NASHVILLE, Tennessee–The 14th annual Tennessee College Republican State Convention met in the chambers of the Tennessee House of Representatives at the State Capitol in Nashville on Saturday, and heard from a number of GOP candidates, including gubernatorial candidates Bill Lee, and Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville), U.S. Senate hopeful Dr. Rolando Toyos, and Congressional candidates Dr. Mark Green (7th District) and John Rose (6th District).
Supporters of gubernatorial candidates Rep. Diane Black (R-TN-06) and Randy Boyd, as well as U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07), and Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN-08), who is running for re-election to his House seat, spoke as well.
Bobbie Patray, President of the Tennessee Eagle Forum, also spoke and was a crowd favorite.
Party officials, including Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden, addressed the audience as well.
About 75 representatives from colleges across the state of Tennessee were in attendance.
“It’s good to see young Republicans from across the state joining together to hear from current and future leaders in our government, and be able to obtain information to make a responsible and educated decision for the future of conservatives in our state and country,” Adam Yardumian, who is currently interning for State Sen. Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) and represented Motlow State College Republicans at the event told The Tennessee Star.
“I think the number one priority in 2018 for Tennessee College Republicans is really working on our budget, making sure we have a balanced budget. We see what’s happening in Washington right now. We don’t have a balanced budget. Spending is out of control. So I am super thankful we have a balanced budget hear in Tennessee, and we want to keep it that way,” Trey Jones, representing Middle Tennessee State University College Republicans, told The Star.
All the speakers praised the young Republicans in attendances for engaging in the political process.
“First of all, let me tell you how much I appreciate the fact that you are involved in the future of the state. I am grateful that there are people that are willing to take the time on a Saturday and come to discuss the future of our country,” Bill Lee said.
“I commend you for getting involved in conservative causes in our state, and advancing conservative causes across the country,” Rose told the audience.
“We’re very excited because one of our competitors dropped out just yesterday, so it was good to come here and give my message to the College Republicans. They’re going to be our future, and they need to hear the words of conservativism so they’re not influenced by all the liberalism that they’re surrounded by,” Senate candidate Dr. Rolando Toyos told The Star.
Alex Joyner, State Chairman of the Tennessee College Republicans for the current year, 2017-2018, was also enthusiastic about the day’s events.
“We were excited to host our 14th Annual State Convention at the State Capitol today. With 24 chartered chapters represented, we packed out the House Chamber with standing room only,” Joyner told The Star, adding:
We had over 120 College Republicans and guests that heard from candidates, campaigns, and conservative organizations. We also hosted a candidate reception that allowed CRs to connect directly with campaigns, to find internships and jobs after graduation. During our convention, we elected a new slate of officers that will serve for the ’18 – ’19 term. As State Chairman, I have worked very hard to grow our presence across this state and we have done just that. Starting 8 new chapters and tripling our membership, we are optimistic about the coming year for TNCR. As College Republicans, we understand that this is a crucial year for Tennessee politics and we must fight to maintain our seats. The theme of this convention was “building a generation to lead” and that will be our agenda moving forward.
“We will continue to grow our influence and work tirelessly to keep Tennessee red,” Joyner concluded.