In an interview with WTN 99.7’s Pamela Furr, who was standing in for Ralph Bristol on Memorial Day, State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet), demonstrating resolve to her pending gubernatorial campaign said on two occasions, “We’re in it to win.”
Saturday evening, after hosting the monthly Wilson County Conservative Republicans meeting and attending a Memorial Day service at The Stone Church in Alexandria, Sen. Beavers issued a press release stating she plans to announce her campaign for governor on June 3.
Due to a scheduling conflict in her district, Sen. Beavers was not able to attend the Rutherford County Republican Party Reagan Day Dinner last Thursday, where four other stated or expected candidates for governor participated in a forum, U.S. Rep. Diane Black (District 6), Governor Haslam’s former state Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd, state Senator Mark Green R-Clarksville) and businessman Bill Lee.
The full transcript of the interview can be found below.
Pamela Furr: You prayerfully decided to do it.
Sen. Mae Beavers: Well, Pamela, you know I think that when we pray about something, I think we’ve got to commit it to the Lord and just put our faith in Him, and I think he’ll direct our plans. I tell you, it has been tremendous the outpouring of support that we’ve had the last two days.
Pamela Furr: Well, I guess. And my first question, and you’ll know why I’m asking this, but I think a lot of people are going to go, “Are you crazy?” (laughs)
Sen. Mae Beavers: Believe me, I’ve asked myself that.
Pamela Furr: Because it’s going to be a hard battle. There are quite a few Republicans who’ve already put their name in the hat. There are some also prayerfully considering running, so it’s going to be a hard-fought battle. I guess the difference for you, I’m putting words in your mouth, of course, but the difference for you is you are very much, you are a conservative Republican, whereas there are others in this race so far that are not quite as conservative as you are.
Sen. Mae Beavers: That’s right Pamela. I have a voting record on the Hill, and I’d put my conservative voting record against just about anybody. I’ve tried to listen to the people. I was there to fight the income tax with Congressman Blackburn way back when and we tried to adhere to those principles that we believe in. And we fought the tax increase this last year. We have fought the bloated budget. We have fought for second amendment rights, and we’ll continue to do those things.
Pamela Furr: Well, the one thing, I guess The Tennessee Star is quoting you as saying and what I want to get right to is that you’re vowing to repeal the new gas tax?
Sen. Mae Beavers: That’s right. You know we had a huge surplus this year and I and many others did not believe we that needed a tax increase to maintain the roads and I think it’s been proven out with the April revenues coming in $148 million above projections. That’s half of the number that they needed for the improvements on the roads. I think that will continue to be borne out, that we did not really need this tax increase.
Pamela Furr: Mmm, mmh. But the problem is going to be, as I see it, you can say all day long that you’re going to repeal it just as Trump has talked about repealing and replacing Obamacare. Once he got into office he still didn’t have the Congress to back him up on that promise. Will you have the state legislature to back you up on that promise, because the majority of them did vote for it. You were very much, from a legislative standpoint, in the minority. Not from a voters standpoint, per se, but from a legislative standpoint, you were in the minority against it, which is unfortunate. It will be a hard-fought battle to be able to repeal it, don’t you think?
Sen. Mae Beavers: Well, you know, that remains to be seen. I think we’ll see how things go here in the next year, how the revenues come in and hopefully we’ll be able to persuade those that do stay in the legislature and the new ones coming in that we need to give the people a tax break.
Pamela Furr: Yeah. So, when is your term up as state senator?
Sen. Mae Beavers: Next year.
Pamela Furr: Okay, so this is all playing out so if you don’t win this race as Governor, will you be done as state senator?
Sen. Mae Beavers: I will be out of the state senate. If I don’t win Governor, which I’m not even going to talk about that right now, because we’re in it to win. Regardless, we’ll be playing with our grand babies and enjoying life.
Pamela Furr: Wow, okay, we’ll see. I can’t imagine a state of Tennessee without Mae Beavers as part of our government. Because, I mean, I was around years ago when you were at the forefront, like you mentioned a moment ago with Marsha Blackburn, and there were others, you guys were at the forefront of fighting that state income tax. I remember that. I was here for that and I was honking my horn supporting not only Steve Gill, but Phil Valentine, and the others here on the air back at home supporting from this side of the microphone, and you were there. You were a part of that, and I hope others in the state of Tennessee realize the things you guys had to do to stop that.
