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State GOP backs Beavers bid
Nov 22, 2005 12:00 am
TUCKERS CROSSROADS — If Monday night was any indication of how 2006 will go for State Sen. Mae Beavers, her bid to keep her 17th District Senate seat will have the entire weight of the Republican Party and the state's brightest conservative stars behind it.
"The last year has been very difficult for me," Beavers said, fighting back tears briefly before nearly 100 supporters in the home of newly minted Wilson County Republican Party Chairman A.J. McCall. "It was a hard decision for Jerry (Beavers) and I to decide to run. It's a difficult decision to come back from cancer and decide to run. But we're back."
The last year has been tumultuous for Beavers and the entire Wilson County Republican Party with factions of the party on the east and west ends of the county split over organizational issues and the state party eventually removing former county party chair Kevin Mack.
In addition to Beavers recovery from breast cancer, she also faced at one point a temptation to resign her Senate seat after being snubbed on committee appointments by Lt. Gov. John Wilder – a Democrat who survived as Senate speaker with the aid of a handful of GOP senators.
However, all of that appeared a distant memory as Beavers and a host of the state's political luminaries vowed to return Beavers to the Senate as well as win a "true majority" for the GOP in the legislature's higher house.
"The (Senate Republican) Caucus is behind her," Senate Majority Leader Ron Ramsey told the crowd, which bought $100 per couple tickets for the fund-raising event. "We are going to max out in this race and do whatever it takes to make sure Mae Beavers is representing these counties after next year."
Ramsey was not alone in pledging his support with conservative talk radio show host Steve Gill promising "air support" for Beavers on his show and spoke at length about her opposition to a state income tax.
"It is not fun up there on Capitol Hill," Gill said. "Mae Beavers has been up there fighting the good fight for some time. It's not fun up there when you do things the right way and stick up for taxpayers."
Beavers seat has already been identified as the main legislative target for Tennessee Democrats in 2006.
Ramsey reiterated the Senate Republican Caucus' intent to back Beavers campaign again later in the evening.
"There will be a sizable contribution from the caucus," Ramsey told The Lebanon Democrat. "We will max out if need be."
In addition to Gill and Ramsey, Beavers' event was attended by State Sens. Jim Bryson and Diane Black as well as State Reps. Susan Lynn and Debra Maggart. Circuit Court Judge John Wootten and Chancellor C.K. Smith also attended as did U.S. Senate candidates Van Hilleary and Ed Bryant.
Managing Editor Clint Brewer can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 13 or by e-mail at email@example.com.