MEET YOUR CANDIDATES: Republican candidates for 8th Congressional District | Collierville Independent


On Friday, local voters began to narrow down the lengthy list of candidates contending for Rep. Stephen Fincher’s District 8 congressional seat as early voting opened for primary candidates.

The 21 satellite early voting locations across Shelby County opened on July 15.

Linda Phillips, administrator of elections for the Shelby County Election Commission, said all polling places open at 10 a.m., and will be open until 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

On Saturdays, polls close at 4 p.m. All locations are closed on Sunday. Early voting continues through July 30.

“During Early Voting, people can stop and vote wherever at any polling place, and do not have to vote at their assigned precinct polling place,” Phillips said.

Early voting locations include:

• Collierville Church of Christ

• New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church

• AgriCenter

• Bellevue Baptist Church

• The Refuge Church

• Bethel Church

• Baker Community Center

Below are the 13 Republican candidates for the 8th Congressional District of the US House of Representatives. 

This page will be updated as more candidates turn in their election questionnaires. 


Ken Atkins of Fayette County 

• Age: 59

• Occupation: Correctional officer in Mason

• Education: After attending Oregon State and Mississippi State, I set into life seeking success without family money. I am a self made man and claim my success and disappointments.

• Organizations/Groups/ Activities: As a City of Covington school board member I was instrumental in consolidating the system saving millions of dollars for tax payers.

I was a part of the Arrow Head group that developed the Links subdivision, a beautiful golfing setting. I was a board member of the Mid-South Chevy Dealers. I had 70 well paid employees and never missed a $40,000 per week payroll.

I sent the state of Tennessee 20 million dollars in tax revenue. After selling my business and experiencing the largest financial melt down in this country’s history, caused by politicians, I became a correctional officer.

1. List three significant issues in this election.

My concerns for the 8th District starts with jobs. If you read my self made web site at you will see more.

2. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if elected?

I have a vision of bringing industry, tech, small and large business here. I can and will help do this.

3. What do you think is the biggest concern facing District 8 at this time, and why?

I support our law officers who have a target on their backs thanks to the Obama Administration.

We have to secure the southern boarder and deport all illegal immigrants, including so called refugees from the middle east.

These disastrous trade deals, NAFTA, WTO have to be altered to include the hard working men and women of this country.

To me it is all about jobs regardless of the rural areas or metropolitan areas.

4. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?

As far as qualifications go, if you have to be a lawyer or someone that has worked for Government their entire lives making slick speeches while stuffing their own pockets then I’m not your guy. If being qualified means that I am the same as you, then I am your man. That is why I say that, “A vote for Ken Atkins is a vote for yourself.”


Hunter Baker of Jackson

• Age: 45

• Current occupation: College professor

• Education: Bachelor of Science Economics and Political Science (double major, Florida State), Master of Public Administration (University of Georgia), Juris Doctor (University of Houston Law), Ph.D. in Religion, Politics and Society (Baylor University)


Dave Bault of Jackson

• Age: 39

• Current occupation: Sales Terminix and retail management

• Education: Bachelors Christian Life College

• Family: Wife of 13 years and three sons

• Organizations/Groups/Activities Wife is a St. Jude Baby Childhood Cancer Survivor, Actively Involved at Lighthouse Church, Tupelo Childrens Mansion alumnus, Served on Chamber of Commerce boards and various economic development committees

1. List three significant issues in this election.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Education and Crime

Healthcare Reform

2. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if elected?

1) If another politician mentions I-69 or the Brownsville Supersite as new promises I will throw up. Of course we all support these. Finish them finally, its been 40 years. Economic Development centers on fixing issues specific to each community. Crime, education, job training, as well as using the office of Congressman to personally recruit business to West Tennessee.

2) Education – bring back local control to the schools. Eliminate common core. Work for any solution that raises teacher pay while bringing the freedom to educate to our local communities.

3) Healthcare – From Day 1, Repeal The Affordable Care Act and give Veterans a card so they can get healthcare access to any hospital in America. Keep the Government out of the healthcare business.

3. What do you think is the biggest concern facing your district at this time, and why?

Social Justice – We can no longer have two Americas where the rich and powerful are immune to prosecution and the poor are held accountable. But one America ruled by law and justice delivered not by the wealth or color of ones skin but by fair applications of constitutional laws.

