Just about everyone running for Legislature in Rutherford County is trying to claim the conservative mantle. That's what the quotations from the Daily News Journal would indicate. The paper talked to several of them at a candidate forum at the Rockvale Community Center on Monday.
Joe Carr, a Republican running for House District 48, is fiscally conservative and the same goes on moral issues. But he also wants term limits. "We need term limits in the Legislature," he said. "Almost 90 percent of incumbents out there keep getting re-elected because they use their money and power at the Legislature to help with their campaigns." Never mind that the voters picked them.
Jon Jaques, one of his primary opponents, thinks there's something to the fact that the "budget has grown four times faster than personal income." Even if that's true, I'm not sure what the connection is. In terms of immigration, "The problem is that we don't know who the people in our county are," he pointed out. I'd never thought of it that way...just like the budget analogy.
If Democrat Rick Parks is a conservative, the paper didn't note it. His wife, Lisa, was at the event, since Mr. Parks was working at the Fire Department at the time. She said her husband understands the needs of working families and knows what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck. Moreover, she said Rutherford County is a place Rick Parks is "proud to call home." Not much to argue with there.
Democrat Tim Tipps believes a power higher than the Speaker will be of help if he gets elected: his faith in God will help guide him to the House. But he also talked about the budget that was on everyone's mind, "We've got to deal with the economy and be fiscally conservative," Tipps said.
Republican Lou Ann Zelenik is running against the Governor. She criticized money being spent on the governor's mansion, "including an underground party room which is not a necessity," while "MTSU needs a new science building." No one asked whether she'd support a science wing of the Governor's mansion and an underground party room at MTSU. Someone ought to poll the students on that. I'll give her credit, though. Of all the Republicans running against the Governor from whom I've seen comment, she actually picks a vulnerable point of attack.