Live from Music Row Tuesday 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 Maury County mayoral Republican candidate Debbie Matthews to the newsmaker line to talk about her campaign and keeping the county seat conservative.
Leahy: On our newsmaker line, we’re joined by a candidate for mayor in Columbia, Tennessee, Debbie Matthews. Good morning, Debbie.
Matthews: Oh, good morning, everyone. I love the smell of Democratic fear in the morning. It feels good out here in Maury County, I’m telling you. We are so excited on Election Day.
Leahy: Is that what you feel? Democrats’ fear?
Matthews: The thing is, you go door to door and people are fed up. They are tired of inflation. They’re tired of not being heard more than anything. And so the people are moving.
And every aspect from what I see across the country for Democrats is trying to explain, well, we got it wrong. We didn’t listen to the people. Our messaging was wrong, because they know it’s going to be a thrashing for them today.
Leahy: You’re running for mayor of the city of Columbia with about 40,000 people in Maury County. Is that right?
Matthews: Forty thousand people. That’s right. Maury County is 100,000. Columbia is the county seat at 40 [thousand]. Yes.
Leahy: Now, it’s purportedly a nonpartisan election, but you’re running against the incumbent and it’s, in essence, you’re the Republican and he’s a Democrat. Do I have that right?
Matthews: That is correct. And he’s hiding under that Independent shield because he can’t admit he’s a Democrat.
Leahy: But he was a lockdown guy, wasn’t he? Bigtime lockdown advocate.
Matthews: He was a lockdown guy, yeah. Andy Ogles was our county mayor who’s running for the Congressional 5th. And we wish him well today. But Andy was our county mayor and this man, Chaz Molder, was our city mayor.
When the pandemic hit, it was like the tale of two mayors. One wanted everything open and for us having our liberties and freedoms. The city mayor, who I’m running against, wanted lockdowns, he wanted our businesses closed, and he wanted our churches closed.
And he would go on CNN and virtue-signal to the DNC, hey, I’m playing ball. But people down here remember that. When you call someone’s small business nonessential, which is their life, and was something they’ve given every waking moment, every piece of silver they have to make their business work, and then tell them they aren’t essential, people remember that.
Leahy: It’s pretty essential to them, isn’t it?
Matthews: Life in itself is what a small business is.
Leahy: So have you been knocking on doors to the end here?
Matthews: We have knocked on every door we could get a hold of. We have phone banks. We have worked up until the very end, late into the night last night, and we’re up this morning.
So we’re doing all we can in Maury County. We’ve had a really good showing for early voting, and so we’re hoping that that continues today. Republicans vote on Election Day. (Unintelligible talk)
Leahy: It’s interesting because I saw it statewide, early voting is down compared to 2018, but it’s up in Maury County. Is that right?
Matthews: I think we’re even with 2018 here. We’re definitely up from the primary numbers. Almost double or triple per day.
Leahy: And Republicans typically vote more on Election Day. And so your message to Republicans who live in the city of Columbia is … vote today.
Matthews: Vote today, and the future of Columbia is in our hands. We need Republicans running the ship because Democrats and Republicans think differently and govern differently, and it’s time to put the seat back in Republican hands.
Leahy: And I think the big difference is freedom versus control, right?
Matthews: Freedom versus control. It’s actually trying to think of things other than just taxing people to death or regulating them to death. There are ways things can be done in a more beautiful, open way with liberty and freedom. We need them voting today. They cannot sit at home.
Leahy: Today is the day to vote. Polls open at 7:00 a.m. And when do they close?
Matthews: 7:00 p.m.
Leahy: When do you think you’ll know the result?
Matthews: We should know by 8:00 p.m. We should.
Leahy: We have your number and we’re doing a special election night event from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. We’ll give you a call at about 8:15 p.m. and see how it goes.
Matthews: That’s beautiful. I’ll text you if it’s delayed, but thank you for giving me the opportunity to be on with you through this cycle and talk specifically to conservatives. It has meant the world to me and I’m so thankful that you’re out there giving conservatives a voice.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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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 “Debbie Matthews” by Debbie Matthews. Background Photo “Maury County Courthouse” by Chris Light. CC BY-SA 4.0. Background Photo “American Flag” by Mike Mozart. CC BY 2.0.