By BROOKE WANSER
In the Tennessee state house race, District 63 Rep. Glen Casada, the 17-year incumbent, has a challenger.
RaeShawn Sanchez, who goes by Rae, is the director of neighborhood services for Graceworks Ministries, and has lived in Williamson County since 2005.
“I’ve been boots on the ground here working with Graceworks, working with people who are affluent and those who are in need,” she said.
“I think sometimes, and especially now, the political climate is not conducive to conversation. I’m a big person who believes in conversation.”
In her role at work, Sanchez said she experiences the effects of the broken welfare system, including a cycle of poverty. She wants to push for reform and opportunities for the poor to receive relevant education.
In Williamson County, she said a push for more affordable housing could be a grand opportunity.
“Williamson County is in a very unique position to be the leaders of showing the United States and then the world how to do this,” Sanchez said. “Not Nashville, Williamson County.”
And as the widow of a husband who died of complications due to pneumonia, she said she understands tribulation and has a great “American story.”
Originally from Ohio, Sanchez remarried, and now is a mother in a blended family of six children. But she said her family would not deter her from fully serving the people of Tennessee in a political capacity.
“I have a lot of plates to juggle, but I believe I do it well,” she said.
Working in Williamson County Schools as a substitute teacher for seven years gave Sanchez an up close look at one of the fastest growing school districts in the state.
“I want to be change people can see in their paycheck, at their front door, in their neighborhoods and in their churches,” she said. “That’s a large and slow and steady thing. We need fresh eyes on things in the state, we need new voices, we need different voices, we need people who have been around the constituents.”
Family: Husband, Nino, six children
Education: Bachelor’s in communications from Wright State University, Master’s in psychology from the University of Phoenix in Nashville.
Occupation: Director of Neighborhood Services for Graceworks Ministries
Community involvement: Member of the Franklin Housing Commission, Williamson County CASA, Rotary Club of Franklin at Breakfast
Address: 1608 Birchwood Circle, Franklin
Visit her website here.
The early voting period will be held July 13 through July 28, and the state primary will be held on Thursday, Aug. 2. The voter registration deadline is Tuesday, July 3.