Republican Candidate for the State House Diane Canada of District 56 Discusses Her History and Campaign


Live from Music Row Friday morning on The 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. –  host Leahy welcomed Diane Canada to the newsmakers line.

During the second hour, Canada discussed her history as a 20 year resident of Nashville, Tennessee, and later revealed that her opponent Bob Freeman’s wife is on the newest policy oversight board which would put more restraints on Metro’s law enforcement. Canada has been officially endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police.

Leahy: We are joined now by Diane Canada, the Republican candidate for the State House here in Nashville of District 56. This is the district represented by the former Speaker of the House Beth Harwell, now represented by Bob Freeman – a Democrat. Welcome to the Tennessee Star Report, Diane.

Canada: Thank you, Michael. Thanks for having me.

Leahy: Great to have you here. Just a question on your last name. It’s Canada? That’s an unusual last name. What is the origin of your last name?

Canada: My husband is from Irish decent.

Leahy: I like it already! I’m Michael Patrick Leahy from Tipperary County.

Canada: (Chuckles) I thought that might resonate with you, Michael. It’s actually the sect from Ireland that was the Kenedy and Kennedy. So a lot of people think that’s it is the country but its actually…

Leahy: It’s a version of Kennedy.

Canada: It is.

Leahy: Let me just say this, I like that version better than the version of Teddy Kennedy. Terrific. (Canada chuckles) You are running, and I would say, Bob Freeman, is the scion and the younger son of a very successful developer. Lots of money. He narrowly defeated Brent Moody in that district. Does this cover the Belle Meade and Green Hills areas? What is the district itself?

Canada: I call it the big L. The far tip of it yes is that Belle Meade, Green Hills area, comes all the way through Oak Hill and Forest Hill. It then takes a left there and goes across Brentwood into Crieve Hall, and the Nippers Corner area.

Leahy: In this district, it had been Republican all the time when Beth Harwell was there. So in the last general election, Bob Freeman spent a lot of money and defeated Brent Moody. He barely beat him by 51% to 48%. Something like that.

Canada: It was less than a thousand votes. Yes.

Leahy: So you won the Republican nomination, and you are challenging Bob Freeman. Why should people in District 56 vote for you, the Republican nominee, over Bob Freeman? You know he has a lot of money, by the way, who is the Democratic incumbent in District 56 of the State House of Representatives.

Canada: Yes. Well Bob he did grow up here. He has a lot of history here. And I respect him fully and all of that. But the thing is that we need to hold those conservative values in the state house. There are 10 House seats for Davidson County, and Bob kind of took that last one when Beth vacated her seat. There are a lot of conservatives. One of the things that people do appreciate about Bob, is they think that he’s a moderate.

Leahy: That’s their perception.

Canada: He’s harmless.

Leahy: Let me just ask you this. It seems to me that he has voted in lockstep as far as I can tell with the far-left radical Democrats. And he hasn’t sided with the Republicans in any major vote. He’s been against school choice. He seems to be against everything that’s conservative. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m not giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Canada: No. You are exactly spot on. And that was the point I was exactly about to make. Even though he might come across as a nice guy, he does vote in harmony with the radical left. Yes. On every single vote that he has put through in the House, I would have voted the polar opposite. Everyone needs to take off those Bob-colored glasses.

Leahy: Bob-colored glasses. I like that phrase, Diane, this is very good. You might have a way with words. Maybe because you are a songwriter.

Canada: (Laughs) There was a time, yes, when I wrote songs. I think once a musician always a musician.

Leahy: You are also an author. I’m looking here at your book published in February. Lady Up + Don’t Quit!: Learn to Look Any Leadership Challenge in the Eye and Give It a Little Wink. Nice title. Good phrasing.

Canada: Thank you. Thank you. Well, resiliency is my wheelhouse. And creativity and innovation is what inspires me. And I think that’s something else that I bring to the House. I’ve lived a very unique life. My father was a pastor when I was young. And we moved around a lot planting churches the first half of my life.