As long as we stand together and the Constitution is literally interpreted we will stay free. When the Constitution can be twisted, freedom of religion can be violated, our right to bear arms threatened, and life devalued through abortion.

We must reform our nation to bring it back to the vision of our founding fathers, a free society where anyone can be anything that they desire.

Political correctness has run amuck and the freedom of speech has come to mean freedom as long as you agree with what I want you to say.

4. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?

I am not a politician. I am not Superman. I am an ordinary man who knows that the only difference between ordinary and extraordinary is a little extra.

I am a passionate speaker who can speak clearly and to the point. I was called on in my retail career to go into difficult stores and turn them around working with all kinds of people to make positive changes often saving jobs. I can go to Congress and its dysfunction and immediately begin to make changes by standing for what I believe in and working for the people of West Tennessee.


Dr. George Flinn of Memphis

• Age: 72

• Current occupation: Radiologist, President of the Flinn Clinics, President of Flinn Broadcasting

• Education: I earned my Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering at the University of Mississippi and earned my Medical Degree from the University of Tennessee.

• Family: I have two children and three grandchildren.

• Organizations/Groups/ Activities: I attend church at Second Presbyterian. I am a Fellow of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine and a Fellow of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. As a member of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, I am on the Board of Directors, serving as Director for West Tennessee. I am a Life Member of the NRA.

1. List three significant issues in this election.

a. The National Debt/Economy

b. National Security

c. Healthcare

2. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if elected?

a. Our federal government has been spending money out of control under the Obama administration.

We’ve got to start reeling in the spending and start cutting unnecessary spending. I will work to cut the budget by first trimming the waste.

You can visit my website ( to see some examples of how the government has been wasting our money. I can tell you some things that will not be on the table when it comes to cuts: programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

b. When it comes to National Security, we need to enforce our own laws and keep illegal immigrants from entering this country. We need to upgrade and modernize our equipment at the border. Instead of using tractor tires and SUV’s, we need to be using drones, cameras and other electronic surveillance equipment. Also, in terms of our military, doesn’t it seem like they have been operating with one hand tied behind their back?

We have got to get our military the resources they need to be successful and remain a world superpower. During President Reagan’s tenure in office, about 27 percent of all federal spending went to our Department of Defense. We currently spend half that amount. I will vote to ensure our military has all of the resources needed to keep the United States and our allies safe and secure.

c. Our healthcare system is a disaster and the first step to fixing it is to repeal Obamacare. I have a detailed plan on my website ( that you can read to see my healthcare plan that will decrease cost and increase choices for care.

It’s a plan that gets us back to having a doctor-patient relationship. For too long now, the relationship has been insurance company and government driven. That system has to stop and I have a plan to fix it.

3. What do you think is the biggest concern facing District 8 at this time, and why?

I think the biggest concern facing District 8 is jobs and the economy. Our political system is broken and we cannot afford to send someone to Washington who will not be able to address these issues. As a business-minded conservative, I am in a unique position in this District 8 Congressional race.

I am the only candidate who has created hundreds of jobs during my career across West Tennessee. I have grown my small businesses, which include health clinics and radio and television stations. I know what it’s like to have the government overreach and overregulate small business owners.

I know how difficult it is to create a balanced budget, to make a payroll every week, and to pay taxes — I do it all the time in my small businesses. We’ve got to make it easier for small businesses to flourish. These small businesses are the backbone of our economy here in the 8th District. We’ve got to cut the government out of small businesses to the fullest extent.

4. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?

I can’t be bought by special interest groups. I have a plan to fix our healthcare system and I know the needs of our small business owners because I am a small business owner.

I encourage you to visit my website to learn more about me and my positions on some key issues that we’ve been talking about in this race. I’m Dr. George Flinn and I’d like to ask you for your vote during early voting (July 15-30) or on Election Day (Aug. 4).


Brad Greer of Jackson

• Age: 47

• Current occupation: My wife Jennifer and I own a small business, Premier Promotions, an advertising agency working with clients throughout West Tennessee.

• Education: I graduated from Union City High School in 1987 and graduated from Union University in 1991.

