By EMILY R. WEST
During the weekend, the Washington Post released a video from 11 years ago that featured Presidential Candidate Donald Trump making lewd statements about women.
After its release, several Republican across the country – including Gov. Bill Haslam – said they disavowed the nominee.
Williamson’s elected Republicans said they still stand by the party’s nominee:
Sen. Jack Johnson – 23rd District (R-Franklin)
Like all Americans, I was disgusted with what Mr. Trump said in an off-camera interview in 2005. As a husband and a father of a daughter, I was disgusted by what he said. I was encouraged that he apologized in the debate and acknowledged it was a completely inappropriate thing to say. It’s now up to the voters of America to accept his apology.
I am not prepared to call on him to step down. And not to get into the weeds, but the ballots have already been printed. I don’t think he can be replaced by Gov. Pence or anyone else for that matter. I am not sure that could be done even if Trump decided to do it.
I am not calling for that, but I am expressing my disgust of what he said in the recording. I am joining all other Americans to evaluate his apology and what to do next.
Incumbent Glen Casada – District 63 (R-Thompson’s Station)
The Governor is half right. But are we forgetting how Hillary single handedly suppressed allegations of sexual assaults of interns in the White House, but more importantly rape? There were three people who were allegedly raped by Bill Clinton, and she single handedly suppressed them. Maybe both of them should step aside.
But we have two candidates – one who is reckless in his statements and one who suppressing criminal activity. You have to vote for someone. You have Hillary, and you have Donald. I will vote for Donald. His sins are not as bad.
Incumbent Congressman Marsha Blackburn – Seventh District (R-Brentwood)
His comments are indefensible. While I do not agree with everything that he says, I share the same concerns on major issues facing our nation. The issues of national security, economic security, and religious liberty deserve our attention and best efforts.
Sam Whitson – Republican nominee for District 65
Regarding the national election, I’m just trying win the local 65th House race. I think it’s fortunate for our district that we are not engaged in such a bitter partisan election at this level. I intend to keep it that way.
Both Democratic candidates running for seats in the state house also responded to the controversy, with Casada’s opponent Courtenay Rogers focusing on Casada rather than Trump.
Courtenay Rogers – Democratic nominee for District 63
As a woman and mother, I find my opponent’s comments today both patronizing and alarming. One would hope that Representative Casada would be focused on local issues rather than weighing in on what he describes as the “sins” of a presidential candidate. It’s pathetic that Williamson County is currently being represented in the state house by a man who would stand by Donald Trump, a man who objectifies women, over Tennessee’s Governor Bill Haslam.
The folks I’ve met while campaigning want a representative who will spend her time and energy focused on pressing state issues like full funding for education, addressing acute traffic problems and maintaining balanced growth. Williamson voters showed us in March that their preference is not Donald Trump.
In the March 1 primary, Williamson County was the sole place in the state where Trump did not lead in the race for the nomination. Instead, voters chose Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Whitson’s opponent had to say about the issue:
Holly McCall – Democratic nominee for District 65
I’m focused on our campaign in District 65, but I’ll address this: no decent person cannot be appalled and offended by Donald Trump’s comments that have recently been exposed. Particularly in light of the sexual harassment issues that have been prevalent in the Tennessee Legislature recently, it’s not just important, it’s necessary we have a representative who won’t be afraid to speak up strongly against inappropriate behavior or actions and won’t shy away from taking a stand. There’s nothing partisan about doing the right thing.
Rep. Charles Sargent did not respond to requests for comment.