Mae Beavers

Tea party activist who backed Beavers for governor now planning to run herself

Kay White, a Johnson City real estate agent and tea party activist, had been backing state Sen. Mae Beavers’ run for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, but is now preparing to run herself, according to reports in The Nashville Scene and the Johnson City Press.

Both quote White Facebook postings on her past support for Beavers and on her new plans. The latter post reads:

“I am making an official announcement on July 22nd at 5 p.m. at the Jonesborough Courthouse steps followed by a celebration at the ‘Barn’ just off Boones Creek Road on to Old Gray Station Rd. There will be signs! Bring everyone with you. It is time that we have representation for upper East TN. Some people seem to think that East TN. stops in Knoxville! Many blessings, Kay White.”

The Scene has long bloc quotes of White on Facebook and some commentary. The Press is more cryptic (and credits the Scene). Excerpt:

White did not answer a Johnson City Press reporter’s calls on Thursday.

On Wednesday, White told the Nashville Scene, which first reported White’s aspirations to become governor, that Beavers was “great” but that “some people affiliated with her campaign have caused me to doubt her judgment, which concerns me as far as who she’d appoint should she win.”

The social media-savvy Hawkins County native is a vocal proponent of President Donald Trump and served as East Tennessee chairman of his campaign during the 2016 election. White also attended both the 2016 Republican National Convention and Trump’s inauguration ceremony.

… White’s politics were quite different in the 1990s, when she ran as a Democrat for the Tennessee’s 1st District U.S. House seat.

In 1998 and 1996, White lost both general elections to former Republican U.S Rep. Bill Jenkins. She did taste victory during the 1996 Democratic primary, earning 3,276 votes to defeat three other candidates.

The Scene also has this quote from Beavers: “I think it was a big misunderstanding, and that’s all I have to say.”

A Beavers-Burchett alliance in 2018 GOP primary?

State Sen. Mae Beavers, campaigning for the 2018 Republican gubernatorial nomination, and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, a former state senator who says he’ll run either for the U.S. House or the U.S. Senate next year, got together at a Knoxville restaurant last week and said nice things about each other afterwards.

Excerpt from the Tennessee Star report, which says that the meeting “sparked discussions about a potential alliance in the August 2018 Republican primary between the two well respected independent minded conservatives.”

Continue reading

UT chancellor plans to bring back a director for LGBT Pride Center

University of Tennessee-Knoxville Chancellor Beverly Davenport is making plans to bring back a director for its LGBT pride center, reports the News Sentinel.

For the last year, the job has been unfilled after the Tennessee legislature decided to redirect funds from the school’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion and the part-time position was eliminated, forcing students to run the center on their own with some administrative oversight from the dean of students.

Student and faculty groups such as the Pride Center Working Group have for the last several months called for UT and Davenport to hire a pride center director and put in place other initiatives aimed at promoting and preserving diversity on campus.

Continue reading

Rep. Pody to run for state Senate seat while Beavers runs for governor

State Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, announced today that he will run for the state Senate District 17 seat now held by Sen. Mae Beavers, who has declared she is running for governor rather seeking reelection, reports the Tennessee Star.

“Senator Mae Beavers is going to be running for governor, and she’s going to make an awesome conservative governor. That leaves her seat open, and I want to make sure that seat is filled by a good conservative individual. I want to run for that seat,” Pody added.

Continue reading

Haslam differs with Trump, Beavers on highway funding

Gov. Bill Haslam, who toured the state Monday for ceremonial signings of his “IMPROVE Act,” declared along way that he’s not too keen on President Trump’s infrastructure plans — or on state Sen. Mae Beavers declaring she’ll push to repeal of the IMPROVE fuel tax hikes if elected to succeed him as governor.

Continue reading

Some reports from Mae Beavers’ gubernatorial campaign kickoff

Republican state Sen. Mae Beavers formally launched her 2018 campaign for governor Saturday before a crowd of about 150 cheering supporters and a “dozen of so” sign-waving Democrat demonstrators, reports the Times Free Press. In her speech at Mount Juliet, she pledged to bring to the Tennessee governor’s mansion her tea party principles in areas from opposing abortion and transgender rights to fighting to repeal a just-passed gas tax increase.

“I have consistently championed the same conservative values and principles,” Beavers, a 23-year legislative veteran, told a hometown crowd of 150 or more supporters. “I have not wavered one inch.”

…Beavers was an early supporter of President Donald Trump, chairing the Tennessee delegation at last year’s Republican National Convention. She channeled Trump’s “America First” slogan in her announcement speech, saying, “It’s time to put Tennessee first!”

Continue reading