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MEET YOUR CANDIDATES: Four vying for 95th House Rep. District nod

2015 Shelby County TN House_201507241614335776

Three local residents have thrown their hats into the ring to challenge current Rep. Curry Todd for the 95th House District seat in the Aug. 4 Federal and State Primary and Shelby County General Election.
The four nominees, all Republican, were recently asked to complete a brief questionnaire to help inform voters of their respective platforms and concerns within the 95th District, which includes Collierville, Eads and a portion of Germantown.

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Diane George
• Age: 57
• Current occupation: Realtor/broker
• Education: Attended University of Memphis
• Family: I’m happily married to my husband John of 37 years. He is the Senior Manager of Real Estate Properties & Facilities at FedEx. We are proud of our two daughters.
Both of our daughters graduated from Collierville High School. We have two beautiful granddaughters.

1. List three significant issues in this election.
Ethical, Engaged, Effective Leadership; Mental Health; Education; Public Safety; Common Sense

2. What do you think is the biggest concern facing your district at this time, and why?
Business growth is needed to create jobs to support the current population and future growth. Without jobs, there is no income to support consumer spending that is two thirds of the United States’ economy. It is an eco-system of sorts.
Education is the foundation of being able to attract and retain businesses to our community – therefore that is one of the pillars of my candidacy.
Residential development is part of the “housing” sector of the economy. Per the National Association of Home Builders, housing investment equates to 3-5 percent of GDP with consumption on housing services equating to 12-13 percent of GDP.
The ripple effect of housing throughout the economy and its importance in job creation is significant and is a key component of a healthy and vibrant economy.
For businesses, I support programs such as Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreements, job training tax credits for new or expanding business, relocation assistance incentives for new businesses.
I also support the creation of local economic development zones with reduced taxes or other incentives to stimulate development in select geographic areas. For neighborhoods, I support grants or other incentives to assist and stimulate businesses to locate in underserved areas.
We need to declare a “new” drug war. Drugs are a huge factor that leads to all types of crime. The drug war waged thus far has focused on curbing supply and has been a failure and led to the U.S. having the highest percentage of its citizens incarnated versus any other country in the world.
The focus of the war needs to be re-directed to education and treatment facilities for curbing the “demand” for drugs. With reduced demand there will be less supply.
If we as a society move towards addressing the drug problem, crime to support drug habits and the sale of drugs will decrease accordingly.
We cannot arrest ourselves out of this problem – the lucrative profits available to criminals are just too great for them to ignore. I am a supporter of the second amendment and a citizen’s right to bear arms, but gun violence is out of control in our community.

3. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?
I am a dedicated, experienced professional who is eager to represent Tennessee District 95 in the House of Representatives.
I have been involved supporting public service for many years. I am at a stage of my life that I want to serve the community through public office service. I have developed a good understanding of the strengths and challenges for the district.
As a Realtor, I know how important good government is to a vibrant and successful community. I have established myself as a take-charge individual who may be counted upon to assume major responsibilities and ensure that whatever I do is of the highest quality.
I am altruistic and have a desire to genuinely make a difference. Serving in public office provides the opportunity for me to use my skills, talents, and experience to be a creative force for positive change in district. Commitment is what I will give to the people of the district. I will work with the constituents’ ideas and concerns that help to move the district forward.
I’m a native Memphian, 24-year resident of Collierville, and am a strong advocate for public service. As a realtor serving the Memphis area, I’ve witnessed the exponential growth of the suburban municipalities and recognize the financial and management challenges of providing services, improvements, education and an environment conducive for job creation.
I realize the importance of quality government to our community’s relationships, health and future. I’ve exhibited leadership skills both in my career and community services. Regarding state-level positions, I have served as Director for the Tennessee Association of Realtors (“MAAR”), Chairman of the State Convention, and Chairman of Residential Contract Forms.
I have been a member of the Memphis Area Association of Realtors since 1986 and served on the Board Directors from 2000-2002, I also served on the Government Affairs Committee 2003-2015. These positions helped me to become knowledgeable about state government and legislation. I participated multiple times in annual lobbying trips to Nashville on behalf of the MAAR.
I have devoted much of my personal time to the support my community, church, county and state. I have always sought to be of service to others.
I know that my energy and hard work can contribute measurably to the strong leadership our county and state must have. It has always been my desire to help those in need.
Government is for all types of people, and it needs elected representatives who can maintain an open mind and who can think outside the box to develop with others innovative solutions to problems. I believe I have this talent and my goal is to put it to good use.
I will listen carefully to my constituents, to knowledgeable experts, and to my elected peers to learn all I can to make informed and fair decisions. I will plan to communicate well with these same groups and be accessible.