• Family: Jennifer and I are blessed to be parents to five children, and now grandparents to a new granddaughter. Like most families, we’ve spent countless nights cheering from the stands at ball games and clapping from the audience at concerts. I’ve been an active member of a church family, teaching Sunday school and volunteering in ministry work.

• Organizations/Groups/ Activities: Lambuth Area Neighborhood Association ­ Immediate Past President Youth Town of Tennessee ­ Mentor ­ Past President of the Advisory Board Jackson Exchange Club ­ Past President Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse ­ Past Member Executive Committee of Central Board ­ Chaired Blue Suede Dinner and Auction Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce ­ Former Board of Directors MemberUnion University ­ Former member, Alumni Board of Directors ­ Former member, Presidential Board of Associates

1. List three significant issues in this election.

• Jobs and the Economy

• Control by the Political Establishment and Special Interests

• Homeland Security

2. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if elected?

• Jobs and the Economy

I have worked throughout the 8th Congressional district my whole adult life with the business I built. I used to make sales calls on businesses and industries that no longer exist.

For West Tennessee to succeed, we must focus on recruiting new industry, helping existing businesses expand, and encouraging the development and growth of small business. At the same time, we cannot forget the area’s agricultural industry.

Successfully growing our economy requires a commitment to cut regulatory red tape, ensuring that decisions made in Washington do not negatively impact our businesses, such as job killing agreements like NAFTA. We must also focus on strengthening the region’s workforce.

Finally, we must complete job creating projects, such as the I­69 corridor, the Megasite in Haywood County, and the Port at Cate’s Landing, among others. The transportation resources of this District, and its strategic location, create an

ideal environment for businesses of all sizes to flourish and reach their customers and suppliers.

• Political Establishment

As I visit with voters throughout the district, I hear a common theme: they believe that we are giving our country and its values away to the highest bidder. Politicians are acting in their own self­interests, making deals based on campaign contributions from large corporations and special interest groups and promises of leadership positions, not that of their constituents.

Unlike most of my opponents, I refuse to accept dirty money from special interest groups and lobbyists. I will serve the people, not the powerful. I’m also not a career politician who has lived off the public dime for my entire career. I have never had a government job, but I have provided jobs for many through the years by taking a risk and starting a small business.

I don’t have a PAC to peddle influence, and Ihave not personally benefitted from sweetheart appointments. I’m not interested in climbing a political ladder. I believe service in the U.S. House of Representatives should not be a lifelong career; I support term­limits and am committed to serving no more than 12 years.

• Homeland Security

We are giving money to countries that hate our way of life, while they attack us at home and abroad. From the murder of five of our service members in Chattanooga, to the senseless killings in Orlando, we should not have to live in fear as we go about our daily lives.

The devastating attacks overseas, such as the horrible attack on the people in Nice, France, should give us pause. If we continue to allow entry into our country by refugees from those countries, then we are putting our citizens at risk.

Our political leaders used to have the courage and resolve to go after our enemies.

Some of us still do. I will fight to secure our nation’s borders to keep criminals and terrorists out of our country. We must also support the brave men and women serving in local law enforcement. They should have the tools, training, and technology to do their jobs because they are on the front lines, risking their lives on a daily basis.

My loyalty is to my countrymen, and I will do whatever is necessary to protect our safety and way of life.

3. What do you think is the biggest concern facing District 8 at this time, and why?

Too many people in this district are unemployed or underemployed. While some counties in the district flourish, others struggle.

Companies looking at our area want a qualified and available workforce, which means we must have a robust and comprehensive education system that is focused on both educating students for future careers, as well as job training and retraining by providing adults with opportunities to receive the additional training necessary to meet the needs of current and future employers.

4. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?

I am a committed conservative who believes in working for and being responsible to all the people throughout West Tennessee. It is clear that West Tennesseans are fed up with politics as usual, and they want someone who won’t simply “go along to get along.”

They deserve someone committed to representing the values of West Tennessee;someone working actively to promote and celebrate what makes our part of this great state unique. I am that man.

Unlike the other candidates from Memphis who have lived off the taxpayer’s dime as elected or appointed officials, my life has been similar to the lives of so many West Tennesseans, and as such, I understand the needs of the people far better than any of those Memphis career politicians who are vying for this seat.

