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August Heats Up With State Primaries

State primary elections are looming in Rutherford County. Things started to get exciting in 2007 when State Rep. John Hood announced he would not be running for reelection in 2008 to his seat in the Tennessee House.

Now, with early voting already underway, Rutherford County is a hotbed of election activity, with five candidates going into August primaries hoping to fill Hood’s spot, and contenders for every seat but the sixth congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Democratic U.S. Congressman Bart Gordon will run unopposed in the primary, but independent Chris Baker will be on the ballot in November. Baker is a 30-year-old former member of the Band of Blue, and a supporter of Ron Paul.

A look at the state elections:

Tennessee Senate?16th District

Incumbent: Jim Tracy (R)

Democratic Primary Candidates:

Dee Butler

Jean Anne Rogers

In the 16th District State Senate, incumbent Jim Tracy is running unopposed for the Republican nomination, with Democratic candidates Dee Butler and Jean Anne Rogers competing in the Aug. 7 primary.

Butler is a Rutherford County native, mother of three, and former educator with a history in political organization and fundraising. Her platforms include environmental education, scholarships, Books From Birth and Community Watch organizations.

Rogers says her political beliefs are similar to those of U.S. Congressman Bart Gordon and Governor Phil Bredesen. The mother of three is an optometrist in Murfreesboro, and serves as vice-chair of the Murfreesboro Power Board. Her goal in office is “to provide good paying jobs, quality education and affordable health care.”

Tennessee House?48th District

Incumbent: John Hood (D)

Democratic Primary Candidates:

Rick Parks

Tim Tipps

Republican Primary Candidates:

Joe Carr

Jon Jaques

Lou Ann Zelenik

Tennessee’s 48th district in the State House of Representatives is being vacated by Rep. Hood. There are three candidates vying for the Republican nomination, Joe Carr, Jon Jaques and Lou Ann Zelenik. Democrats Rick Parks and Tim Tipps are running for their party’s nomination.

Parks is a retired Chief of Police who has served as a firefighter for 24 years. He also served in the United States Navy during the Vietnam conflict and the Cold War. He attends church here in Murfreesboro, and volunteers with United Way and the American Red Cross.

Tipps says he wants to continue the many years of “effective and ethical leadership” the 48th district has been under. He is an MTSU graduate, and lives in Murfreesboro with his wife, Lisa, and their two children. He is for health care reform, safer schools and innovative agriculture, and against illegal immigration and the dumping of nuclear waste in Tennessee.

Republican candidate Carr is a family man and business owner. He is a member of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, and promises to “be an advocate for our conservative values in the State Legislature.”

Jacques is a certified public accountant who advises sound money management based on controlled spending. It’s an idea he hopes to apply to Tennessee. He is against a state income tax, abortion, lifetime Welfare enrollment, and lobbyists, but says yes to personal responsibility, competitive education, gun ownership and smaller government.

Zelenik is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and a mother of one who lives in Murfreesboro. She is a strong proponent of the Second Amendment and traditional life and values. She is against a state income tax and illegal immigration, and interested in recruiting higher paying jobs in the 48th district.

Tennessee House?34th District

Incumbent: Donna Rowland (R)

Democratic Primary Candidates:

Jerome Perkins

Rishi K. Saxena

In the State of Tennessee House of Representatives 34th District, incumbent Donna Rowland will be running for the Republican Party this fall, where she will face one of two Democratic candidates: Jerome Perkins or Rishi K. Saxena.

Saxena has lived in Murfreesboro for 13 years, and runs his own medical practice. He is married with two children and his missions include keeping jobs in Tennessee, no state income tax and affordable health care for all Tennesseans.

Perkins is a father of three who lives in Murfreesboro with his wife, Voletta. He serves as Assistant Athletic Director for the Tennessee Youth Football Association and works as a supply chain manager. His plans for the 34th district include creating more accessible health care, eliminating sales tax on food, stimulating the economy and protecting Tennessee’s family values.

Tennessee House?49th District

Incumbent: Kent Coleman (D)

Republican Primary Candidates:

Kevin Fisher

Rick Womick

In the state’s 49th district Democratic incumbent Kent Coleman is again running for office. Republican candidates Kevin Fisher and Rick Womick will be facing off in the Aug. 7 primary.

Fisher is a self-proclaimed “conservative activist.” He is a big proponent of the right to bear arms and of pro-life legislation. Fisher will be running against airline pilot Rick Womick in the primary.

Womick vows to to rein in the ever-increasing state budget and fight the idea of a state income tax. He believes education should be funded before anything else and will fight illegal immigration in Tennessee by not allowing illegal immigrants to acquire drivers licenses and to require proof of citizenship before anyone can register to vote or receive taxpayer funded benefits.

For a complete list of voting locations and information on registering to vote in this or any other election, visit rutherfordcountytn.gov/election.

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