Beavers considering run for governor

Xavier Smith • Mar 20, 2017 at 3:18 PM

Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, said she is in the early stages of a possible run at the state’s top position after the leading conservative candidate might be headed to the nation’s capitol.

Sen. Mark Green has emerged as a leading candidate for President Donald Trump’s Secretary of the Army, which would eliminate the most conservative candidate for the Tennessee governor position.

Beavers said the idea to run for governor emerged recently after several phone calls and comments from supporters, many of which she spoke with at the recent Wilson County Republican Party Convention.

“I said on Friday I would throw out the idea and see what happens,” said Beavers, who said she has not made a definite decision on her campaign.

“Sen. Green was the most conservative candidate. A lot of people felt the need to support a candidate who shares similar views,” she said.

If Beavers decides to run, she will face the Democratic former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and conservative Randy Boyd, former state commissioner of Economic and Community Development, who have officially announced their intentions to run.

Beavers sponsors several bill this legislative session that have drew support and criticism.

The Wilson County Republican Party Executive Committee expressed support for Beavers and fellow legislator Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, and their Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act and “Bathroom Bill” legislation.

The Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act, which conflicts with the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage in 2015, failed to make it out of a House subcommittee last year.

The Bathroom Bill would require students in state high schools and colleges to use restrooms and locker room facilities that align with the sex indicated on the student’s original birth certificate.

Beavers is also the Senate sponsor for a bill introduced by Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge, that, if approved, would require the words “non-U.S. citizen,” “alien” or a symbol to appear on state-issued temporary driver license, permit or identification of any non-U.S. citizen or someone not a lawful permanent U.S. resident. 

Beavers also served as the chairwoman of the Tennessee delegation to the Republican National Convention last year and spoke with Trump and VP Mike Pence while in Cleveland.

“What impresses about Donald Trump is he is saying all of the things that have kind of been not politically correct for other politicians. I think nobody’s been addressing these problems and he’s willing to come out and talk about them and tell what all the problems are,” she said last year.

She was elected to the state Senate in 2002 and represents Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith and Wilson counties. 

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