Harwell, Stevens back Rep. Sanderson — criticized for tax vote — in reelection bid

House Speaker Beth Harwell and state Sen. Ed Jackson praised state Rep. Bill Sanderson at a luncheon held in his honor Thursday, reports the Dyersburg State Gazette. Sanderson, facing a prospective challenger in the House District 77 Republican primary, said he’s under attack for supporting a package of tax legislation this year that included an increase in fuel tax levies.

Some excerpted quotes:

Jackson: “I believe in Bill so much, I have written a check to Bill Sanderson for his re-election in the amount of $2,500. We’ve got to keep Bill in Nashville. He does great work for this district.”

Harwell: “Bill Sanderson is one of the finest, highest-quality individuals you can send to Nashville to represent you…. There was no doubt who I wanted to chair one of my most important committees and that was Bill Sanderson. He is that high of quality legislator. You are blessed to have him. I want to extend my appreciation for you.” (Note: Harwell appointed Sanderson as chair of the House State Government Subcommittee.)

Sanderson: “I work hard every day up there, but now this group basically wants to send me home. And some say, ‘Well, don’t take it personal’. Maybe I’m looking at it the wrong way, but I do take it personal. Speaker Harwell, you know, we helped pass the largest tax cut in the state of Tennessee’s history this year. We’ve had industry locate to Dyer County solely because we lowered the franchise and excise tax in Tennessee… But yet, I’m being judged because I voted for the largest tax cut in the state of Tennessee’s history. That one element, a lot of folks said, ‘We don’t need it’. But that’s not true. We do need it.”

Note: The newspaper had an earlier story on Jerry Wright, mayor of Newbern, saying he’s considering a run for the Republican nomination against Sanderson. Wright contended Dyer County and Lake County (also part of the House district) have been shortchanged as compared to other areas in road funding and declared “the bottom line is people want someone that’s going to Nashville and fight for them, and what they want.” Jackson, whose district includes Dyer and Lake counties, faces a primary challenger who has criticized his vote for the tax bill. (Previous post HERE.)

3 Responses to Harwell, Stevens back Rep. Sanderson — criticized for tax vote — in reelection bid

  • Lance Persson says:

    If someone voted for the TN Gas Tax bill, I will not vote for them. The gas bill was not in the interest of the voters in Tennessee. The elected representatives who voted for it, did so for their personal interests (back room deals), not for helping the people they are suppose to represent. We need honest political office holders not people who make secret back room deals.

    • Misty Parter says:

      Do you have any idea how absurd your statement is? There are no “back room deal” or favors to Senators or Representatives that voted for it. It was a good bill and dedicates funds to TDOT and counties to maintain roads. It is is as simple as that, don’t be so damn thick headed. Terry Drumrights reply is dead on point.

  • Terry Drumwright says:

    We need to be sure and support those who supported the important tax reform legislation in the last session. This type of tax reform is so important to keep Tennessee in the fore front of industrial and business expansion. Providing a quality transportation network, major job stimulus package, lower Franchise and Excise tax, and lower tax on food is the type of quality legislation we should expect from our leaders while they are in Nashville. It is about jobs, jobs, and jobs!!! Do not let the intellectually challenged sway you from support of those that do the right thing legislatively.

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