Bryan Terry was recently reelected to be the representative for District 48, which is the eastern half of Rutherford County. Having been asked various questions from constituents, friends and co-workers following the election, Rep. Terry has submitted and shared some of the questions along with his answers.
What are the big takeaways from the presidential election?
Rep. Terry: I think there are a few lessons that can be learned. The Democrats should learn that calling a large portion of the country derogatory slurs like deplorable, racist or phobic just because one holds a different opinion is not productive. The American people rejected a divisive message based on polarization and Saul Alinsky tactics. On the Republican side, there was a repudiation of the establishment’s business-as-usual politics. Back in 2014, as a self-governance candidate, I ran as a complete outsider with a belief that “we the people” were tired of those choices. I think that sentiment holds true not just locally, but nationally.
How will a Trump administration affect the state of Tennessee?
Tennessee had very little flexibility in education, health care, economic and other policies under the Obama administration. A Clinton administration would have worsened the Federal stranglehold. Assuming President-elect Trump’s administration is friendly to the 10th Amendment, the 50 states can serve as the laboratories of democracy as intended by our founders. We will have the opportunity to advance our policies to better serve Tennesseans.
You didn’t have a primary opponent, and you had a general opponent with very little name recognition, yet you ran an extensive campaign. Why?
As a self-governance candidate and legislator, I think it is important to talk to people one on one either at their door, at events or just in the community. You get a better pulse of the community and district than when you stay in an echo chamber or just run a poll. It is truly an honor and a privilege to earn someone’s vote, and the people of District 48 need to know that I am earning their vote and support both on the campaign trail and as their voice at the Capitol.
As you campaigned this year, what did Rutherford Countians ask you about the most, or express interest in seeing happen the most?
A lot of the talk was about the presidential race. But when talking local and state issues, the burdens of Obamacare and skyrocketing insurance costs, education, jobs and transportation were frequent topics. Most liked me being an active voice at the Capitol and locally. They encouraged me to keep doing what I’m doing. For me, receiving positive feedback and outperforming election expectations provides encouragement as we move forward.
What will the priorities of the next General Assembly be?
It is my hope that Governor Haslam and the General Assembly will see the opportunity that has been presented to us with the election of Donald Trump. We have the potential to put forth proactive, conservative legislation dealing with health care, transportation, education and the economy that won’t be stonewalled at the federal level. I think those will be some of the priorities. The questions will revolve around the substance of those bills.
What will your personal priorities be in the next General Assembly?
As a representative, you often have to wear different hats and juggle various responsibilities or issues. Right now, I’ve been talking to legal services about some of the potential bills that have been brought to me by citizens. I think it is important for people to know they have a voice working for them at the Capitol. Additionally, outreach is a passion of mine. I’m looking for various ways to get people all across the spectrum involved. I’ve, also, been asked, as an opinion leader, to help forge some of the proactive measures that our General Assembly will be putting forth the next session.
What can citizens do to get involved or make a difference?
A lot of people have asked what they can do to make a difference. I would encourage people to bring forth their issues and ideas to any elected official. My office can be reached at (615) 741-2180 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m more than happy to visit with someone at the Capitol or in Murfreesboro.