This year's midterm elections won’t just set the tone for the next two years on the national front; the outcomes of state races will also provide insight into how newly redistricted areas will vote in the future. Below, we've laid out our picks for the most impactful political campaigns in the Middle Tennessee area.
The Pamphleteer absolutely anticipates Governor Bill Lee’s victory in the gubernatorial race and we are highly supportive of keeping a conservative in office. There are a few key reasons we find this win crucial for Tennessee. First, we’re certain you noticed the collective effort by Tennessee media to completely destroy the public’s opinion of charter schools and student voucher initiatives. So-called educational advocates and investigative reporters repeatedly pointed to “Christian nationalism” as the dormant, secret objective of those who support school choice, voucher programs, and funding students directly versus increasing the funding of existing public school systems. Despite his dropping the ball recently, no other gubernatorial candidate on the ballot is more likely to continue to make the necessary decisions in defense of this positive trend in Tennessee education more than Governor Lee himself; it is his initiative, after all.
Furthermore, we anticipate a change in leadership dynamics from the executive branch due to the new attorney general. General Skrmetti has barely had time to get his feet wet since stepping into office in September, but from what we’ve seen, his willingness to both anticipate and take action against federal overreach may pack the punch Tennesseans have been hoping for. The desire for a more assertive executive branch is common among Tennessee Republicans. Given the dynamics we already see emerging from the AG’s office, the two offices may play off of each other quite well in the future.
It is true that Andy Ogles came out with some of the strongest objections against vaccine mandates, shutdowns, and federal overreach while serving as the mayor of Maury County, but he makes our list for a different reason. As you know, Ogles is running for a seat in the newly-redrawn fifth district. A Republican hasn’t represented Nashville in Congress since 1875. This is a historic opportunity for Republicans to pick up a congressional seat, not to mention a chance to set a precedent for the district’s elections going forward.
Though we anticipate a landslide victory for Rep. Mark Green, the incumbent running for re-election in the seventh district, Green’s hardline stances against red flag laws and gun restrictions will play a significant role as we head into a “lame duck” session. Post-midterms, we’ll likely see an onslaught of overreaching legislation pushed through Congress by the Democrats, including a number of gun restriction bills.
It’s a rare thing for a politician to hold steadfast to his principles, especially when doing so could result in losing out on support for some of his key constituents (in this case, veterans). Green’s unwavering support of 2A rights has earned him a spot on this list.
Senator Jack Johnson, an incumbent, is running unopposed for state senate district 27. We’ve seen Johnson work closely with Matt Walsh regarding gender-affirming surgeries for minors, and anticipate Johnson's participation in helping craft legislation relating to those issues next session. We also saw Johnson take a strong stance against the $500M stadium bond deal. As we go into the General Assembly Session this year, we expect to see more key legislation coming from Johnson in reaction to Metro Council barring the RNC from coming to Nashville and leading a crusade against constitutional amendment one. For these reasons, Johnson made our list.
Michelle Foreman’s race made our list because she’s the Republican running in the state House’s newly-minted fifty-ninth district. As we note above, a conservative victory will impact this district’s future electoral patterns. Foreman is in a tight race against Democrat Caleb Hemmer.
Constitutional amendment one is the right-to-work amendment, an adjustment that would prevent discrimination against workers who do not wish to unionize. Codifying this seemingly-basic liberty into our state’s constitution brushes up against classic conservative principles, but adding extra protection to Tennessee workers’ right to choose unionization has become necessary due to the political weaponization of enforced unionization.
Though twenty-eight states are currently considered right-to-work states by law, we’ve seen state and federal-level attempts to invalidate right-to-work protections. In fact, just last year U.S. House and Senate Democrats sponsored and reintroduced the PRO Act: a pro-union bill that would “wipe out right-to-work labor laws in 27 states,” according to Center Square. This trend– plus the obsessive pushback and illogical arguments from local Democrats against amendment one–should put Tennesseans on alert; after all, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
We at The Pamphleteer don’t consider amendment one’s protection against forced unionization to be a “Republican” value; it is a basic freedom that is not being recognized and is instead being weaponized, by the left. Codifying the language in our state's constitution doesn't put unions on defense, it merely prevents unions from taking the offensive position in enforcing unionization. The overreaching politicization and enforced democratic process, sometimes more akin to mob rule, that activist unionization created has led to corruption.
The real reason for the propaganda and pushback from the left against right-to-work laws that prevent forced unionization is because Democrats have monopolized collective bargaining and use it to cloak cash flow into the Democratic party.
According to Open Secrets, “total labor sector campaign contributions peaked during the 2016 election cycle when groups and individuals poured more than $217 million into races nationwide. Almost 90 percent of those contributions went to Democrats, which is consistent with at least two decades of labor contribution trends.”
Regardless of your political affiliation, if you want to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to protecting a worker’s right to choose whether they want to unionize, vote yes on amendment one. The hyper-partisanship regarding a worker's right to choose whether to join a union–a basic freedom–is the reason amendement one made our list.