Editor’s note: This Q&A is one in a series that aims to allow voters to get to know candidates who are running in the Aug. 2 primary. Nooga.com sent questionnaires to candidates on the ballot. We will post responses as we get them.
Gubernatorial candidate Kay White wants to work for taxpayers, if elected, she said.
The Mount Carmel, Tennessee native is one of the Republicans seeking to replace Gov. Bill Haslam, whose term is coming to an end.
She’s a mother, businesswoman and Christian, who has run her own business and has worked as a Realtor for the past 26 years.
She worked to help get President Donald Trump elected and has been involved in an array of other community organizations.
She recently lost a son to addiction and said she would be tough on drug dealers, seeking to punish them by death.
She’s on the ballot for the Aug. 2 primary election with five other Republicans—Diane Black, Randy Boyd, Beth Harwell, Bill Lee and Basil Marceaux Sr.
Democrats on the ballot are Karl Dean, Craig Fitzhugh and Mezianne Vale Payne.
What opportunities do you see in the state’s near future, and how do you plan to help seize them?
I see an opportunity to be a leader to the state representatives and state senators by being an example to them when I prepare a proposed budget by showing that the budget can be sent to them for approval without a lot of unnecessary “pork,” which we do not need.
By cutting the budget, we can become fiscally sound and not reliant on the federal government for 42 percent of our total state income.
When we are dependent, we become subservient to make deals with the federal government, such as Governor Haslam did with then President Obama when he made the deal to bring the refugees into our state and in the deal, they were placed on our TennCare and other taxpayer-funded programs.
With the money which we save in the budget, we can give our teachers the raises which are long overdue, increase the security in our schools and control the security in our detention centers much more efficiently.
[Another opportunity is in] restricting the medical use of opioids for minor injuries, while making medical cannabis legal for those in need of this particular type of care. [It can be] doctor-prescribed and this can be accomplished by having the legislators educated by medical professionals who have document cases where this treatment has helped many children with seizure-related illnesses.
I believe in our legislators and feel they will want to work with someone who is not “business as usual,” but for the people they represent—when I do good, it will also make them look good for re-election.
What is the most crucial challenge facing the state, and how you plan to address it?
The influx of illegal drugs. This horrible crime and it is a crime must be punishable to those bringing in the drugs by the death sentence. This is the only way in which we will stop the “drug dealers.”
We need to realize that drug addiction is a disease and it cannot be healed in a 30 or 60 day period rehabilitation center.
We must demand anyone who is on drugs must go into a facility where they can work for the state and their keep and must stay a minimum of one year.
I know and I will be very tough on this crime.
I lost my youngest son on June 10 because a doctor put him on pain medicine when he was injured by a fast pitch baseball. He fought the disease for years and was finally off but other circumstances, such as getting out of rehab with a record means there are few jobs.
You are looked down upon and life has little meaning because you have lost your self-worth.
Job training is a must in and outside of our jail system.
We must rehabilitate these human beings and put them back into society as functioning citizens with a purpose.
Dealers must not have any mercy.
What is your vision for your time in office, if elected?
When I am elected as governor, my vision is to first get our educational system back in order—check out the system for paying the teachers, making adjustments.
I would like to save the state a lot of money by not starting school until after Labor Day which would cut the cost drastically of cooling the buildings during the hottest time of the year.
No Fall break, only a Christmas break. Have a long weekend for Easter and allow schools to be out in by the second week of May before the hottest weather begins again.
This would reduce the cost of maintenance for the buildings and the cost to the taxpayers.
Rules must be administered, such as all cellphones must be turned [in], ID marked and placed in a basket when entering a classroom.
Bathrooms must have a teacher in attendance on a rotation basis to prevent bullying or other things in a bathroom area such as drug use.
Teachers to be offered free gun education on a volunteer basis performed by their local sheriff’s office.
Any teacher wanting to carry a concealed weapon may do so by an ankle strap or shoulder strapped weapon holder. Weapons would never be allowed to be loose.
Drills administered to educate the young people as to what to do in a time where their lives are endangered both in elementary and high schools. A system put in place to keep the grounds of all schools canvassed and watched for suspicious activity.
No cars allowed on campus without a permit sticker, identifying the vehicle as belonging to a student or teacher. Teacher parking to be in separate area from student parking.
My vision for our safety is for our churches also to have a trained security officer, armed and all worshippers to be instructed as to what they should do in the case of a potential intruder.
My vision includes a system to eliminate the cause of the drug trafficking by placing the hardest punishment on the drug dealers and carrying out the sentence within 30 days once a definite conviction is determined. We have too many on death row, who are feasting on the foods and other amenities furnished by the taxpayers.
They know before they commit the crime when coming to Tennessee what the punishment will be — so I want our state to be tough and get the criminals out and make our state a wonderful, safe place to live and to do business.
