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Beavers to run for governor

Xavier Smith • May 28, 2017 at 5:44 PM

State Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, plans to announce her run for Tennessee governor Saturday after she debated the idea earlier this year.

Beavers will formally announce her bid Saturday at 1 p.m. at Charlie Daniels Park in Mt. Juliet, according to a release.

“Over the past several weeks, it has become increasingly clear that conservatives in Tennessee are looking for bold leadership that will not shrink from standing up and speaking up on the key issues facing our state,” Beavers said in a statement. “President Donald J. Trump is taking the lead in Washington to ‘drain the swamp’ there, but we have our own swamp in Tennessee and I intend to do the same thing in the Volunteer State.”

In the release, Beavers identified terrorism and abortion as her top priorities.

“The terrorist threat from radical Islam not only impacts other countries or major cities in our own country — that threat is also targeted at our communities and our families in Tennessee, and I intend to make security a centerpiece of my campaign,” Beavers said.

She said she intends to focus on campaign promises after the election if she is elected.

“As Governor, I will make sure that Tennessee focuses on protecting children before they are born and then providing them a safe and secure environment to grow up in after they are born,” said Beavers, who said the security extends to “making sure that men don’t go into the bathrooms and locker rooms of little girls.”

Beavers said she intends to focus on Tennessee taxpayers, which would include a full effort to repeal the recently approved gas tax portion of Gov. Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act.

“I didn’t lead the fight against a state income tax and spend the last several decades in public office working against tax increases in order to have a Republican majority legislature impose a tax increase on fuel while we have a $2 billion dollar surplus,” she said.

Beavers served as chair of the Tennessee Republican Delegation to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last year.

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

Beavers sponsored 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. Both bills failed this year.

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

Beavers will face Democratic former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and conservatives Randy Boyd, former state commissioner of Economic and Community Development, and Franklin businessman Bill Lee.

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