Area resident Aaron Pettigrew, who is a self-described “regular working person,” is seeking to represent Tennessee in the United States Senate.
Originally, from Wyoming, he’s lived here on and off since the 1990s and said Tennessee is his home.
“I went back to help family for a time, but as soon as I could, I came right back to Tennessee in 2008,” he said. “Currently, I am a trucker and self-educated. I believe in term limits for Congress and I also do not support the pension so I will not be part of the problem. I am doing this to serve.”
He’s seeking to take over the seat from Sen. Bob Corker, who is not seeking re-election.
What is the most crucial challenge facing the Senate and how do you plan to address it?
The first and strongest solution is to remind other senators that we work for the people and our state governments.
The next is to support bills and acts that really will work with common-sense solutions, not to just throw money at problems and see what sticks.
The third big one is to actually take advice from real people [who are] working in sectors that laws will apply to, not bureaucrats attorneys.
Are there local issues unique to Tennessee that you would pursue solutions to in the Senate?
Tennessee’s pressing issues are not really unique to the state even if they may seem that way.
Many of the rural needs are shared by other states as well as struggling parts of the urban areas.
The largest problem I do see is that the federal government is taxing so much and mandating even more, making it impossible for Tennessee to manage ourselves.
To truly deal with that, I will fight to get the federal government out of our way starting with those things that our state government is prepared to manage internally.
The Senate is supposed to be the state government’s voice in the federal government I will restore that practice.
Which Senate committee would you most want to be assigned to? Why?
There are two subcommittees [I would want. One] in ground transportation because I have expertise in roads, rail, pipelines and utility lines.
The other I would want is Department of State and Foreign Aid because I feel I can help restructure or cut back foreign aid to begin my fight against the debt. From there I can also help clean up this immigration mess that has been building over the past 50 years.
[I] support the wall, as well as other immigration enforcement measures.
What do you want the public to know about your background or personal life if anything?
I am a regular working person, like anyone else. The difference being that I am the kind of man that can’t just complain about the disconnect of our political class.
When something needs fixed or worked on, I do it.
While I do only have a high school diploma, I did not consider this office lightly.
I have studied and carefully thought about how I can best serve.
I have been a small-business owner and have worked in positions to understand law and how to read it.
I have also been on the streets and poor so I know the struggles that most people face just trying to get by.
Why should residents vote for you and not one of your opponents?
I can’t be bought.
Because I am not from politics, I am not so afraid of the re-election cycle.
I will not need to play the money and campaign donation games that career politicians do.
I am not afraid to challenge the people who profit from our government being so broken.
I am not afraid to stand in front of the chamber and say, “We the people are sick of it. Lets start cleaning this up and doing it right.”
And I am more than happy to do the actual work, not just make a political show of it.
What is your personal motivation for running for this office and wanting to represent the state in Washington, D.C.?
I have watched as the entire political class from both major parties have continually disconnected and separated themselves above and apart from the citizenry all of my adult life, conveniently forgetting that they actually work for us, not the other way around.
As for Tennessee, even though I am originally from Wyoming, when I first moved here at the age of 20, I knew I had found where I wanted to call home.
I love both the land diversity, as well as the cultural diversity of the cities and the rural parts of the state.
Tennessee is my home and all of the people are, in my heart, my family.
I want Tennessee to prosper and shine in true Americana fashion for the rest of the republic to look up to as an example of liberty.