On Tuesday evening, candidates for the state senate special election gave competing visions for the future of Tennessee. Democratic candidate Gayle Jordan and Republican candidate Shane Reeves presented voters with their views on issues ranging from healthcare to education and more.
Here’s a few highlights from both Reeves and Jordan. Make sure to watch the video below to see full answers from both candidates.
What makes you the candidate to vote for?
“I’ve spent my entire life in the business sector. I’ve spent my life solving problems and being innovative. Taking a common-sense business approach to serve in office, specifically at the state legislature, is what we need now-a-days.” – Shane Reeves
“We have gotten out of balance here in Tennessee. Anytime we’re directed by one party, I think we have a loss. There are so many voices not being heard. Solutions not being heard because all we’re hearing is one side… We have a two party system for a reason. There are innovative, creative, and new ideas that we’re not hearing. I like to think my voice comes from the voice of the party of district 14 and that’s what qualifies me.” – Gayle Jordan
If elected, what are the top one or two things you’d like to accomplish during your term in office?
“Our rural hospital closures have gone from being an urgency to an emergency. The problem is there’s no end in sight until we expand Medicaid. Our working folks who don’t have healthcare go to our emergency rooms because it’s the only option they have for treatment. Our rural hospitals cut staff, cut the budget, and they eventually close. This isn’t a sustainable program.” – Gayle Jordan
“I would have to focus on healthcare. It’s what I’ve done my entire life. Our healthcare system is fragmented, it’s expensive. We need to take a hard look at some public/private partnerships and how we can introduce more consumerism into the healthcare market. We’ve got to find ways to drive down costs, increase competition, and continue to have great quality.” – Shane Reeves
What would you say to newly eligible voters to encourage them to vote?
“Education equals jobs. We’ve got to make sure we’re providing a good education. We’ve got to provide good opportunities for young people getting out of school. And not everybody needs to go to college. Some young people need to go to vocational school. Some into the military. Some may need to just plug into the private sector in some way. We need to make the platform in our school systems so they can make the leap to have a good job in Tennessee.” – Shane Reeves
“In the last year and a half, we’ve all learned the lesson that democracy takes defending. Democracy takes involvement. As I’ve talked to young people, I’m so encouraged. I’m encouraged by their passion, their engagement. I’m encouraged by their drive and innovation. This particular group gives me hope for the future.” – Gayle Jordan
“I think it’s important to understand as part of this election process, me and my opponent – we truly do have a significant contrast between us. Voters need to take the time to really research that. We have different worldviews. We have different backgrounds. We have different politics. I think you’ve seen some of that tonight.
My worldview comes from my Christian faith. It serves as a moral compass and a filter on how I look at so many things in the world. How I look at family, parenting, healthcare, education, and immigration. My faith drives a lot of how I look at the world.” – Shane Reeves
“You’ve had the opportunity to hear both of the candidates’ vision for district 14. Shane, in his own words, is a Trump Republican, committed to furthering Trump’s agenda in Tennessee and everything that means. If that’s the direction you think Tennessee is prepared to go, you have a clear choice in selecting Shane.
If however, you want a state senator who will represent everyone in a fair, equal, open, honest measure. A state senator who believes we’re stronger when we embrace diversity instead of fear it. A state senator who believes that our strength lies in our inclusiveness, who’s moved by compassion from her fellow citizens, who wants to protect everyone’s religious freedom, and who wants to build a Tennessee that works for everyone and not just the fortunate few, you too have a clear choice.” – Gayle Jordan
Early voting starts next week. Find your guide to the special election here.