Clark Boyd challenged incumbent state Sen. Mae Beavers for the District 17 Senate seat in the Aug. 7 election.
Beavers seeks her third term in the state Senate. She is a former paralegal and court reporter for 16 years and securities advisor for seven years.
She has a bachelor’s degree from Trevecca Nazarene University and attended Nashville School of Law for two years.
She has been married to Jerry Beavers for 47 years, and the couple has two children, Eric and Jason, two daughters-in-law and five grandchildren.
Boyd has owned and operated a State Farm Insurance Agency in Lebanon since 2005. He served 11 years in the U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard. He was honorably discharged in 2007 at the rank of captain.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University in human development and learning with a minor in military science. He is former chairman of the Wilson County Republican Party, former president of the Wilson County Habitat for Humanity board of directors, former president of the Lebanon Rotary Club and serves as deacon and Sunday school teacher at Immanuel Baptist Church.
He is married to Jada Boyd, and the couple has two children, Wilson, 6, and Blair Ellen, 3.
What prompted you to seek office? Was it a personal initiative or did others encourage you?
Beavers: I am concerned about the way things are going in Washington and the negative impact it is having on our state. I believe that the states are going to have to lead like they have never led before to keep our liberties and freedoms that we have. I have passed several 10th Amendment laws, laws on the Fourth Amendment to protect our privacy, laws on the Second Amendment to protect our right to bear arms and many others in the last four years. Tennessee is business friendly and has low taxes. That is the reason many businesses are moving here. I sponsored legislation to reduce the sales tax on food, eliminate the Inheritance Tax and Gift Tax and want to continue to make sure we have less government regulations in order to attract good businesses to our state. I have also had many people ask me to run again because of my leadership on the difficult issues that I have pursued.
Boyd: I have always had a desire to serve that has carried over from my days in the military. When I was serving as chairman of the Wilson County Republican Party, there were several business and community leaders from Wilson County and other surrounding areas who approached me and encouraged me to run for the state Senate.
What are the most important issues in your race, and how do you plan to address them?
Beavers: The major issues in this race would be keeping Tennessee a business friendly state by keeping taxes low and removing many of the burdensome regulations on businesses. I have sponsored and supported legislation to do all of these and will continue to support and sponsor legislation of this nature. I have been a leader in the fight for tougher DUI laws, sponsoring legislation almost every year since I was elected. I have sponsored legislation to get synthetic drugs out of our community and to toughen penalties for the use and manufacture of meth. I received the Little Red School House award from the Wilson County Schools for my fight against meth and synthetic drugs. I have also been a leader on fighting for Judicial Ethics, co-sponsoring tougher laws on ethics for judges and making sure the Administrative Office of the Courts had information on their web site so people would know how judges were performing. I have sponsored and passed numerous bills on 10th Amendment issues, as well as Fourth Amendment and Second Amendment issues, such as the Healthcare Freedom Act and the Firearms Freedom Act. Education is of real concern right now. The legislature this last year addressed some of the issues with Common Core, but there is much to be done to make sure our children are getting a quality education so they can compete in today’s world. More and more testing is not the answer. There are many parts to Common Core that need to be addressed and I will continue to file legislation to address those matters of concern to teachers and parents.
Boyd: I feel we are at a pivotal point in Tennessee in regard to how we choose to tackle today’s education issues. I think decisions about our children’s future are better decided at the state and local level rather than Washington. We also need to focus on job creation by getting rid of unnecessary regulations and lowering taxes to ensure that Tennessee is an environment that is attractive for businesses and entrepreneurs.
What would you say to voters opposed to your running for office to convince them you are the most qualified?
Beavers: I would say look at the numerous bills that I have sponsored and passed and my record of getting things done in my communities that I represent, with numerous infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, sewer, etc. I have worked with every county to try to bring better roads and bridges. I am vice chairman of the Transportation Committee and have worked with the Tennessee Department of Transportation for more than a decade to address the needs of my communities.
Boyd: I would explain to them the reason why I decided to run. Many people around the district approached me about the need for effective representation in Nashville. I found that District 17 was hungry for new, pragmatic, conservative leadership, and I feel I bring that to the table.
What do you bring to the table that your opponents do not?
Beavers: I am a proven principled conservative with a track record to prove it. I have a record I am proud of when it comes to my stance on reducing taxes, reducing government regulations, passing stronger criminal laws, passing legislation to support my pro-life stance while addressing the infrastructure needs of my district.
Boyd: As a small business owner who is responsible for making a payroll and balancing a budget I understand the challenges that affect many businesses across the state. Also, I have a degree in elementary education and my wife, Jada, currently serves as a teacher. This has given me insight into many of the issues before the legislature surrounding education. In addition, I have 11 years of total service between the Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve, which taught me the value of principled leadership and the importance of teamwork.
How is your experience – or lack of experience – a plus or minus for the position you are seeking?
Beavers: I am a proven principled conservative with a track record to prove it. I have not compromised on my convictions and have stood alone when I had to if I felt strongly on an issue, such as fighting the state income tax.
Boyd: I consider my business experience, my military experience and my time serving on different nonprofit and civic boards an asset. I feel that we need more people with these types of experiences serving us in the legislature rather than people who have made a career of politics.