To view the Candidate Directory for the Tennessee District 32 Special Election, click here.
Would you support or oppose legislation that would prohibit abortion except when necessary to prevent the death of the mother?
Would you support or oppose legislation that would make either sexual orientation or gender identity/expression a new protected class under Tennessee’s civil rights laws?
Would you support or oppose a bill to amend Tennessee’s marriage statute to expressly authorize the issuance of marriage licenses to two people of the same sex?
Would you support or oppose legislation that would establish a $15 per hour minimum wage in Tennessee?
Would you support or oppose legislation to allow the state to defend public K-12 schools that are sued because they designate the use of locker rooms and bathrooms on the basis of biological sex instead of the gender by which a student identifies?
Do you support or oppose the proposition, advanced by a certain business coalition, that the bill described in question 5 is “discriminatory” and “would harm our economy and damage our state’s reputation”?
Currently, a majority of the Justices on the Tennessee Supreme Court select the state’s Attorney General and Reporter. Would you support or oppose an amendment to the state Constitution that allows the Legislature to elect the Attorney General and Reporter in the same manner that it elects the Secretary of State, Comptroller, and Treasurer?
Would you support or oppose an amendment to the state Constitution that allows the Governor to appoint the state’s Attorney General and Reporter subject to confirmation by the Legislature, as now happens with the appointment of the state’s Supreme Court Justices?
Would you support or oppose legislation, like Insure Tennessee proposed by Governor Haslam in 2015, that would expand Medicaid coverage in Tennessee beyond the Medicaid-eligible population?
Do you support or oppose the decision by the state’s Department of Health to disregard the state’s current adoption laws and allow a child’s original birth certificate to show that the child has two mothers simply because one of the women is married to the child’s biological mother?
Would you support or oppose a bill that would prohibit the state or local governmental entities from either giving preference to or discriminating against a business entity in awarding of grants or contracts based on whether the business has made sexual orientation or gender identity a protected status under its personnel policies, assuming that either of such statuses is not otherwise required by federal law?
Would you support or oppose legislation to award all of Tennessee’s Electors in a presidential election to the Party of the candidate who wins the national popular vote?
Do you support or oppose legalizing horse racing tracks in Tennessee at which bets can be placed on races?
There is a school of thought that the Constitution is a “living” document, meaning its various provisions are evolving and should be interpreted in the context of contemporary societal mores. Would you support or oppose a nominee to the Tennessee Supreme Court if there is credible evidence that the nominee believes the state or federal Constitution should be viewed or interpreted as a “living” document?
Would you support or oppose legislation to ensure that an adoption agency with a sincerely held belief that marriage is only one man and one woman would not lose its state license to make adoption placements if it only placed children in homes into which the marriage was of one man and one woman?
Explain your view of state government’s role in relation to economic growth and/or job creation.
My district unquestionably needs economic development opportunities and job creation. While I feel strongly that the role of government should be limited, I do believe there are actions that a state government can take to encourage growth of the private sector and thereby job creation. Increasing government spending in the hope of priming the pump and creating a demand for goods and services is not one of them. Rather than expand government spending, the government should be focused on removing obstacles impeding growth and development such as burdensome taxes, unnecessary or overly restrictive regulations and entry barriers to entrepreneurs. The government should also evaluate proposed legislation within a public policy framework to encourage free market competition.
What are your thoughts about a parent of a child in a low performing public school being provided a voucher equal to the amount of the state’s per-student expenditure that would be applied toward the child’s private school tuition?
I support implementation of a school voucher program inasmuch as it: (1) equips parents with the freedom to choose the best school for their child based upon their child’s individual and unique needs and the family’s values; (2) allows lower-income families the opportunity to a better education for their children; and (3) creates a competitive model that incentivizes improvement in education and leads to an overall increase in performance among both public and private schools.
What is one of the most satisfying things you have ever done or accomplished and what made it so satisfying to you?
The most satisfying thing I have ever done is be a father to my two daughters. Being a parent is one of the most important things God entrusted to mankind and is the one thing that has brought me the greatest joy and fulfillment. It is an indescribable privilege to be both a protector and a teacher to my children and an inexpressible emotion to hear the word “Daddy” excitedly screamed everyday that I walk through the door and to bear witness to and assist with the fulfillment of my children’s dreams. I have gained a unique strength and tenacity that no trainer, gym or any other life experience would have ever been able to teach or provide to me, and, for that, I will always be eternally grateful to my children.
What personal qualities or experiences do you think will best serve you in your role as a state legislator?
As an Eagle Scout, I am honest and trustworthy. I believe that honesty is the best policy not only in life, but also in the legislature. A legislator’s effectiveness and reputation are only as good as his word. Without truth there can be no trust, and promises made should be kept. A good working relationship between a legislator and his constituents depends on their ability to believe what you say. I am committed to truth and honoring my word.
As a trial attorney, my training and career has centered around communication, which is critical to be an effective legislator. Communication with constituents for whom you work is critical in order to properly represent their voice and perspective, not those of your own. There should be regular communication with constituents through town hall meetings to notify them of proposed legislation and solicit their feedback in order to know how best to vote to represent their opinion. Communication is also key to sponsoring and successfully passing legislation for the benefit of constituents.
As a former Assistant District Attorney, I have first-hand experience with the drug crisis plaguing our communities and a unique perspective on criminal justice reform to combat it. I also have experience with problems created by illegal immigration and the need to end benefits to illegal aliens, which are incentivizing them to enter our country and state. I have also been exposed to problems with our welfare system and the need for immediate reform to ensure that: (1) drug addicted recipients are not allowed to indefinitely draw money from hard working taxpayers or easily trade their food stamps for 50 cents on the dollar to sustain their alcohol and/or drug habits, (2) able bodied individuals do not continue to draw free housing, utility vouchers, free healthcare, free food, free cell phones and free gas cards when they simply refuse to work; and (3) Christian family values are not eroded by welfare policies.
As a Christian, husband and father, I have a strong commitment to conservative values from which I will not stray and against which I cannot be bought or bribed.
What bill that passed in the last General Assembly would you have voted against and why, or what bill that was not passed in the last General Assembly do you wish had passed and why?
I was dismayed by the passage of the "Improve Act" (also known as the "Gas Tax" Act) and would have voted against it inasmuch as I feel that it was the single largest tax increase in the history of Tennessee and was unnecessary in light of the over $1 billion in excess taxes collected by the State and the growing State surplus. I was equally dismayed by the failure to pass the bill sponsored by Rep. Andy Holt and Sen. Joey Hensley that would have allowed the Tennessee Attorney General to defend schools sued for policies that assign students to bathrooms of their sex at birth and would have protected teachers who prevented students from entering bathrooms or locker rooms of the opposite sex where other students were undressing. I am fundamentally against allowing boys or men (irrespective of the “gender” with which they “identify”) to enter a bathroom or locker room with my daughters and would have strongly supported and fought for passage of this bill had I been serving in the TN legislature.