District 17 Republicans opted to send Mt. Juliet’s Mae Beavers back to the state Senate.
Beavers won Thursday’s Republican primary for the Nov. 4 state general election.
“We’re very pleased,” said Beavers Thursday night. “We always run to win, and I just want to thank everyone who helped make it happen.”
No Democrats have qualified for the District 17 state Senate seat up for grabs in November.
Tennessee’s 17th district includes Wilson, Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon and Smith counties.
Lebanon small business owner and former Wilson County Republican Party Chairman Clark Boyd challenged Beavers for the seat she’s held since 2002, but ultimately failed in his bid, garnering 11,084 votes to Beavers’ 16,139 at press time.
“We felt like we ran a really good race, and I’m proud of all of my volunteers and I’m proud of the community and how they supported me,” said Boyd Thursday night. “I’ve learned a lot about campaigning, and we wish Ms. Beavers the best and we’re proud of our campaign. Looking back, I don’t think there’s anything we would’ve done differently. Mrs. Beavers, she was a formidable opponent and we wish her well moving forward.”
Boyd, known on the Wilson County political scene as chairman of the Wilson County Republican Party, oversaw an increase in the group’s membership during his time in office. A graduate of East Tennessee State University, Boyd is a small business owner and State Farm agent in Lebanon. He served 11 years in the Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve.
Beavers, however, came to the competition with several years of political office already under her belt.
First elected as a Wilson County commissioner, Beavers pushed for the passage of the county’s first financial management plan. She then ran for the state House of Representatives, where was known for her strong conservative values. Also known for her staunch stance against higher taxes, Beavers was credited by many to be one of the driving forces to kill a state income tax in Tennessee.
After Beavers was elected to the state Senate in 2002, she sponsored legislation to lower the sales tax on food, legislation to protect rights to privacy and to keep and bear arms, legislation that enabled Tennesseans to make their own health care choices, and legislation that strengthened the state’s DUI and drug laws.
She has also worked with numerous local leaders from Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith and Wilson counties to secure funding and bring road and bridge projects to District 17.
She said she plans to use the upcoming term to address issues coming out of Washington, such as those regarding immigration.
“There are a lot of huge issues out there, a lot of serious issues,” said Beavers. “I just look forward to working to try to bring the [Republican] party together.”