There is not a better time to live and work in Tennessee, but not everyone is sharing in that success. My campaign will be about expanding opportunities for every Tennessee family and community:
- The opportunity for a better education;
- The opportunity for better jobs;
- And a better opportunity for everyone;
- Regardless of where you live, whether you’re from rural Tennessee, the inner city, or somewhere in between.
That’s how I’ve tried to serve in the past, and that is my vision for an even greater, more successful Tennessee.
My goals are clear:
1. To Complete the Drive to 55
We need to ensure every Tennessean, whether a high school graduate or adult, has the opportunity to get the education they need for the jobs now and in the future. For our state to be successful, we must achieve our mission of the Drive to 55, meaning 55 percent of the population has some credential past high school by the year 2025. We are only at 39 percent now, so we have a lot of work ahead of us.
2. To Be #1 in the Southeast for High Quality Jobs
As every businessman knows, your best return on investment is taking care of the customers you already have, and we will continue to support our existing businesses. But, we have the highest business taxes in the Southeast. Not only does it hurt us in attracting new business, but it makes it hard on existing businesses to grow and stay in Tennessee.
The future also belongs to our small businesses and entrepreneurs just getting started. We want to be the best state in the country for small business start-ups and the way we do that is reduce restrictions, regulations and red tape. Sometimes the way government helps business the most, is to just get out of the way.
3. To Have Zero Distressed Counties by 2025
By nearly every statewide measure, we’re living in the best time in our state’s history, but that’s not true for everyone. In fact, 17 of our 95 counties are classified as distressed, meaning they are in the bottom 10 percent in the country in poverty, income and unemployment. There is similar economic distress in many areas of our cities. We are only successful if we are successful together, and we have some neighbors who are struggling. We must double down, and then triple down, until no community is left behind.
In some ways, I feel I have been running for this job all my life:
- Running to be a better husband;
- Running to be a better father;
- Running to grow a business;
- Running to make the world a better place than I found it.
Now, I am running to serve you as the next governor of Tennessee. And I’d welcome the chance to earn your vote and your support.
I’m not a professional politician. My background is growing a small business. But I gained enough experience in Nashville to know how to get things done.
And while working in Nashville, I traveled to all 95 counties to make sure I was listening to and in touch with what was on the minds of my neighbors. As I found in my business, if you listen to your customers, they will tell you what they need. The same is true for the people of Tennessee.
So the early days of this campaign will be a continuation of that listening and learning process, and Jenny and I could not be more excited about getting started.
But we cannot do this without you.
Please send us your ideas — invite us into your home and community — and pray for us on this important journey.
Because together, we truly can build the Great Opportunity Party and an even stronger, better Tennessee.
Many thanks in advance. I look forward to seeing or talking with you soon.