The ballot box: Know before you vote in Williamson’s District 63


The ballot box: Know before you vote in Williamson’s District 63

By EMILY R. WEST

For the first time in more than a decade, District 63 will have two house choices on the ballot.

Early voting starts Wednesday, Oct. 19, among seven different locations throughout Williamson County.

But before you go to the polls, make sure you know who the candidates are, what they stand for, and their perspectives on the issues.

District 63 will have two candidates running for the state house seat along with those running for Congress. Those voters in Nolensville and Thompson’s Station will have to vote in the Board of Mayor and Alderman races as well.

Congressman Marsha Blackburn

Serving 19 counties, Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) wants to keep her seat in the United States Congress for the Tennessee Seventh District.

Blackburn – a former Tennessee state senator – has held her seat in office since 2002. She’s currently holds a seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee serving as vice chair. The committee is a hodgepodge with jurisdiction over health care, energy regulation, and telecommunications issues.

She’s also been in the political back and forth over abortion with Planned Parenthood since 2015.  She now serves as the chair to the Select Investigative Panel. It reviews the abortion business as a whole along with medical procedures.

While she does have opposition, they have been primarily quiet since they pulled papers in April. She will face Tharon Chandler (Democrat) and Leonard Ladner (Independent).

Glen Casada

After 15 years serving, state lawmaker and incumbent Glen Casada (R-Thompson’s Station) wants another turn in District 63 seat. He will face his first Democratic candidate in Courtenay Rogers.

He has served in the state legislature since 2001. He is running for re-election. In 2007 and again in 2012, Casada was elected chairman of the House Republican Caucus.

Primarily, Casada defines himself as a pro-business, low-tax legislator, usually expressing that he wants to limit government as much as possible.

He and the rest of the Republican delegation stayed quiet on traffic issues last year, urging a wait and see for Gov. Bill Haslam and TDOT Commissioner John Schroer to lay out their plans. Their solutions will go before the legislature this next session. Transportation has struck a chord with Williamson voters, often touted as the number one issue.

While not in favor of raising the gas tax, Casada has said in the last few weeks he would keep more of an open mind about the idea. The gas tax – which funds the state’s infrastructure – hasn’t been raised since the late 1980s.

This past session, he supported legislation that nixed inclusionary zoning. He also dealt with a tumultuous atmosphere in the General Assembly in dealing with now expelled member Jeremy Durham. Casada said he believed Durham’s story until the Attorney General’s report came out in July.

The report detailed various inappropriate conduct with women in the legislature. Since that time, Casada said Durham lied to him. From that point, Casada distanced himself from Durham.

Casada’s said if he were elected into the next assembly, he would like to focus on roads, helping students in failing schools, aiding residents who suffer from autism, and looking at immigration issues around the state.

While only raising $22,044 in the third quarter, Casada will end with $273,081 on hand – the most of any Williamson candidate.

Courtenay Rogers

Completely new to the political scene, Franklin mom Courtenay Rogers stepped up to run after she was asked.

Rogers – a Navy veteran and mother to a Moore Elementary third-grader – has said from the beginning education would stay her top issue. Unlike her opponent, she doesn’t support vouchers and has said she would like to see Williamson County Schools fully funded with the BEP formula. Moving back here in the early 2000s, Rogers decided she would stay, specifically for her daughter’s education.

Watching the Williamson County School Board for the past two years, Rogers said it in-part inspired her to want to serve her community.

She’s never held a public office, but said in knocking on nearly 7,000 doors most have concerns about transportation and education. She’s also focused on affordable housing, setting up her panel discussion to get a better sense of the issues and how she could address it moving forward.

Ultimately, Rogers said she believed the state house needs new and innovative ideas to take to the state legislature – a skill set she said could contribute.

Rogers said from the beginning her campaign would become a grassroots movement. In the third quarter, she raised $15,785. She has $9,709 left on hand.

Here’s where you can early vote:
BRENTWOOD

The Brentwood Library
8109 Concord Road Brentwood, TN 37027
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays

FAIRVIEW

Fairview Recreation Center
2714 Fairview Boulevard Fairview, TN 37062
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays

FRANKLIN

Williamson County Administrative Complex (Election Commission)
1320 West Main Street Franklin, TN 37064
8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays

The Factory at Franklin (near Liberty Hall)
230 Franklin Road, Franklin, TN 37064
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays

Williamson County Ag Expo Center
4215 Long Lane, Franklin, TN 37064
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays

NOLENSVILLE

Nolensville Recreation Center
7250 Nolensville Road Nolensville, TN 37135
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays

SPRING HILL

Longview Recreation Center
2909 Commonwealth Drive Spring Hill, TN 37174
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Polls are open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at your designated Election Day polling place based on your residential address.

For more information visit www.williamsonvotes.net or download the GoVoteTN voter App or call the Election Commission office at (615) 790-5711.

Emily West covers the City of Franklin, education and high school football for the Franklin Home Page. Contact her at emily@franklinhomepage.com. Follow her on Twitter via @emwest22. 

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