Sen. Mae Beavers: Well, Pamela, we’re going into this to win and I must say from all over the state this weekend that we have overwhelming support. We have so many volunteers, it’s going to take a week or two here to just sit down and try to get everybody in place and get everybody working.
Pamela Furr: What’s some other issues that are important to you that you want to bring to the forefront in your campaign as governor besides repealing the gas tax?
Sen. Mae Beavers: Well, I think more efficient government. I think we need to go over where the waste is and I’ve always preached that, ever since the income tax. You know, back when we refused to pass the income tax, they said well if we’re not going to pass that we have to the sales tax. I did not vote for that. The next year, when Governor Bredesen came in, he had a billion and a half surplus. I’ve always said there’s so many places to save in state government, and we will continue to look at that to see what we can do to streamline government.
Pamela Furr: What do you believe, I know the state kind of tabled this until the next session, and in reading The Tennessean over the weekend and what have you, Nashville is considering making itself a sanctuary city. I know you guys were looking at passing a law preventing cities and municipalities and metro governments from being able to do this. As Governor, where do you stand on, I already know the answer, but where do you stand on letting different cities decide if they want to be sanctuary or not to illegal immigrants?
Sen. Mae Beavers: Well we determined that in Tennessee quite a few years ago and we passed a law against sanctuary cities and I think it’s time that the mayors that insist on bringing in illegal immigrants and making them a sanctuary city, that we need to address that by cutting off funds.
Pamela Furr: Yeah that’s the only way you really can do it, is cutting off the funds.
Sen. Mae Beavers: Well, of course, there’s a big push by President Trump to come in and catch all of the illegals. It’s been amazing. Most of them that they’re having to remove from this country have committed crimes. So, I think first and foremost, the President, the Governor, their biggest job is to just make sure the people are safe and that’s what I intend to do.
Pamela Furr: I’ve seen a lot of people complain about this Governor and how moderate he is and when this gas tax bill passed, it was also demonstrated really how moderate our lawmakers actually are. What would you say your biggest differences, besides on the tax issue, your big difference as a conservative as opposed to some of the other moderates that are running for that position. Haslam’s supposed to be a Republican, but he seems to be what RINO, I guess as they call it. No one can accuse you of being that, that’s for sure.
Sen. Mae Beavers: (laughs) Well, I don’t think so. There might be one person out there. I think somebody yesterday wrote on Facebook that they’re more conservative than I am that they’re going to support me. But, definitely, I think we differ on many, many issues. You know, I brought a bill called The Health Freedom Act to fight back for those that were fined over Obamacare. This Governor actually signed that when he first came in, but there’s been no attempt by our Attorney General to actually represent people on that issue. I’m pro second amendment. I’m pro constitutional carry. We’ll be pushing for constitutional carry and all of those conservative issues. Pro-life issues, I carried SJR 127 that became Amendment 1, when we needed two-thirds vote in the legislature. I’ve always passed legislation to protect life in this state.
Pamela Furr: Yeah, your record speaks for itself compared to anybody else really that’s in this race at this point. So people can go and check that out themselves if they need to if they’re not as familiar. But I can’t figure out why they wouldn’t be. You’re pretty vocal and pretty up front and in the forefront for conservative issues. Okay, so if people want to support your campaign, I’m going to have to cut this here in just a moment. How do they get in touch with you if they want to financially support you, if they want to volunteer for the campaign, if they want to find out more on how you would represent the state of Tennessee, where do they go?
Pamela Furr: Excellent. And the website as I’m taking mae4tn.com, is that what it is?
Sen. Mae Beavers: They’re getting ready to put that up. I’m going to have to see what that is. I apologize I don’t have all that together yet.
Pamela Furr: Oh, no problem. You’re not making the official announcement until this weekend. Is that correct?
Sen. Mae Beavers: The official announcement will be this weekend at Charlie Daniels Park in Mt. Juliet at 1 o’clock and we invite everyone to come out. We’ve already got people and good patriots coming from all parts of the state and we welcome everybody. We’ll have a special guest to sing for us and just have a good time and lay out our agenda.
Pamela Furr: Very cool. Alright, so that’s on Saturday, Charlie Daniels Park in Mt. Juliet at 1 o’clock, if people want to attend. Thank you very much, State Senator Mae Beavers for being with me. I know you’re already getting on the road and talking to people on this Memorial Day, so I wish you safe travels and thank you for being with me today.
Sen. Mae Beavers: Thank you.
Pamela Furr: Alright. Have a great day.