bill for an elected Attorney General that passed the Senate but failed in the House. The Attorney General is appointed by the Supreme Court, who is, in turn, appointed by the Governor.
Beavers expressed her disappointment that the citizens of Tennessee were not properly informed of their constitutional right to vote for Supreme Court judges which they gave away via an amendment in 2014.
After learning that the National Guard is not allowed to carry in the recruiting stations, following the shootings in Chattanooga, legislation was passed to allow those who protect us overseas to protect themselves.
As a result of students “coming in on visas and after a week or so, disappearing with nobody knowing where they go,” and Homeland Security not knowing about this, a bill was passed so that reports must be filed by universities. Beavers cautioned, “This is happening all over our nation,” and pointed out that the president’s main job is to keep our country safe, while the governor’s main job is to keep the state safe. Beavers expressed disappointment with “what’s been going on around us and hasn’t been addressed.”
As a pro-life candidate, Beavers said “We’ve done very well in Tennessee when it comes to life” and spoke of several pieces of legislation she sponsored including informed consent and hospital privileges. Beavers also sponsored the resolution that ended up being constitutional amendment one when it took a two-thirds majority vote, which is now being litigated over the way the votes were counted.
Beavers expressed her concern over what goes on in the classrooms, and carried legislation that allows parents and teachers to see the questions on the standardized tests. Believing in more local control and “feeling very strongly” that “talented teachers are wanting to teach but are having to teach to the tests,” Beavers is in alignment with the Tennessee School Board Association (TSBA) position to allow local school boards to decide on whether to use the standardized tests or ACT.
In her travels, Beavers has seen some unique applications of technical school and believes that the programs should be expanded around the state.
Having held a carry permit since 1995 and being the first lifetime family members of the Tennessee Firearms Association, Beavers is a strong second amendment supporter and has carried numerous pieces of legislation on the topic. As governor, not only would she sign a constitutional carry bill, as other candidates have stated, Beavers said she would “encourage the House and Senate to pass it.”
On the topic of civil asset forfeiture, Beavers said it “is a huge problem” and that it has been “abused.” She said with the “need to ensure that innocent people are not having their property confiscated and kept by the government,” she has sponsored legislation on it in the past and will continue to pursue it.
Businesses are challenged by finding employees who can pass a drug test, according to Beavers, referring to the state’s opioid problem, an issue she feels has worsened due to a number of factors for which she would employ a variety of strategies including involving the medical community.
TDEC (Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) regulations and the 30 percent growth of government over the past six years and 28 percent growth under Governor Bredesen, are two other issues Beavers would tackle.
Saying “Our incomes haven’t grown like that,” Beavers will be “Holding the line” on taxes and regulations so “we can recruit business to our state.”