I’m a small business owner, not a career politician, part of the establishment elite, or beholden to special interest groups or donors expecting favors. It’s going to take a principled leader with a fresh perspective; someone committed to working to change “politics as usual” in Washington.

I firmly believe that to represent the people, one must be among the people, and career politicians simply do not understand what the rest of us face on a daily basis as we live, work, and raise our families in West Tennessee. I grew up with conservative, Christian, small town values, learning important life lessons from my family, coaches, teachers, pastors and friends, who instilled in me a true servant’s heart and passion for helping people.

The leadership roles I’ve held in the civic and non­profit organizations I’ve been a part of can be defined by one thing: community service, not self­service.

We deserve a representative who fights for our specific needs. That’s the reason why I also pledge to have the best constituent services this district has ever seen.

I am one of the people and will look after all parts of this district. I am running because I believe in us, I am one of us, and I will fight for us.


Raymond Honeycutt of Bartlett

• Age: 72

• Current occupation: Retired banker

• Education: University of Memphis, University of New Orleans, University of Wisconsin – Masters Degree in Bank Administration

• Family: Wife deceased, four children.

• Organizations/Groups/ Activities Exchange Club of Jackson, Mississippi – past treasurer; Charter Member- Nativity Lutheran Church, Brandon, Mississippi,; Bellevue Baptist Church; St. Luke Episcopal Church; motorcycles; gardening; reading.

1. List three significant issues in this election.

Lack of jobs, illegal immigration, Obamacare.

2. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if elected?

I will do absolutely everything I can, such as jawboning, direct order, tariffs or devaluation of the dollar against certain currencies to return jobs to the U.S.

Demand that we enforce immigration laws already on the books or encourage Presidential Decree to stop it or introduce additional legislation.

Encourage ban on Obamacare through Presidential Decree, fight it through Supreme Court and/or legislation or any other means necessary.

3. What do you think is the biggest concern facing District 8 at this time, and why?

Jobs are the biggest concern in District 8 because jobs have been lost causing loss of money in the economy, shrinking it, income loss to individuals, loss of homes, lost taxes necessary to maintain a strong educational system, fire department, police department, sufficient infrastructure and various other municipal services.

4. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?

I have a strong business education which gives me insight into how the economy works, 30 years banking experience in helping movers and shakers create tens of thousands of jobs in Shelby County and other parts of Tennessee by using unique financing techniques to finance the building of subdivisions, college, schools and universities build dorms and other facilities and Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division finance buildings, substations and repairs to infrastructure.

Then there is my military service where I was involved at a pivotal point in our history in a situation involving our future freedom in this country. It taught me that we have to have a strong military in order to thwart the efforts of our enemies.


George Howell of Jackson

• Age: 60

• Current occupation: Manufacturing management in Alamo, Tenn. for the past 10 years.

• Education: Bachelor Science Industrial Engineering Oklahoma University

MBA Indiana University

• Family: Married for 30 years with five grown kids

• Organizations/Groups/Activities: Volunteer for

Active in all churches attended working with and supporting missionaries all over the world.

Jackson Team Read

Past leader, coach, and teacher of our church AWANA club – children’s Christian organization

Housed 3 foreign and 2 American students live with us while they were attending local colleges here in Jackson

Past coach for soccer teams

1. List three significant issues in this election.

• The federal government is financially bankrupt

• The federal government is constitutionally bankrupt

• The federal government is morally bankrupt.

2. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if re-elected?

See for a two-year plan to balance the budget and three-year plan to generate a $300 billion surplus, which includes a plan to generate jobs through a large tax cut for business to make America more competitive with foreign countries.

Being in manufacturing for 35 years, I know the problem is not labor costs. The problem is government – federally and in many states. Tennessee is relatively business friendly.

Constitutionally, I will seek to curb federal power by:

· Legislating only what is in Article 1 section 8 per the original intent of the constitution

· Repeal federal unfunded mandates by introducing single issue bills like repealing No Child Left Behind.

· Initiate single issue bills like DOMA to make it law again since Supreme Court does not have constitutional jurisdiction to make law over Congress.

· Use the power of the purse to reduce and then eliminate agencies like the EPA and their regulations.

