With the support and endorsement of organizations as varied as the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Rifle Association, Tennessee Right to Life, the Tennessee Men’s Health Network, the state and local Firefighters associations – and perfect voting scorecards from policy groups like Americans for Prosperity, the Family Action Council of Tennessee and the American Conservative Union – Rep. Charles Sargent’s conservative credentials should be clear.
But District 61 challenger Steve Gawrys has taken a novel approach: lying to the voters in an attempt to gain their support.
“This man refuses to debate, won’t tell anyone what he stands for, is largely funded by a fringe group and has spent months openly lying about my legislative record,” said Charles Sargent, the Republican state representative from Williamson County who serves as chair of the House Finance, Ways & Means Committee. “This is the disheartening side of modern politics, when people are willing to take whatever means to pursue their objective. Fortunately, the citizens of Williamson County are smarter than that.”
The examples are many: Gawrys said Sargent supports Planned Parenthood, yet Rep. Sargent has the endorsement of Tennessee Right to Life, and was a key leader in a move that resulted in Planned Parenthood losing the vast majority of their state funding.
Gawrys says Sargent supports ObamaCare, because as House Finance chair he sponsored legislation forced under the mandate of the federal government that would have had a major impact on the state budget; a week later the mandate was deemed legally unenforceable, and the bill was pulled. Sargent was a prime sponsor on the Tennessee Health Freedom Act, written to combat the strong-arm tactics of the federal government and maintain state control, which was passed into law later in that session.
Gawrys said Sargent voted for driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, when the bill actually strengthened penalties for illegal drivers. The bill passed 96-3 in the House.
Gawrys said Sargent is soft on guns, but Sargent has a perfect A rating from and the formal endorsement of the National Rifle Association.
Gawrys said Sargent tried to block the repeal of the Hall income tax, despite Sargent being chief sponsor of the bill that passed this year in a historic tax-cutting session. By 2022, Tennesseans will be paying $2 billion less in taxes, as Sargent also led the successful efforts to eliminate the death tax, to repeal the gift tax, and to cut sales tax on food.
“Legislative records are available online, including video from each and every committee hearing and floor session. It’s astounding that he thinks he can get away with just lying about all of these important issues,” Sargent said. “You have to question the motivations of a person like Steve Gawrys who is willing to say or do anything to try to get elected to public office. That’s a dangerous thing.”
Early voting in the Republican Primary is ongoing through July 30. Election Day is Thursday, August. 4.
For more on Rep. Charles Sargent, including endorsements, policy positions and voting history, please visit www.sargentfortennessee.com.