Then in the second half of my life, dad decided he wanted to go play house somewhere else, so mom became a single mom. She finally did remarry and settle down. But I’ve got a lot of different perspectives, and I’ve lived around a lot of different demographics. So I can relate to a lot of different types of people. I think that’s another reason why people in this district might relate more to me.

We have a lot of people moving here from all over the country and transients. I’ve faced challenges and had to overcome really difficult hardships. And in leadership, I think that’s what we want. Someone who’s lived in the trenches and walked that walk. And understands all the different dynamics and perspectives that people bring. So we’ll see how it shakes out. But I’m going to give it my all and leave everything on the field.

It’s my honor to represent this district. I’ve been in Nashville for 20 years. I moved here on purpose. Very intentionally. And went ahead and put that book out, because I wanted to be the author of my story. You know in politics we don’t know what is going to happen.

Somebody might want to try to tell my story, and I wanted to tell my story. And I wanted to put that out ahead of the election and be very transparent with people. I’ve made a lot of peace with my past. And I think that it’s important to just be authentic and genuine, and so I hope people will find that to be true if they pick it up and read it.

Leahy: Diane Canada you are the Republican candidate for the State House of Representatives in District 56. Just you and me talking now. This other guy, the incumbent Bob Freeman, he’s got a lot of money. How are you going to beat him?

Canada: I’ve got a big God who’s got a lot more. (Chuckles) Favor. Favor of God. We’re also working very, very hard on our own in our own camp raising money. So I feel like if money were the only superior decision, then you know Bloomberg and all kinds of people would have one. I don’t think it comes down to money.

I think it comes down to relatability. People have a decision to make. Do we want conservative values back in the House? Or do we want a lot of the things that we are seeing in the news and being horrified by, and do we want that coming to our city? A vote for me being endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police.

Leahy: So the Fraternal Order of the Police has endorsed you, Diane Canada, over the incumbent Bob Freeman.

Canada: They have.

Leahy: Now, why did they endorse you? That’s a good point to bring up. Why did they endorse you over Bob Freeman?

Canada: Well, it could be that they see that his wife was just appointed to the committee to begin the process of potentially defunding them. That could be why?

Leahy: Whoah, whoah, whoah. This is new news? Which committee is that? The police advisory board? The community advisory board?

Canada: Yeah.

Leahy: Are you kidding me?

Canada: The new one that the mayor just appointed. I think it was 41 people. Something like that.  All of which have nothing to do with law enforcement by the way.

Leahy: Which board? Is this the community advisory board?

Canada: Yes. There was the oversight board that was put in place before.

Leahy: This is not the oversight board?

Canada: No this is a brand new one. I believe its called the police policy committee.

Leahy: What on earth are all these committees coming up to constrain and look over the shoulder of police?

Canada: I know. I can’t imagine. I had a really good talk with several police officers recently. And just checking on them and asking them how is your morale and how are you guys doing? And they were explaining to me that in Metro they have extraordinary training here.

They do mixed martial arts training. They do all kinds of tactical training where they can take perpetrators down without having to use deadly force. They could really be for what I’m hearing a model for training across the state. So the oversight board was already in my opinion an overreach.

Leahy: And now they’ve added another layer to it and your opponent’s wife is on that board. That will be very interesting. Diane Canada, Republican candidate for the 56th District of the State House of Representatives. Thanks so much for joining us today.

Canada: Thanks for having me, Michael. I enjoyed it.

To learn more about Diane Canada visit her on the web at 

Listen to the full second hour:

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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.
Photo “Tennessee State Capitol” by Ron Cogswell CC2.0






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One Thought to “Republican Candidate for the State House Diane Canada of District 56 Discusses Her History and Campaign”

  1. Dave

    I was fortunate to meet her this summer when she was volunteering to help collect signatures to recall Mayor Commie Cooper & to prevent the property tax increase. I sincerely hope she wins this race, but either way she’s got a bright future in Tennessee politics.