PHOTO: Mark Green sits down in Franklin for a one-on-one interview with the Home Page on Thursday afternoon
BY ALEXANDER WILLIS
Ahead of the November 6 midterm elections, Republican nominee for Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District, Mark Green, described himself during a one-on-one interview with the Home Page as someone who can work across the partisan divide and be a leader.
Green, a veteran of the Iraq War, served as an infantry officer in the Army before requesting to be sent to medical school, after witnessing an event in which his father’s life was saved by surgeons.
Following his graduation from Boonshoft School of Medicine in Ohio, Green was selected to serve as a flight surgeon, where he would later go on to participate in Operation Red Dawn, the military operation responsible for Saddam Hussein’s capture.
Green later founded and served as CEO of Align MD, a healthcare staffing company, before ultimately being elected to serve in the Tennessee Senate.
“I look at my nation, and I go, wow… they need help, they need leadership,” Green said. “Despite what people say about me, I’m an across-the-aisle guy. I’ve done a ton of bills where the sponsor in the house is a Democrat, and I’m sponsoring it in the Senate. I think I can lead in Washington D.C., and they need leadership.”
One major platform Green stands on is reducing government spending. Green was instrumental in repealing Tennessee’s Hall Income Tax in 2017, receiving a coveted national award from the Tax Foundation for achievements in tax reform. The Hall Income tax was a state tax on interest and certain incomes from investments.
“[Spending] is our biggest issue, and it’s going to take leadership,” Green said. “The reason it correlates to the Hall Tax in Tennessee, is because for 30 plus years, Republicans have been saying we’ve got to get rid of the Hall Tax. Well, I go down there, [and] we got it done. We’re the second state in the nation’s history to repeal an income tax – I led that fight. So can I go to Washington D.C. and get them to finally bring in their spending? That’s the goal, [and] that’s why we’re in this fight.”
Regarding illegal immigration, Green simply said that the United States needs to enforce its laws. Green was also a primary sponsor of House Bill 2315, which effectively prohibits state and local governments from enacting sanctuary city policies, lest they lose their economic development funding.
“Very clearly, things like sanctuary cities do attract criminals,” Green said. “It’s where people can hide. The statistics are pretty clear, it is happening. So we have to solve the problem.”
Green’s long history of military experience, Green says, has instilled in him certain virtues he believes will better serve him in Washington.
“Courage, integrity and work ethic, they all kind of blend together,” Green said. “No one will outwork me. Integrity is very important. Hard work is very important.”
In a recent interview conducted by the Home Page with Green’s opponent, Justin Kanew, multiple accusations were levied against Green. Kanew described Green as “pretty extreme,” said he was “too extreme for the president,” and further criticized Green for his support of Roy Moore.
“He can say all that he wants about extreme, he’s just making stuff up,” Green said in response to Kanew’s comments. “If I’m too extreme for Trump, why did I just speak at his rally?”
In response to criticism regarding support for Roy Moore, who ran to replace the U.S. Senate seat for Alabama vacated by Jeff Sessions, Green argued in favor of due process regarding allegations that Moore had pursued relationships with underage girls years ago.
“Yeah, I wish Roy Moore would have won,” Green said. “These accusations, if they were true, Roy Moore should go to jail. But where are the accusations now? Where’s the court case? Where’s the due process here?”
Green went on to explain how he had seen false accusations first-hand, through the use of fake Facebook profiles. False information from fake Mark Green profiles were also being relayed on the encyclopedia website Wikipedia, according to Green.
“The democrats make up all kinds of stuff,” Green said. “They make these fake Facebook pages about me; one of them has said that I’m widowed. Now my wife and I, [we’ve] been here 30 years. Wikipedia picked up on the fake Facebook page, and [it] said in Wikipedia, ‘Mark Green is widowed’ – that’s your fake news.”
Green’s staff said that they had shut down more than 50 fake Facebook profiles over the last several months.
Green said that the original inspiration for a political career came to him during a reunion at West Point Military Academy.
“I went back to my 25th reunion at West Point, and the Lieutenant Governor had asked me to run to be a state senator, Ron Ramsey,” Green said. “I was honestly thinking about telling him no, because I had this foundation with these clinics that we were starting. We’re at the reunion, [and] they’re giving us this briefing.”
Green explained that the briefing detailed the mission of West Point, which is to “train leaders who will serve the nation for their lifetime.” Green described that night as a “moment of being” and an “awakening,” and that he had called Ramsey the next day, saying he’d run for office.
“I believe in smaller government, less taxes,” Green said. “I believe in freedom.”
The midterm elections are on November 6, 2018. Visit the Tennessee government website for voting locations and information.