I have a vision for getting bridges repaired in our small counties where lives matter as much as in our large cities.
There are several areas where bridges are unsafe and are the only ingress/egress for a particular area.
This would save lives and improve our state’s appearance.
I have had the privilege of visiting some of the smaller towns and found them quite distinct and enjoyable.
I would like to prepare a tourist booklet to show off these small towns, such as Bell Buckle, that have a lot to offer.
Tennessee has such beauty and needs to be shown to the nation what we have to offer.
My vision is also for our veterans to have a home. No veteran should be homeless.
Let’s allow those without families who are in need of a home, to be allowed to live in our government-owned housing instead of able-bodied people who are too lazy to work. Work or they do not eat. Work or they do not receive a check.
Simple instructions: Nothing is free and the taxpayers do not need to furnish assistance to those who can work but will not.
What should Chattanooga residents know about you and do you have any thoughts about how the Scenic City would benefit from your leadership?
As stated above, I want to educate people in other states about what our state has to offer.
I feel that every city should be responsible for creating an atmosphere which makes their town unique and desirable to the outside for a residence or for a small business.
Tennessee would be considered a “business-friendly” state.
I will encourage our legislators to offer tax incentives for businesses locating in Tennessee with perks for every five-year period they maintain their business in good standing creating 25 or more jobs.
This would be on a scale depending on the income level for the employees to how much tax incentives they receive. The higher their pay scale, the more tax advantage.
What specific ideas do you have to make the state and/or Chattanooga a better place to live for everyone, including minority groups and the disadvantaged?
Greater security in all of our cities. We will strengthen our National Guards and they will be deployed when the laws are broken.
Once local police realize that the state’s national guard will have their back, they will know that we mean business and that we are going to clean up our state.
Any law official caught breaking the law will be fired immediately and sentenced to five years of labor for the state to repay the state for their training which they have abused.
It is time that people realize that the taxpayers have suffered enough and we are going to stop paying for people who do not work, people who are state employees who take advantage of the state, abusing their jobs.
Place a midnight closing for bars will help eliminate safety challenges and sex trafficking.
These crimes against our youth will stop or they will carry a stiff sentence which will alter the life of the offenders.
What measures, if any, would you take to support small business owners and entrepreneurs?
Again, safety on our streets will help small business owners.
I will work to get the workman’s comp law changed back to like it was where a small business does not pay workman’s comp unless they employee at least 15 people.
A small business with five to ten employees cannot afford workman’s comp. This has put a lot of small business out of business. The law, as it is now, is with one employee, you must pay.
We need to give a free tax period of two years tax free-for-all new business starting up, which should encourage entrepreneurs to “try Tennessee and grow Tennessee.”
Small businesses need to be encouraged to grow into large businesses without being choked before they get started.
How do you believe a leader should handle people they don’t get along or agree with?
As governor, I will listen.
I will make wise decisions for the people of this state.
I will not “go along” to “get along” with an idea that is not for the best of the people. That reputation will reach the ears of those who would seek favors for their own benefit quiet rapidly.
It is time that we stop trying to appeal to those who think they are elite and reach out and give a hand to those working people who are the backbone of our state.
I feel that small companies are entitled to bid on the state contracts and they should not be awarded to the wealthy companies who have shown favor to those who are making our laws.
I have always been known to be a peacemaker but like Trump, I will not compromise the people’s interest.
What values do you believe should drive the governor’s administration?
Honesty, a passionate desire to make a difference where all of the people of this state matter, not just the politicians or those with money.
Everyone should be treated equally and everyone will matter to me in my administration.
—Why should residents vote for you and not one of your opponents?
The voters of Tennessee have tried the smiling rich men who keep smiling and getting richer and the state educational system is deteriorating.
A woman with motherly instincts who really cares about the development of our future generations will make a difference. I am passionate about our state and I do not care if I step on the toes of those who are not doing their jobs.
I do not owe any special interest.
I am not a part of the establishment however, I have worked for our state in many campaigns to send real conservative leaders to our legislation.
I have never been awarded any state contracts so I do not “owe” any special favors like keeping programs that are a drain on the taxpayer’s money without benefiting more other than 2-5 percent of the people.
All taxpayers are paying for the programs and all people are paying a gas tax which benefits the present governor’s company on the float along with millions of dollars while costing our people. Getting rich is not my goal but helping put Tennessee on a firm foundation and showing the voters of this state, “It matters who governs.”
—What is your personal motivation for running for this office and wanting to lead the city?
Cutting waste. This means cutting tax.
Showing that a woman who is motivated by her love for our great state of Tennessee can be firm and make a difference.
I have watched as those in our state political arena scratch the backs of one another; I think it is time the real backs are scratched — that it the backs of the people who are supporting this state with their hard earned money.
I want them to keep as much as possible in their pockets. Less government is better government.
More security is better security.
I believe that I can make this happen.