Craig Fitzhugh is a banker and military veteran turned Tennessee state politician who has served as the state House Minority Leader for the past seven years.
Fitzhugh has represented Tennessee’s 82nd legislative district, comprised of Crockett, Haywood and Lauderdale counties, since 1994. He sits on the Tennessee House Finance Committee in addition to several other committees. Fitzhugh has touted job creation, education and healthcare throughout his campaign.
Fitzhugh was the first person in his family to attend college, receiving a bachelor’s degree in finance and a law degree from the University of Tennessee before going on to serve in the Air Force.
Education has become a focal point in his campaign. He has stated his commitment to combating rising tuition costs and supports increasing access to quality public education at all levels. In terms of school security, he has expressed support for a school resource officer in every school. He opposes arming teachers.
His commitment to education also relates to his stances on agriculture, another key tenant of his campaign. As a longtime representative of three rural counties, he advocates increasing access to local food sourcing, school gardens and agriculture education. Fitzhugh also aims to increase Tennessee’s connectivity to make farmers more competitive and accessible to new markets through investment in broadband access and improvement to state road systems.
Not only has he talked about increasing access to quality education, he also wants to do the same with healthcare. He has discussed the need to expand the primary care access in rural communities and suggested education on cooking and healthy eating in schools.
He has also been very vocal on his desire to expand Medicaid in the state to increase coverage.
“’Expanding Medicaid will be my first priority on my first day in office’, Fitzhugh said at a gubernatorial debate. ‘I will not rest until it is done.'”
Expansion of Medicaid is also part of his platform to combat the opioid epidemic by providing more Tennesseans with access to substance abuse treatment. He also stressed the importance of providing all necessary resources to first responders.
He has advocated for instituting a minimum wage in Tennessee, telling the Greeneville Sun in October, “Most Tennesseans have jobs but do not receive a living wage.”
Fitzhugh also says he will create a tax-free childhood savings account that will provide kids with a nest egg once they reach adulthood.
Fitzhugh, who lives in Ripley, has been married to his wife, Pamela, for 40 years. They have two children, Elizabeth and Tom. Fitzhugh is a fourth generation member of First Baptist Church in Ripley. He serves there as a deacon and chairman of the trustees.