“No, I am not for the gas tax so there is nothing to debate,” State Rep. Susan Lynn (R- Mount Juliet) tells The Tennessee Star in response to challenger Jeremy Hayes’ March 8 press release calling on her to debate him over the issue. Hayes opposes Gov. Haslam’s proposed gas tax increase.
In a February 28, 2017, exclusive interview with The Star, Hayes announced his run for the 57th House District in the 2018 Republican primary, citing Lynn’s support for Gov. Haslam’s gas tax increase proposal.
“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clear up this untruthful rhetoric,” Lynn responded to Hayes’ challenge in an email sent to The Star, adding:
I have never voted for a tax increase and I have voted to lower our taxes many times. It is my responsibility as the representative for the 57th district to present facts, hear ideas and to create opportunities for constituents to discuss policy. While some lawmakers are shying away from holding Town Hall meetings – I have held seven since January and I will hold more on this topic and others. This individual worked for my democrat opponent – his integrity on this and other matters is entirely suspect. I’d like to have the opportunity to invite everyone to attend one of my Town Hall meetings – including this individual. He is welcome to attend even though he doesn’t live in Wilson County nor in my district.
In a follow up email to The Star, Lynn added this additional response:
No, I am not for the gas tax so there is nothing to debate. . . He worked for my Democrat opponent and her platform supported raising the gas tax; while he could not vote for her because he does not live in my district his work for my Democrat challenger is certainly evidence that is he who supports raising the gas tax.
Hayes criticized Lynn’s record in his March 8 press release.
“While we know she will do everything in her power to ‘throw mud’ and take attention away from her horrendous voting record, it is laughable that she would suggest I worked for the democrat campaign last election cycle,” Hayes said.
“I was honored to serve with Senator Mae Beavers as Co-Chairman for President Trump’s Wilson County Campaign, in addition, I call on anyone to look at her democrat opponent’s financial records (which are open to the public) and you will clearly see the only campaigns I was associated with were President Trump and Joe Carr,” he added.
Hayes has since issued a video statement thanking Rep. Lynn for “having a change of heart in her support of the gas tax.”
At the time of publication, The Star could not confirm if Rep. Susan Lynn plans to run in 2018 for District 57, a seat she has held since 2003 with the exception of 2011-2012, or any other seat.