House Speaker Beth Harwell running for Tennessee governor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell says she is running for Tennessee governor.

Harwell told The Tennessean that she has “a proven, practical results record” with nearly 30 years of legislative experience including six years in leadership. Harwell cited her work on issues ranging from taxes to education during an interview at her Nashville home.

When Harwell was elected House speaker in 2011, she because the first woman to serve in the post and she is among the longest-serving current members in the House.

See also: Longtime Johnson City realtor, Kay White, plans to run for TN governor

Other Republicans running to succeed term-limited Republic Gov. Bill Haslam next year include Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd, Williamson County businessman Bill Lee and state Sen. Mae Beavers

The following is release from Beth Harwell for Governor:

Nashville, Tenn. — Beth Harwell, Tennessee’s Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, today announced her campaign for Governor of Tennessee.

“Tennessee needs someone who possesses the experience from day one to lead our state to the next level and who has a steady hand when challenges come our way,” Harwell said. “As Governor, I will lead on jobs, cutting taxes, guaranteeing every child has a great school, and ensuring our Tennessee values are protected. Every Tennessean should have every opportunity to succeed and prosper in our state. That’s why I am running to be Tennessee’s next Governor.”

Harwell, a longtime conservative and former Tennessee Republican Party Chairman, has presided over the Tennessee House of Representatives as the legislature has enacted some of the most conservative reforms in the country. Harwell and her colleagues are the only legislature in the United States to eliminate three taxes: the death tax, gift tax, and a phase out of the Hall Income Tax. She also oversaw cuts in business taxes and taxes for elderly and veterans. In addition, the General Assembly passed, and the voters of Tennessee ratified, a constitutional amendment to permanently ban a state income tax. Tennessee has one of the lowest tax burdens of any state and the lowest debt per capita.

Harwell’s conservative record also includes:

• Education reforms that have led to Tennessee becoming one of the fastest improving states in the nation;
• Replacing Common Core;
• Reforming Tennessee’s worker’s compensation system, unemployment insurance system, and state pension systems;
• Fighting to protect Tennesseans from human trafficking and sexual predators;
• Leading opposition of sanctuary city policies;
• Supporting law enforcement;
• Creating of a Task Force on Opioid Abuse to address how Tennessee can best confront the opioid crisis.

“More Tennesseans are working now than ever before, and we are one of the fastest improving states in education. But these gains should just be the beginning. We need to maintain principled leadership with a clear vision of the path ahead and build on our successes,” Harwell said.

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