NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Republican State Senator Mae Beavers says she won’t be blocking anyone from campaign social media accounts, will be looking forward to debates with other candidates, and will try to ask President Donald Trump to campaign for her as she runs for governor.
They were just some of the answers from an open media news conference from the longtime Wilson County lawmaker after she officially announced a bid to seek the GOP nomination over the weekend.
In doing so, she became the first Tennessee lawmaker so far to officially join the race, although Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell and State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris are likely to join the field as well.
“You the people have the power to send a message to the political class and take back your state,” Sen, Beavers declared before a crowd of at least one hundred not counting about two dozen protesters who were also there with signs.
While calling herself a conservative voice not often heard by her own party, the lawmaker listed the principles that have guided her since entering elected politics in 1990 while serving in the Wilson County Commission.
“The sanctity of life, small and efficient state government, limited and constitutional national government, transparency and accountability in our elected officials. low taxes, commitment to the 2nd Amendment. respect for individual liberty and most importantly. reliance on our creator God,” she told her supporters.
“Amen, amen,” was the response heard from some in the crowd.
Protestors, including some of them at Saturday’s announcement, have sometimes sat outside her legislative office.
The senator became a target from some of them after she walked out of a news conference in February where she and co-sponsor Rep. Mark Pody introduced the so-called “bathroom bill” and Defense of Natural Marriage Act, which eventually were withdrawn later in the session.
“We had the votes at one time in committee, but leadership did not want the bill to pass,” she told reporters Saturday.
Beavers ended up blocking some of those weighing in on personal social media accounts about the two controversial bills while also enlisting private security for her office.
The Senator was also one of Donald Trump’s earliest Tennessee supporters. Beavers was asked if she might ask the president to campaign for her.
“Well, I am sure we will try,” she grinned.
Another world leader inspired a nickname for the senator. Like Margaret Thatcher, some on Tennessee’s Capitol Hill have called Mae Beavers the “Iron Lady.”
The senator said she likes the nickname and knows it will be tested as she heads out on the campaign trail for governor.