GOP State House Candidate for Dickson County, Jody Barrett: ‘We Don’t Need Their Money and We’ll Handle Ourselves Down Here Just Fine’

Live from Music Row Tuesday 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 GOP candidate for Tennessee State House District 69, attorney Jody Barrett, in-studio to talk about his background and how he’ll say no to federal education dollars.

Leahy: In-studio, John Rich, great entertainer here, and his good friend whom he’s endorsed for the Republican nomination in the 69th district of the House of Representatives, Jody Barrett.

Well, Jody, of course, the big news is that you’re the first tenor in the choir in Dickson County, and you brought this guy in who might be able to sing. His name is John Rich. You’ve been good friends ever since, right? Right.

Barrett: Not quite the Harvard choir, but pretty popular choir, pretty well-known choir here in Middle Tennessee. Dickson County has had a good program for a long time.

Leahy: Did you realize what a great singer he was from the right-away?

Barrett: And funny, he mentions how we met. John was playing at our junior prom. He knew he was going to come to Dickson County.

So he came down, being the forward thinker that he is, came down and just popped up with his guitar and said, well, I’m going to meet some of these kids I’m going to have to be in class with next year. And so he was playing. And at the time, I had a band with some other friends.

Leahy: You had a band?

Barrett: I had a band, played drums. And so I just walked up to him. Of course, he’s a high school kid at this point, right? He’s 16, 17 years old. I just said, hey, man, you’re not bad. You may be pretty good at this.

If you keep on, maybe you want to come and try out for our band sometime. He’s like, yeah, man, that’ll be awesome. (Laughter)

Rich: Absolutely. Couldn’t turn that down.

Leahy: Did you just show up at the prom and play?

Rich: It’s like, well, if you follow me at all, you kind of understand how I think, which is I try to see around the corner anytime I can.

And I knew I was going to this brand-new school my senior year. I was sick to my stomach about it. I said, if I’m going to go there, I’m going to try to meet some people.

So I thought, well, the best key I’ve got to unlock a door is called this old guitar and sit out there and sing a little George Strait. Maybe I’ll meet some girls, at least, that I might know next year. And so that’s what I did. I drove over to Dickson County and just sat there.

Leahy: So they had the prom.

Rich: They were having their big junior prom. I knew I was going to be going there. I just brought a guitar and started singing.

Leahy: Where were you physically?

Barrett: This is back in the day when you had lock-ins after the dance, right. So kids would go and then they’d lock down the school and you’d stay there overnight.

So that’s what it was. He was propped up in some classroom somewhere and probably had 20 girls sitting in front of him. (Laughter)

Leahy: Is that one of the reasons you picked up the guitar.

Rich: Let’s be honest, the only reason the guy learns how to play an instrument is to meet girls. You were in the Harvard crowd where there were some of the good-looking girls.

Barrett: The only reason the guy makes friends with a guy that plays guitar is to meet girls.

Rich: But that’s where the friendship started, honestly. I mean, it was a game-changer for me to know a guy like Jody Barrett, who just didn’t owe me anything and just kind of went, man, that’s a big deal. You’re coming in here last year of school. I’ll make sure you know everybody. Yeah. Okay.

Leahy: So, there you graduate from Dickson High School. What happens after that?

Barrett: So John went off to Nashville to make his career, and I went off to college to start making mine, so undergrad at Lincoln Memorial University in East Tennessee, and then law school at Ole Miss.

Leahy: Ole Miss.

Barrett: Ole Miss, a couple of years in Mississippi in purgatory, and then came home.

Leahy: Were you there at Ole Miss in law school when John Grisham was there? Was he before you?

Barrett: I actually sold shoes to John’s family, sold ball cleats to John’s family while I was working during law school because I’m not one of the kids that had money and trust funds. So I was working my way through law school, and, yes, I got to meet his family a couple of different times now.

Leahy: Ole Miss, a good law school. And so after law school, you come back home and practice law?

Barrett: Yeah. So, right about the time I met my wife in undergrad, and we were expecting our first child, and we knew that we didn’t want to be in Mississippi. It was a long ways away from both of our families. My wife’s originally from Louisville, Kentucky.

Leahy: Although, let’s just say in terms of campuses, Ole Miss, one of the best in the country.

Barrett: The town itself, Oxford, is incredible.

Leahy: A great town.

Barrett: Yes, absolutely. And having the opportunity, though, to return to my hometown, the town that raised me, to start my family, was something I couldn’t pass up. I was absolutely excited to do that. And so been there since 2001. Been over 20 years. Twenty-one years.

Leahy: And what’s your practice? Are you a sole practitioner?

Barrett: I’m a member of a firm. It’s Ramsey, Thornton, Barrett and Osborn. There are four of us in the office, and we do mostly real estate-related stuff, business formations, probate, stuff like that.

And we own Dickson Title. So where I’ve met most of the people in the community is doing real estate transactions for folks.

Leahy: Been pretty busy of late.

Barrett: I would imagine, you would think during March of 2020 things would dry up and slow down and the economy would go south. But we have been busier than we’ve ever been for two years now.

Leahy: Describe your political philosophy.

Barrett: Look, I’m a Christian conservative. I’m a father. I’m a home-school dad. I believe in conservative principles and probably would be considered by a lot to be pretty hardcore conservative.

Leahy: Let me ask you the big question: We ask this of everybody who’s in the Tennessee General Assembly. Will you, if you are elected, will you vote to tell the U.S. Department of Education to keep their money and stay out of Tennessee education?

Barrett: It’s funny you should ask that question, because obviously here in recent news we’ve seen where a lot of things are coming down from the federal government.

Just last week there was an article that President Biden wants to link the free and reduced lunch money that comes from the federal government to have bathrooms that are unisex.

Stuff like that. The state of Tennessee needs to tell the federal government to stick it. We don’t need their money and we’ll handle ourselves down here just fine.

Listen to the interview:

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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.

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One Thought to “GOP State House Candidate for Dickson County, Jody Barrett: ‘We Don’t Need Their Money and We’ll Handle Ourselves Down Here Just Fine’”

  1. 83ragtop50

    Free lunches and other meals are not free. They cost tax dollars and come with all kinds of strings attached. Tell the feds to keep their (actually our) money and get out of Tennessee schools.