Beth Harwell

(NEXSTAR MEDIA GROUP) - - Beth Harwell is currently the Speaker of the House in the Tennessee House of Representatives. She has represented the 56th district since 1988 and became the first female speaker in the entire Southeast. The Belmont and Vanderbilt alumna also served as chair of the state Republican Party from 2001 to 2004, during which time her party took control of the State Senate for the first time in over 100 years. She has served on numerous educational and community boards and taught political science as a Belmont Associate Professor from 1986-1990.

As a former education professional, Harwell has made success in educational reform and further progress an important part of her campaign. “As a mother, teacher and your Speaker of the House, I have always made education a priority,” she says on her site. She supported the effort to end Common Core guidelines in schools that were replaced with new state standards in 2017. Harwell worked to achieve the largest investment in education without a tax increase in state history in the 2016-17 fiscal year budget. In education, Tennessee has become one of the fastest improving states in the nation over the last decade.

Other parts of Harwell’s platform include fighting federal overreach, battling the opioid crisis, cutting illegal immigration and improving the state economy. Her plan to curb opioid abuse in Tennessee revolves around tougher sentencing for dealers, greater restrictions on prescriptions and more rehabilitation initiatives rather than prison sentences. As speaker, Harwell joined other conservative legislators in opposing a Nashville Sanctuary City bill that was eventually abandoned. As a self-described Reagan Republican, she supports cutting taxes and regulation as a means to create jobs and boost the Tennessee economy.

Speaker Harwell is strongly pro-life and a Second Amendment supporter. “I come from a family of avid hunters. I have been a carry permit holder for over 8 years. I know the importance and the value of our 2nd Amendment Rights. No one will infringe on those rights while I am governor,” she said. 

Speaker Harwell has had a 100% score from Tennessee Right to Life, the state’s oldest and largest pro-life organization, for the last 10 years. 

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