Aubrey Givens of Lebanon, candidate for the State Senate in the 17th district, formally filed a certified duplicate copy of his qualifying petition with the DeKalb County Election Commission Monday.
Givens, who is seeking his party's nomination for the office in the August 5th Tennessee Democratic primary, says he is looking forward to the campaign. "Today was the day when we turned in our paper work. Everybody now has a name you can go out and vote for on the ballot and have confidence that you'll have good representation."
"I am originally from Lebanon, although interestingly enough, we were able to trace our roots back to DeKalb County to 1812 on my mom's side of the family. I went to public schools and graduated from Lebanon High School and then went to MTSU. Back then we didn't have the HOPE scholarship, you just kinda hoped you had a scholarship. Thank God I was able to be blessed and got a scholarship and a college degree. I went to the Nashville School of Law. Since that time, I have focused my practice on helping working families, helping people who need assistance and making sure they are entitled to justice and a fair shake in life. I'm proud of what I do and now I'm ready to take it to the next level to help not only the people I've served in the past but to be able to spread it now among all the people of this district and to give our working families a fair shake."
"The number one issue in the state of Tennessee for this district and all the others is jobs. We've got to get some programs in place to get Tennesseans back to work so they can provide for their families, raise their families here in this state, and have a good standard of living, give them a good education, and make sure they have good health care. That's what we intend to carry all the way to Nashville to represent our people of this district."
"I want to be the first candidate, and I feel I'm the only candidate that will make this commitment. The bridges, not only in DeKalb County, but in Smith County are in disrepair. The problem with that is it's a danger to our children crossing them in school buses, but it's also keeping our job opportunities down. My number one commitment for DeKalb and Smith County is to get the bridges fixed so they'll be safe, so we can encourage industry to come into our communities and put people in these counties back to work."
"In order to be a good candidate you have to bring first and foremost good common sense and then you have to look at the issues. You have to be able to talk to the people in the communities to find out exactly what it is that concerns them. So if you have some common sense and you're willing to listen, then if you take that to Nashville and you don't compromise your principles or your ethics, go down there and do the right thing, you're going to be successful."
"I'm a little disappointed in the way things have been going over the last few years and that's the reason for a lot of my motivation and the reason I'm taking this step. I believe we can do things better. I believe what we need to do in the state legislature is to get focused on the issues that are really important, jobs, education, and health care for our seniors. Those are the type things we need to be focused on. We need to get these programs in place. We don't need to be focused on things that are really not important to Tennesseans. But we've got to stay focused on these major issues."
"I am totally opposed to a state income tax and I won't support that at all. I believe that our tax system can work, but we have to spend our money wisely. First, we need to get Tennesseans back to work so they can go out and buy the goods and products that generate the sales taxes and then take those sales taxes and put them in the places where they need to be. At the same time, it's important to eliminate the waste and the fraud in our budget, the pork projects, so we can concentrate on our roads, bridges, and schools, and to keep our priorities straight."
The 17th State Senatorial District is made up of Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith, Trousdale, Wilson, and part of Sumner County.
(Pictured second from top: left to right- Jordan Wilkins, President of the Junior High Democrats in DeKalb County, Aubrey Givens, and Alesha Stephens and Delaney Johnson, members of the Junior High Democrats)