State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) has decided to run for the Republican nomination for Governor of Tennessee in 2018, and her top priority will be repeal of the recently enacted 6 cents per gallon gas tax increase pushed by Gov. Haslam.
Beavers released a statement late Saturday that says she “intends to formally announce a campaign for Governor of Tennessee at Charlie Daniels Park in Mt. Juliet at 1 pm on Saturday June 3.”
She will become the third candidate officially in the race for the GOP nomination. Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd and Williamson County businessman Bill Lee have already announced their candidacies.
Congresswoman Diane Black, State Senator Mark Green (R-Clarksville), State Senator Mark Norris (R-Collierville), and Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) are all potential candidates.
With her announcement, Beavers becomes the only clearly conservative announced candidate in the race, and is the only candidate, announced or expected, to come out in support of repealing Gov. Haslam’s gas tax increase.
“Over the past several weeks, it has become increasingly clear that conservatives in Tennessee are looking for bold leadership that will not shrink from standing up and speaking up on the key issues facing our state,” Beavers said in her statement released on Saturday.
“President Donald J. Trump is taking the lead in Washington to ‘drain the swamp there; but we have our own swamp in Tennessee and I intend to do the same thing in the Volunteer State,” Beavers added.
Beavers focused on two hot political issues as major priorities for her campaign: repealing the gas tax and protecting girls in public bathrooms.
“As Governor, I will make sure that Tennessee focuses on protecting children before they are born and then providing them a safe and secure environment to grow up in after they are born. That safety and security extends to making sure that men don’t go into the bathrooms and locker rooms of little girls,” Beavers said.
“I will also devote my effort and attention to insure that Tennessee taxpayers will get the biggest bang possible for their tax dollars, with spending focused on results rather than catering to special interest cronies and big corporate donors,” Beavers added.
“And that means a full effort to repeal the gas tax increase that the legislature just passed and Governor Haslam just signed into law.”
Beavers also mentioned the role she played as a member of the Tennessee General Assembly during the 1999 to 2002 period when Gov. Don Sundquist unsuccessfully attempted to force a state income tax on the residents of Tennessee.
“I didn’t lead the fight against a state income tax and spend the last several decades in public office working against tax increases in order to have a Republican majority legislature impose a tax
increase on fuel while we have a $2 billion dollar surplus,” Beavers said.
“Punishing working men and women in Tennessee with a big increase at the gas pumps when we have other revenue available to build and repair our roads is completely unacceptable and we should make repeal of that tax a priority,” she concluded.
First elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1994, Beavers has served in the State Senate since 2002. She lives in Mt. Juliet with her husband Jerry.
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