Williamson County Commissioner Bobby Hullett // Photo courtesy of Bobby Hullett
By BROOKE WANSER
Williamson County Commissioner Bobby Hullett has announced his run for Republican Rep. Charles Sargent’s seat in the Tennessee General Assembly.
Seventy-two-year-old Sargent, the head of the House Finance Committee, recently announced his retirement at the end of his term next year due to his health.
The other announced candidates are Hullett’s peer from county commission, Jeff Ford, as well as Rebecca Burke. Both candidates are Republicans.
Hullett, 46, of Brentwood, has an extensive background in education. He joined the Williamson County School Board in 2012 and was re-elected in 2016, before being elected to replace County Commissioner Tim Bain in February. He’s a Ph.D. candidate in educational leadership at the University of Kentucky and works in human resources teaching leadership development for Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
As an educator, Hullett said his primary concern is representing Williamson County Schools.
“My goal upon entering the state house is to fully fund the BEP,” he said, explaining how schools are funded in Tennessee through the Basic Education Plan.
Since Williamson County is predominantly wealthier than other counties, its schools receive far less federal funding. Hullett disagrees with this.
“It shouldn’t be the haves and the have nots,” he said. “They [children] all should have an equal chance.”
Hullett and his wife, Kristen, a Williamson County teacher, have two sons, ages nine and 13; the younger attends Lipscomb Elementary and the older, Brentwood Middle School.
In addition to education, Hullett said gun laws and healthcare are issues that need to be worked on.
After a Tennessee law allowed citizens to bring firearms into public parks, Hullett worked with the school board to post signs at schools, as well at the public parks in which school events are often held, advising that firearms are not allowed.
Though he is a gun owner and a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, Hullett said he hears both sides of the argument for gun control. “I think the interpretation of the Second Amendment is what’s in debate,” he said. “We don’t need to be so polarizing in our comments.”
As a Republican candidate, Hullett said he is advocating for a different type of political compromise.
“The ‘versus methodology,’ us vs. them, doesn’t work,” he said.
“My philosophy is you have the extreme left wing and the extreme right wing, and everyone else in the middle. There’s more meat on the bone in the middle of the bird,” he said.
Though candidates can still pull out of the race or wait to declare until February, Hullett said he’s committed to running and winning.
“I’m a thousand percent in,” he said.