Over the past days and weeks friends have gently (and some not so gently) encouraged me to run for Mayor of Clarksville, my home and Tennessee’s 5th largest city. My answer was simple, “I love Clarksville, but I’m running for Governor.”
And run I’ve been doing. Since April of 2008, with a notepad in my hand, a dream in my heart, and a commitment to listen to Tennesseans, I’ve visited homes and hospitals, schools and factories, diners and drive-ins . . . well, you get the point, I’ve been to a lot of places. I’ve loved every minute of it.
I’ve often been told that “timing is everything.” Well, I’m not sure timing is everything, but I do know it’s important. I also know that timing rarely consults our calendar – in fact, it often seems to disrupt our careful plans.
From the time of this writing, the 24 hours just behind and the 24 hours immediately ahead have become pivotal. Yesterday at 3 p.m., Clarksville Mayor Johnny Piper announced that he will not seek re-election. Tomorrow at noon is the filing deadline for Governor.
I‘m going to answer the call of my friends; I’m going to run for Mayor of Clarksville.
I hope you’ll understand and though it may be too much to ask, I hope you’ll forgive me if my decision disappoints you. Thank you so very much for your support and the many kindnesses you’ve shown to me. Please call on me if I can help you.
I believe I can make a difference as Mayor of Tennessee’s 5th largest city.
For our young people, the ones born here, and the thousands that come here to Austin Peay and Fort Campbell and don’t want to leave, I want to help make Clarksville America’s best place to live. Clarksville, we’re on our way, but there’s work to be done and I want to help do it!
I’ll work hard to link our academic resources, our military resources, our natural resources, and our amazing workforce into a 21st century economic engine.
I’ll concentrate on keeping the jobs we have and growing the jobs we need. I’m proud of our success in recruiting Hemlock Semiconductor, and I’ll continue to use my relationships across the state and across America to tell the tremendous Clarksville story to companies large and small.
And I also know this, behind the headlines of recruitment success lays the heart of long term job growth – existing businesses. As we reach out, we’ll also reach in. I’ll help existing businesses cut through the red tape that can stifle growth and I’ll work hard to connect them to opportunities in every way I possibly can. I know that keeping the good jobs we have takes just as much effort as recruiting the good jobs we need!
At the heart of American’s best place to live are safe neighborhoods. Crime and gang activity literally hold millions of American’s hostage inside their own homes – but we can’t let that be true here in Clarksville, America’s best place to live. I’ll make sure that our first rate law enforcement team leads all of us in a community wide commitment to public safety.
I’ve been working for Tennessee and for Clarksville for a long time. As a public leader, I’ve always taken fairness and openness very seriously, and I promise you that fairness and openness will continue to be at the center of all that I do.
Personally I think it's weird that someone would trade running for governor for running for mayor of Clarksville. Makes me think she wasn't all that serious to begin with. But I get that it was looking like tough sledding. So, whatever.
I'm still mad at Mike McWherter for his asinine gay adoption ban flip flop.