• Organizations/Groups/Activities: Collierville Rotary Internationally 2004- 2013
Memphis Area Association of Realtors Governmental Affairs Member 2002-2015
National Federation of Republican Women 2006 to Present
Shelby County Republican Women of Purpose 2006 to Present
Shelby County Republican GOP Club Member
Shelby County Republican Women’s Club
Shelby County School Board Member 20008-2013
Memphis Area Association of Realtors Chairman of Government Involvement 2009
Tennessee Association of Realtors Chairman of Realtors State Convention 2008
Shelby County Schools Education Foundation Director 2002-2008
Multi-Million Dollar Club, Director 2007-2008
Tennessee Association of Realtors Chairman of Resident Contract Forms 2007
Tennessee Association of Realtors Board of Director 2002-2007
Tennessee Association of Realtors Board Member of State Convention 2003-2007
Shelby County Schools Alumni Hall of Fame Gala Chairman 2006-2007
Tennessee Association of Realtors Board Member of Resident Contract Forms 2005-2006
Memphis Area Association of Realtors Chairman Vice Chairman 2004
Collierville Leadership Graduate 2004
Memphis Area Association of Realtors Chairman RPAC 2003
Memphis Area Association of Realtors Presidential Award 2003
Memphis Area Association of Realtors Board of Director 2001-2003
Memphis Chapter Certified Residential Specialist of the Year 2001
Multi-Million Dollar Club, Director Treasurer 2000-2001
Memphis Chapter Certified Residential Specialist President 2000
Memphis Area Association of Realtors Realtor-Associate of the Year 1996
Habitat For Humanity (MAAR) Chairman of Landscaping 1994-1999
Christ United Methodist Church Member and Volunteer 1990-Present

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Mark Lovell
• Age: 58
• Current occupation: self employed businessman
• Family: Married for 29 years with three children

1. List three significant issues in this election.
– Protect our 2nd amendment
– Improve our education program in our district
– Create jobs

2. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if elected?
Support legislation that pertains to gun laws and our constitutional rights. Do away with common core.
Reduce government regulations, get government out of ever aspect of our life. I have one huge plan that will create thousands of new jobs across the state of Tennessee that I will reveal soon.

3. What do you think is the biggest concern facing your district at this time, and why?
Schools, improving quality education and making it accessible to everyone.

4. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?
I’m not a career politician, I’m a successful businessman who started and operates the second largest fair in the state of Tennessee, the Delta Fair. I own the finest public golf course in the Mid-South, Stonebridge and several other business.
I don’t live in a rent free apartment in Nashville owned by a lobbyist. I would not vote to let illegal immigrants receive Tennessee drivers licenses like the incumbent did. I will not be persuaded by financial gain from PACs or lobbyist and whenever truth is compromised I will stand for truth.
Our country, our state and our community need values, common sense conservative ideas not career self serving politicians.
I’m running for State Representative District 95 because I beleive that with my values, great ideas and work ethics I can help make this a better place.

• Organizations/Groups/Activities:
Board member of Have a Standard, a program to mentor inner city fifth grade children, located at the Kroc Center
Founder and former board member of Clean Memphis foundation created to clean up the Mid-South
Founder of Delta Ag-business promotes 4-H and FFA
Central Church
Board member of Best Buddies, an organization to help create opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

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Dana Matheny
• Age: 53
• Current occupation: I spent the last 10 years of my healthcare career at Methodist Healthcare as the Corporate Director of Clinical Standardization. Prior to that position, I worked at Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center in emergency/trauma care as the Trauma Coordinator. I left my career at Methodist Healthcare in 2014 to run for the U.S. Congressional seat for District 8.
• Education: I am an alumni of Union University where I earned my MBA and BSN.
• Family: I have been married to my husband, Mitch, since 1985. We made our home in Collierville in December 1996, after moving from Papua, Indonesia where Mitch, a pilot, flew for Mission Aviation Fellowship. Mitch currently works for FedEx. We have one son who lives with his wife in Jacksonville, Fla.

1. List three significant issues in this election.
Government regulations that negatively impact businesses, individual liberty and traditional values.
Healthcare systems that are complicated and expensive.
Educational choice.

2. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if elected?
I am committed to legislation that:
Limits government through transparency, challenging federal mandates, reducing debt, maintaining budget accountability, and reducing waste specifically in the areas of education, healthcare, and welfare which, combined, make up 73 percent of all Tennessee government spending.
Promotes free markets and competition by reducing regulations, simplifying necessary government processes, and licensure reform.
Promotes educational choice by separating TN from federal government mandates, recognizing parents’ as the ones to direct the education of their children, allowing tax dollars to “follow” the child, and creating free market competition among educators and educational programs.
Protects individual liberties and traditional values by defending the right to life, the second amendment, free speech, freedom of conscience, and property rights. She will work to repeal the concealed carry permit requirement which does not improve public safety, but places an undue burden on law abiding citizens and places their personal privacy at risk.
Creates a consumer based healthcare system by simplifying access to healthcare services, creating transparency of fees before services, giving the patient (consumer) control of the spending, removing governmental barriers to the creation of new healthcare services, reforming health insurance, and challenging federal government mandates.
I support the full federal repeal of the “Affordable Care Act” (Obamacare).