Moral bankruptcy will be the most difficult to change. The founding fathers were quoted in many ways that the constitutional republic was good only for a moral and virtuous people. The Supreme Court in many decisions referred to America as a Christian nation for over 150 years but has been in high reverse since then. The only slim chance will have to be more from each state rejecting federal money so they can control their destiny and bring morality back into education as was first encouraged and instituted in American education. Tennessee could and should be a leader in this fight.

3. What do you think is the biggest concern facing your district at this time, and why?

The hubris and largess of the federal government taking over all aspects of our lives with excessive regulations, unfunded mandates, and the legislative branch not doing its constitutional duty to  legislate only Article 1 section 8 while letting the executive and judicial branches create laws not in their constitutional jurisdiction. State’s rights are being trampled.

4. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?

George Howell is not a politician. With 35 years in manufacturing with an Industrial Engineering degree, I have implemented changes saving millions of dollars every year, implemented systems to streamline operations, and I have seen first-hand the destructive nature of the federal governments overreach. There are many good candidates out there promising all the litmus test issues, but there are only two that have published plans of any significance to address these issues. If your plan is nothing, you are guaranteed to accomplish your plan – nothing. Go to to see if you agree with my plan to get America back to sound financial footing and I ask for your vote.


Brian Kelsey of Germantown

• Age: 38

• Current occupation: State senator, small business owner

• Education: BA with honors from the University of North Carolina; J.D. Georgetown University


David Kustoff of Germantown

• Age: 49

• Current occupation: Attorney

• Education: University of Memphis (J.D., 1992) University of Memphis (B.B.A., 1989)

• Family: Roberta and David have been married for 14 years and have two children, Jake and Maggie

• Organizations/Groups/ Activities: He serves on the national board for the University of Memphis Alumni Association, the University of Memphis Board of Visitors and the Athletic Advisory Board. He is on the Board of Directors for BankTennessee.

Former Shelby County GOP Chair and former U.S. Attorney appointed by President Bush

1. List three significant issues in this election.

• Fighting Radical Islamic Terrorism

• Ending Illegal Immigration – Securing our Borders

• Repealing Obamacare

2. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if elected?

The first priority of our government is our nation’s security. We must take the fight to ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups, and destroy them. As the United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee under President Bush, I set my sights on cleaning up government and public corruption, and fighting violent crime and drugs.

I oversaw the majority of the Tennessee Waltz trials that sent Senator John Ford and many other politicians to federal prison. I also advocated for the death penalty and sent criminals back home to their country of origin.

We must secure the border and enforce the laws already on the books. Period. As United States Attorney I enforced the laws and sent criminals back to their country of origin. President Obama’s immigration executive orders are unconstitutional and must be reversed. Illegal immigration is also a national security issue. A secure country must have secure borders. Our fight against ISIS and other terrorists must include securing the border.

We’ve taken the best healthcare system in the world and made it too convoluted and expensive. We need more choice in our health care system, including purchasing insurance across state lines.

3. What do you think is the biggest concern facing District 8 at this time, and why?

All the issues listed above are big concerns.

4. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?

David Kustoff’s roots run deep in West Tennessee. He was born and raised in Shelby County and is a graduate of the University of Memphis.

Appointed U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee by President Bush in 2006, Kustoff set his sights on cleaning up government and public corruption and fighting violent crime and drugs. He oversaw the majority of the Tennessee Waltz trials that sent Senator John Ford and 12 other defendants to federal prison.

In Congress, he will fight mandates and regulation that are crushing small businesses, and will stand up against wasteful government spending. He will continue to fight for the conservative principles that have defined his career; he stands ready to challenge the way things are done in Washington.

“I am a lifelong conservative who was born and raised in West Tennessee. Having served as our United States Attorney, I know just how important it is we work together to keep our community safe, secure and prosperous.”


Tom Leatherwood of Arlington

• Age: 59

• Current occupation: Register of Deeds for Shelby County

• Education: Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Memphis; teaching certification from Middle Tennessee State University

• Family: Married to Melissa for 26 years; five daughters, ranging in age from 12 to 23.

• Organizations/Groups/ Activities: Active Member of Faith Baptist Church in Bartlett; Volunteer & Donor to two local crisis pregnancy centers; AHS runners booster club

1. List three significant issues in this election.

The economy, as it relates to jobs, unbalanced budgets, and 19 trillion dollars in debt.

