Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed California refugee and the creator of, Craig Huey, to the newsmaker line to give his top picks in county districts.

Leahy: We welcome to our microphones our good friend, California refugee, Tennessee resident now, Craig Huey, author of the Tennessee Voter Guide. Craig, you live in Williamson County now.

Huey: Michael, I’m a proud resident out in Williamson County. It is the land of the free. I love it. I am so glad to be there.

Leahy: It’s a great place. It is.

Huey: It is.

Leahy: But it’s got some problems.

Huey: It does.

Leahy: Some debt problems.

Huey: I was shocked.

Leahy: Talk about that a little bit.

Huey: My gosh, the county has overspent and is about a billion dollars in debt. In the face of debt, they just recently passed $150 million more in debt. And they’re talking about taxes. They keep voting for tax increases and sales tax and education-impact taxes and a variety of taxes.

And of course, everybody’s being hit by higher taxes. Property taxes are going up because the value of houses is going up. Gasoline is going up. So more gasoline tax. We’re paying too much tax.

Leahy: And most of it, I think, is they’re building these palaces that are for the K-12 public schools.

Huey: Oh, my God, we’re growing.

Leahy: Yes, but they are palaces.

Huey: They are.

Leahy: My general complaint has been, okay, you’re focusing on the exterior. And entirely missing the problems of the interior, and that is what’s actually being taught.

Huey: Here’s the problem. You have a kind of a good old boy club. Everybody says “I’m a Republican” and everybody says “I’m a good guy.” But you know what, when you dig into it, they spend, spend, spend. Tax, tax, tax. And they’re not looking at how to cut waste.

Leahy: This is why the County Commission primary election tomorrow in Williamson County is so important. There are 230,000 people in Williamson County now and growing. So there are 12 members of the 12 districts.

Huey: Yes.

Leahy: Each district has two representatives. They’re all up this primary. So you’ve got recommendations in each of these 12 districts. Are you ready to roll?

Huey: I am ready. And let me just tell everyone, it’s easy to go to Tennessee Voter Guide and go straight down the list because we research every candidate: the good, bad, and the ugly.

We looked at who donated for who, what they say on their Facebook page, and how they voted. So much in-depth. We know more than their wives. (Leahy chuckles) What we found is shocking.

Leahy: Just go down to your county. In this case, it’s Williamson County. Okay. So the 12 districts, two candidates each. Let’s start with District 1. Who do you endorse?

Huey: So we’re endorsing Lisa Lenox. She’s a fighter against the government’s overreach and against taxation. And we also have endorsed Scott Lucas, who wants to do a rainy-day fund. He’s concerned about our bond rating.

And one of the things about the bureaucracy of Williamson County is nepotism. Just hiring friends and hiring family. And he wants to try to get more efficient workers.

Leahy: How about District 2? I think I live in District 2. I’m pretty sure I do. Who do you endorse in District 2?

Huey: District 2 is an interesting race where basically, you’ve got Elizabeth (Betsy) Hester, who is an incumbent. We haven’t endorsed all the incumbents. In fact, we feel most of them have to be thrown out.

I wish there were some better candidates in this race, but Elizabeth Hester, she’s become a kind of a McCain-type Republican, a McCain donor. Then there’s a fighter, Andy Moriarty.

Leahy: As in Professor Moriarty.

Huey: You know, he wants to fight taxes. He wants to cut spending. He wants to roll back even the property taxes by a seven percent increase. He wants to reduce that billion-dollar debt.

Leahy: How about District 3?

Huey: So District number 3, Jeff Graves, he’s a financial adviser. He wants to cut wasteful spending and regulation. He’s an incumbent. And then Daniel Jordan.

Now here’s the thing, Michael. Most Independents running are Democrats in disguise. In this case, that’s not the situation. Daniel Jordan, he’s an Independent and he has been involved in school issues.

Leahy: District 4.

Huey: District number 4. Gregg Lawrence is our recommendation. Pete Stresser is our recommendation. Both of them are awesome incumbents.

Leahy: How about District 5 in Williamson County Commission. Pick two.

Huey: Yes. Mary Smith, we’re making a recommendation and endorsement. Evan Bledsoe, Independent. He’s endorsed. We like this guy named Rob Varro, but Evan gets the nod.

Leahy: I’m looking at District 6. I’m not seeing anybody endorsed there.

Huey: Well, you know what? They’re all going to win because there’s not enough competition. They’re automatically going to win.

Leahy: All right. How about District 7?

Huey: So, District number 7, we got an interesting race where they’re all weak candidates, but we are endorsing Bert Chalfant. And Bert is incumbent. He’s against the school curriculum mess where they’re teaching CRT and what have you in Williamson County.

And then also Christopher Richards, endorsing him. He fought against getting this Renaissance Festival, putting us into debt for that.

Leahy: Yes, I saw that the county has taken that over. That’s kind of an odd situation.

Huey: There are so many things that we can privatize, and that’s just the opposite. I like the Renaissance Festival, by the way, but it should be private.

Leahy: I’m going with you. How about District Eight?

Huey: We’re recommending Barb Sturgeon, and they did vote for a tax increase, but when I look at the other incumbent, they’re better. And then Drew Torres. Drew loves Tucker Carlson and Dave Ramsey. A consistent conservative.

Leahy: How could you go wrong? Now in the ninth district, there are only two Republicans.

Huey: Two Republicans are going to win.

Leahy: You’re not going to endorse them right? How about the 10th district?

Huey: Tenth district. So this one has been a hard one for us. We vacillated on what to do. We are recommending Meghan Guffee and we’re recommending David Landrum. Bradley Diaz, he has a lot, a lot going for him, but he’s a newcomer. I don’t see a consistency where I can confidently say …

Leahy: You don’t know what his background is?

Huey: His background is a little fuzzy.

Listen to the interview here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Craig Huey” by Craig Huey. Background Photo “Williamson County, Tennessee, Courthouse” by Ichabod. CC BY-SA 3.0.