3. What do you think is the biggest concern facing your district at this time, and why?
A federal government that is involved where it should not be (ex: bathroom mandates) and NOT involved where it should be (ex: border protection and national defense). Government over reach, especially combined with abandonment of its responsibilities, creates instability and confusion in our country.

4. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?
My years of healthcare experience and direct involvement in dealing with healthcare regulations gives me a unique understanding of how government mandates often make the healthcare system complicated to navigate, expensive to manage, and not easily accessible. Healthcare is one of the largest areas of government over reach and impacts a large part of our economy.
I have the skills needed to write meaningful legislation that will infuse free market principles into our healthcare system.

• Organizations/Groups/Activities:
I appreciate organizations that provide quality research into issues. I am currently a member of:
Heritage Foundation
American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) as a non-physician member
NRA
In the past, I have been a member of:
Board of Examiners for TN Center for Performance Excellence
Sigma Theta Tau – Nu Lambda Chapter (Honor Society of Nursing)
Emergency Nurses Association
Air Medical Physician Association (non-physician member)
Society of Trauma Nursing
Volunteered for the Ted Cruz Presidential Campaign in Iowa, South Carolina, and Illinois.

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Curry Todd
• Age: 68
• Current occupation: Retired law enforcement, current state representative
• Education: University of Memphis
• Family: Divorced with one daughter

1. List three significant issues in this election.
Schools, taxes and spending

2. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if re-elected?
I sponsored the law allowing Collierville and Germantown to have our own local school systems. I will continue fighting to protect our great local schools. I voted for over $260 million in new funds for public schools—the largest increase in education funding in state history without a tax increase. I am continuing efforts to get more funds to support our schools including over $100 million in new money for teacher pay raises that I supported.
It’s important we elect representatives with a track record of support for lower taxes. I voted to abolish the death tax, phase out the Hall tax, and cut the sales tax on groceries. A low tax burden makes our community more attractive to businesses and the jobs they create.
Even while putting more money into our schools and cutting taxes, I supported a balanced budget and vote to add $100 million to the state’s savings account.

3. What do you think is the biggest concern facing Collierville at this time, and why?
We should do everything we can to ensure the success of Collierville and Germantown schools. Our schools provide a great education to our children and they help boost property values.
I’ve led the fight for our great local schools. I fought to ensure we can control our schools without interference from Memphis bureaucrats and I fought for more funding for schools and higher pay for our teachers.

4. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?
I have a track record of fighting to cut taxes, balance the budget, reduce spending, and standing up for local schools.
My record earned recognition as a Family Champion by the Family Action Council of Tennessee and endorsements from the NFIB, the voice of small business, and the NRA.

• Organizations/Groups/Activities: House Member of the 101st and 104th through 109th General Assemblies
1981-1987 Tennessee Peace Officers and Training Commission
Appointed by Lamar Alexander of Tennessee to develop, plan and implement uniform standards of employment, training and certification for police officers in Tennessee
1981-1987 Elected by Peace Officers Standard Training Commission (POST) to develop and implement police legislation with the Tennessee General Assembly
1981-1984 Served on Legislative Study Committees in the Tennessee General assembly in the area of corrections and criminal justice
1984-1987 Served as Chairman of POST Commission
1982-1987 Served as Legislative Liaison/Lobbyist for Tennessee Fraternal Order of Police
1982-1983 Memphis and Shelby County Job Conference
Served on Criminal Justice Committee. Served as Chairperson of subcommittee on development of law enforcement legislation.
Also served as Chairperson of subcommittee on neighborhood crime prevention. 1976-1988 Memphis Police Department/Memphis Police Association
Served as Legislative Liaison/Lobbyist in the Tennessee General Assembly for both the Department and the Association.
Shelby County Conservative Republican Club
East Shelby County Republican Club
Republican Women of Purpose
Shelby County Republican Women
Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
National Rifle Association
State Chairman of Tennessee and National Board of Directors, America Legislative Exchange Council
University of Memphis, Society Inc. Board of Directors
University of Memphis, M-Club Board of Directors
Collierville Republican Club
Shelby County Republican Party Steering Committee
Fisherville Civic Club
Collierville Rotary Club
Memphis/Shelby County Job Conference Committee
Memphis Zoological Society
Tennessee Correction Volunteer Advisory Board
Member of National Association of Sportsman Legislators
Memphis/Shelby Co. Amateur Sports Hall of Fame, Wolf River Conservancy
Tennessee Wing Civil Air Patrol

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