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Bryson kicks off campaign in Mt. Juliet
Apr 19, 2006 12:00 am
April 10, 2006 If elected governor, state Sen. Jim Bryson promised Wilson County Republicans he would not implement a state income tax.
Bryson, R-Franklin, declared his opposition to a state income tax in his first official stump for governor as the Republican candidate Saturday in Mt. Juliet.
Just days after Bryson announced his bid for Tennessee governor, he campaigned in West Wilson County, introduced himself to two dozen area Republicans at their assembly meeting at the West Wilson/Mt. Juliet Library. Bryson, 44, is the first notable Republican to oppose current Gov. Phil Bredesen in the November election.
During what he declared the first of many campaign stops, Bryson expressed his determination to unseat Bredesen who is reported to having millions in campaign contributions to finance his second-term bid. Bryson said he can't raise campaign funds until mid-May but is busy getting to know residents across Tennessee.
"Wilson County is wonderful," Bryson said before he addressed the Saturday crowd. "They are supportive of me and being here today is part of our plan to go throughout the State of Tennessee to tell people they have a choice in this election. I want to tell people about me and what I intend to do as governor."
State Rep. Susan Lynn introduced Bryson as an "income tax warrior" in 2002 when protesting the move for a state income tax.
"He's a star in the Senate, and we thank him for running for governor," Lynn said.
The upcoming governor's race will be "exciting and interesting," Bryson said, noting though he may be considered an initial underdog, he plans to win the race.
He explained when he ran for state Senate he "soundly" defeated a well-known sitting county executive and state representative.
"I won because we worked hard," he said. "That's what I plan to do in this race."
The senator also noted when he founded his successful Hillsboro Village company 20/20 Research Inc. – at the age of 25 – naysayers told him he was inexperienced and discouraged him from the venture.
"I listened and started my company anyway," he said. "Twenty years later this company supports 50 families and is recognized as one of the highest quality businesses in the industry nationwide."
Pointing out a lot of people have said it will be tough "running against a well-known politician with money," Bryson said he would be "running on issues and ideas."
"And we will win," he said. "We'll win because people of Tennessee believe what we believe."
A focus on preserving Tennessee values, cleaning up ethics problems on Capitol Hill and enforcing the constitutional cap on government spending were some core campaign issues Bryson briefly overviewed during his morning speech.
"Five legislators were indicted for bribery," Bryson said. "This is unacceptable and erodes trust. We can't afford to have our democracy crumble because of such things."
Enforcement of a constitutional cap is vital, Bryson stated.
"Our constitution says government spending should not grow faster than the wages of people in Tennessee," he said. "This constitutional cap has been busted in the last two years. We simply need to enforce the constitutional cap on spending."
If elected governor, Bryson emphatically declared there will "be no state income tax in Tennessee" and "we won't spend ourselves and kids into oblivion."
Getting Tennessee on the right track was the impetus for entering the governor's race, Bryson said.
"We are going to do things differently," he said. "It's about leadership and direction."
And while the candidate for governor acknowledged many more issues need to be tackled such as advancing Tennessee from its Thea status in education, he explained those issues will develop as the race moves forward.
Excited about the next eight months, Bryson said he plans to get his "hands dirty from working hard" in his aggressive effort to unseat Bredesen.
Bryson was bombarded with questions from the audience ranging from illegal immigration, Tinker and Second Amendment rights.
Penalizing employers who hire illegal and enacting a program training special officials to recognize and arrest illegal immigrants are "common sense things we should do immediately," Bryson proposed. And while the senator said he "doesn't have a problem" with cutting some people off from TennCare, it was done with "no compassion."
Before he left, Bryson appealed for support.
"I ask you to come along by my side and replace the governor's office for the State of Tennessee and move forward in positive way."
Mt. Juliet Managing Editor Laurie Everett can be reached at 758-5342 or by e-mail at email@example.com.