Wilson announces campaign for District 17 Senate special election

Staff Reports • Sep 15, 2017 at 5:16 PM

Conservative Army veteran Steve Wilson announced Friday his candidacy for the District 17 state Senate special election.

The seat opened when Mae Beavers decided to vacate her seat in the Senate to run for governor. Wilson qualified as a Republican, with primaries scheduled for Nov. 7 and General Election on Dec. 19.

“After much thought, family discussion and prayer, I have come to the point in my life that I’m able to give back,” said Wilson. “One of the best and most important ways to do that to help others and to assist others is to offer one’s self up for public service. The opportunity has arrived. It was a quick opportunity, but this has been a much thought out situations that I’ve had for a long, long time.”

Wilson said he is a longtime member of Immanuel Baptist Church and cites his military experience as a good qualification for the job. He spent more than 40 years in the U.S. Army and the Tennessee National Guard and retired as a colonel of field artillery.

“I believe both my education and, maybe more importantly, my life experiences have given me the motivation to enter this race,” said Wilson. “I’ve always been a student of politics, and I can readily remember my grandfather and my father telling me at an early age, ‘there are two things that dictate our lives, whether we’re involved or whether we’re not.’ Those two activities are religion and politics.”

Wilson said he plans to use his personal experience in the job and put the needs of the district above his own personal needs.

Education and infrastructure are two topics Wilson said are important to him in the election. Wilson said he is a strong believer in the public education system and thinks teachers in the public school system shouldn’t have to go out of pocket to provide students with the tools they need to learn.

“Those needs of those children are identified, can be identified, can be quantified, and then we need to put the appropriate money in that school budget to pay for that child’s required education,” said Wilson.

As far as infrastructure, Wilson believes maintaining the infrastructure within the district can only serve to bring more jobs, as well as qualified workers, to the area.

“The roads and bridges, that in itself brings jobs but on a bigger basis, it provides access and it also improves the opportunities to recruit businesses and factories,” said Wilson. “When you have the proper infrastructure and you have the trained workforce, and they’re available and willing, and you have all the components necessary for company A and company B, you’re in the catbird’s seat.”

Wilson’s wife, Rita, currently serves in the Tennessee National Guard. The couple has two sons, Cory and Clint, who both serve in the National Guard. They also have three grandchildren. 

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