On Tuesday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed his weekly regular guest and all-star panelist Tennessee state Senator Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield) to the newsmakers line.
At the top of the third hour, Roberts weighed in on whether he thought the Tennessee General Assembly would open in June.
Roberts: You know what I was thinking about over the break? I was thinking about the fact that every elected official needs to remember that you are not God. You are not smarter than the next person. You are simply a public servant there to serve.
You are there to serve the people of Tennessee. If you are a national legislator you are there to serve the people of the United States. You are not there to tell them how to live their lives. You are not there to tell them what’s good for them.
Leahy: Really? Most Democrats think they can tell us how to live.
Roberts: Well it’s a pretty big dose of humility is something that each one of us needs to have a daily reminder of where we fit into the big scheme of things. And the only thing that qualifies each one of us is that we got the majority of the votes in elections.
And even then how many people vote? 35%? So yes, we need to walk every day with humility that we’re here to serve not to Lord our position over other people. That was my thought during the break. (Chuckles) There you go. Sorry to distract your thoughts.
Leahy: No, no, no. Deep thoughts with state Senator Kerry Roberts on humility. (Laughs) I like it! I like it, Kerry, actually. I wish I wish Kerry more legislators would have that same kind of idea of being public servants. I think that’s a great idea.
Roberts: I think a lot do. I think the majority, I sincerely do, knowing the people I serve within the Senate, that captures the essence of who most of them and almost all of them are. I’m very fortunate to serve in the Senate. We have a great group of people. Even the ones whose ideology may differ from where we stand on the political spectrum.
Leahy: You mean all five of them in the state Senate?
Roberts: And even among some of the Republicans, they are not all far-right. But yet as a group of people if you ever needed anything I think that they are the kind of people that pay attention that would stop and help. When constituents call with problems they really do want to solve the problem.
And we all get on our soapboxes every now and then to rail about something. The bottom line is that most everyone in the Senate realizes that probably the most important aspect of their job is to help their constituents navigate problems with the state government. Customer service is such a big part of our job. It really is.
Leahy: Will the Tennessee General Assembly come back in session in June?
Roberts: Yes. So I don’t have a complete picture yet because it’s still being decided. This is my assessment. Probably as a body the Senate wants to go in on June first. Deal with the budget considerations and then go home.
I think probably the House is a little bit more inclined to want to go back, stay there a bit and take care of some legislative issues. They are important to some of the legislators as they seek re-election. Keep in mind, the entire House is up for re-election. But on the Senate, you only have 16 out of 33 that are up for re-election. The rest of us are on…
Leahy: You are one of the 17 up for re-election in 2022?
Roberts: That’s exactly right. So we’ve got a four-year term and we’re staggered. So even-numbered Senate districts are up in 2020. Odd-numbered Senate districts are up in 2022.
Leahy: That’s our morning with state Senator Kerry Roberts. All-star panelist. Kerry, thanks for joining us.
Roberts: Hey thanks for having me today and I look forward to seeing you in person very soon.
Leahy: I’m hoping we can get the studio freedom day soon. Got you hazmat suit ready here Kerry and six feet distance. I look forward to seeing you in person.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Background Photo “Tennessee Geneal Assembly” by the Tennessee General Assembly.