State Rep. Mark Pody introduced Beavers to the crowd, naming her the Iron Lady, harking back to the title given to England’s late prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Pody said Beavers’ determination to do what she thought was right, despite the popular vote, made her a strong force within the state.
Beavers, in making the announcement, introduced her family, saying they were her biggest supporters, and her family was the most important people in her life.
“No elected official ever serves without the love and support of their family, and I just want to say today how much I love and appreciate them,” she said.
She said when she “first ran for office in 1990, I brought a clear and concise set of principles to the county commission. As a state representative and now senator, I’ve carried these values and principles with me every step of the way.
“Today is to take those conservative values and principals, the sanctity of life, small and efficient state government, limited and constitutional national government, transparency and accountability of our elected officials, low taxes, commitment to the second amendment, respect for individual liberty and most importantly reliance upon our creator God. It’s time to take those values and principles to the next level.”
After the event at a press conference, Beavers said she believes because of the threat of terrorism, the country needs to vet those refugees who are coming into the country. She said the federal government is not giving the states any information on the refugees before they come to the state. That is something, if she is elected governor, she would like to change.
“We want to keep an eye on them while they’re here to make sure they don’t do harm,” she said.
She said frugal spending is a key issue and will be in her campaign. She pointed out she voted against the gas tax that was recently approved because of the surplus in the government that can be used for roadwork.
At the event were two factions vocal in their opinions. The Wilson County Democrat Party, chaired by Amanda Holloway, were out in force holding signs with the hashtag, #blockedbymae. They protested her values and the various bills and other things she supported in the legislature.
“We’re here today because she has basically refused to listen to her constituents,” Holloway said. “She’s only catering to the small minority of her base that follow her, and she’s refusing to listen to any other opinion who thinks otherwise. A couple of months ago, she went on a tirade against a couple of constituents who were asking basic questions about some of the policy that she was supporting.”
She said that’s why the group uses “#blockedbymae” as its tag line.
“She has been supporting legislature about social issues about gay marriage, abortion and transgender rights,” Holloway said. “She focuses all of her energy on the bathroom, the bedroom and guns, when she needs to be focusing on things that matter to all Tennesseans such as infrastructure, health care and jobs. Those are things that really matter to all Tennesseans, and if she can’t see that then she doesn’t have any business being governor of the state of all of Tennessee.”
There were a few people who were Beavers supporters carrying American flags and signs who supported national issues such as the Paris Accord, and revival of the coal industry. Attempts to interview them were declined. They simply said, “thank you” and walked away.
The two groups did come together for a few minutes, but it was a peaceful confrontation.