National security, as it relates to securing our borders, enforcing our current laws, and protecting our citizens at home and abroad.

Returning to the original intent of our Constitution.

2. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if elected?

• The Economy

In the State Senate, I served on the Finance Committee, producing and balancing the state budget. I have the experience to balance the budget and pay down the debt in Congress.

We can keep jobs here and bring jobs back by reducing taxes/regulations and eliminating over-reaching federal bureaucracies like the IRS, EPA, and the Departments of Education and Energy. I support a fair or flat tax which would facilitate elimination of the IRS. Also, Obamacare needs to be abolished. It is a failure and a burden for our people and country to bear. These measures would unleash free enterprise and benefit the economy as a whole allowing debt to be paid down.

• National Security

Our government needs to secure our borders and enforce the laws which are already in place. I will fight against amnesty and the refugee re-settlement program. Also, when we have U.S. ambassadors and other personnel in trouble overseas and rapid deployment teams are available, we should send them in to save our people. We should not sit back, watch drone videos, and lie to the American people.

• Preservation of Constitutional Rights

The original intent of our Constitution is pretty clear and getting back to it would solve a lot of our problems. We have the right to bear arms. There is no right to kill babies before they are born. The tenth amendment states that there is a clear limit to the federal government’s power and this limit has been breached.

3. What do you think is the biggest concern facing District 8 at this time, and why?

The economy — specifically, the loss of jobs in the eighth district. I have five daughters and want them to have the option of finding employment and starting families here at home in West Tennessee. Excessive government taxation/regulation, inefficient bureaucracies, and a looming debt crisis stifle business and push jobs overseas. I will work with the Freedom Caucus, other conservative groups, and use my legislative experience to balance the budget, reduce job-killing taxes/regulations, and control illegal immigration. I need your vote to fix it.

4. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?

I served in the Tennessee State Senate for eight years after defeating a long-term incumbent who sponsored the state income tax. Taking on the establishment and running a grassroots campaign, we defeated the income tax. Years later, the income tax was re-introduced by our Republican governor and I worked to defeat it a second time. I had the courage to act upon strong constitutional conservative principles. Republicans are a majority in Congress but continue to cave in to Obama, time after time. My record shows that I will not compromise my principles. This is what our country needs now.

Also, I served on the Finance committee and balanced the state budget. I have the experience to do the same in Washington. I kept my promise to serve only eight years in the State Senate and not go back as a lobbyist, and I make the same commitment regarding Congress.

This is undoubtedly a critical time for our country and Congressional district. Our nation needs true and tested Conservative representation to undo 8+ years of liberal policies, unconstitutional executive actions, and out of control spending.

There is justified cynicism toward Congress. Both parties have been ineffective at addressing illegal immigration, budget deficits, national debt, family values legislation, implementation of a fair or flat tax, & elimination of the IRS, EPA & and other over-reaching federal bureaucracies. As your Congressman, I will bring the experience to serve effectively and be someone you can trust to get the job done.


Mark Luttrell, Jr. of Memphis

• Age: 68

• Current occupation: Mayor of Shelby CountyEducation: B.A., Union University; MPA, Memphis

• Family: Married to wife, Pat, with three children and six grandchildren

• Organizations/Groups/ Activities: National Association of Counties, Board of Directors; Memphis-Shelby Crime Commission; Governor’s Task Force on Sentencing and Recidivism; Board Member for the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce, National Sheriff’s Association; Board of Directors for Tennessee County Services Association; Germantown Kiwanis Club; Union University Alumni Advisory and a member of Second Baptist Church.

1. List three significant issues in this election.

Healthcare, Public Safety and Workforce Development (listed in alphabetical order).

2. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if elected?

As mayor, I have confronted the incredible challenges that Obamacare’s mandates have put on our hospital systems, especially public and rural hospital. Let me be clear – Obamacare must be repealed with a reformist, market-based replacement, ideally driven by the convening of the governors who oversee the state programs and understand both costs and state-unique challenges.

As a former sheriff, public safety was my top priority and I know that dealing with the radicalized ISIS demands a comprehensive strategy. Congress must demand greater collaboration between our federal agencies to put a stop to terrorists’ evil efforts domestically and abroad.

West Tennessee must have a workforce prepared to meet the needs of today and tomorrow. Our high schools, community colleges and universities must improve the connection of students to real work. Developing a stronger economy requires development of local economic resources and reforming the education-to-employment pipeline.

3. What do you think is the biggest concern facing District 8 at this time, and why?

Job creation, economic and workforce development. We have systemic issues where we educate students without regard to their future, the skills needed, and ensuring them a meaningful pathway to employment.

4. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?

I have the depth of experience to take on the challenges that face our district and country. I have served in the Army, as a former sheriff, and presently county mayor.

I am the only candidate in this race with both rural and urban roots in West Tennessee, and am therefore uniquely situated to understand the needs and challenges of both communities.

As mayor, I have been responsible for balancing budgets, reducing debt, and stabilizing tax rates. As a former sheriff, the safety of the public and my fellow officers were my utmost concern.

One of the most important characteristics to ask of a public servant should be honesty. What I say is what I mean, as a candidate and as your representative. The public welfare requires honest leadership, not just to prevent corruption and self-service, but to actually set and accomplish worthy goals.

I come from a spiritually grounded place to serve you in the 8th District.

My faith has always been at the core of my guiding principles. Service to one’s neighbors, giving one’s time and talent to their betterment, is why I’ve pursued public service.

I am a staunch fiscal conservative. Government must be financially accountable to the people. Every year as Shelby County Mayor I set the budget and fiscal policy.

Over my six-year tenure, that budget has always been balanced and county debt has been reduced by $600 million. I have kept government small and effective and I will take that with me to Washington.


David Maldonado of Collierville

• Age: 35

• Current occupation: Zone manager, Ford Motor Company. Manages a group of 12 Ford dealerships in Southeastern Louisiana. Manages the implementation and strategies for Ford’s dealer network in the region with respect to enhancing and providing a best-in-class customer experience. Consults on behalf of Ford to improve the sales and service experience for Ford and Lincoln customers.

• Education: Master of Business Administration; Bachelors of Science in Legal Studies


David Wharton of Union City

• Age: 54

• Current occupation: I am currently pursuing my CPA license and working as a staff accountant for a firm in Halls.

• Education: I am a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin. I have a BSBA in accounting and finance and another BSBA in economics.

1. List three significant issues in this election.

Several big issues face our nation and West Tennessee as we come to the election of 2016. Among the most important are repeal of the Affordable Care Act and tax reform.

2. Specifically, how do you plan to deal with each of these issues, if re-elected?

I will vote to repeal ACA, but as Thomas Sowell has said, one does not replace cancer with another form of cancer, and I must say that I agree. Health care reform must be addressed with a free market solution that offers competition for service and pricing. Allowing consumers to shop for price and service throughout the United States is a critical reform that will provide consumers with the ability to shop for the services and pricing they desire for their particular needs. A one size fits all approach, as ACA is not efficient and is an undue tax on consumers.

Tax reform is a long overdue issue that must be addressed if America is to return to her greatness. I believe that passing H.R.25, FairTax Act of 2016, will be the single greatest change in American government since the revolution of 1776. Passing the FairTax will instantly make America the tax haven of the world. Passing the FairTax is possible with a republican president for the first time since the passing of the income tax in 1913. I will ceaselessly advocate for the passage of the FairTax. I encourage all voters to read H.R.25 for all the details of the bill.

3. What do you think is the biggest concern facing your district at this time, and why?

America is being invaded by illegal immigrants who do not wish to assimilate into American culture, but wish to transform American culture into something alien to Americans.

I will support sealing the borders of America so that immigration authorities can conduct the legal immigration policy of America and enforce the laws of these United States of America. Infectious diseases long thought to be conquered, have begun to reemerge in America. Screening and testing of immigrants wishing to locate to America is essential for the safety of the current population of any region.

Strict immigration policy must be addressed in the next congress. I will support closing our borders and working toward immigration reform that will keep the best interest of Americans as the first priority of any legislation.

4. What specifically makes you best qualified for the position you are seeking?

America and virtually every corner of the world are in crisis. The people of West Tennessee have the chance to elect a true conservative that has never held elected office, but will be a voice for the people of the eighth district.

I am vehemently pro-life, pro 2nd amendment and will oppose any legislation that threatens to subvert any of the rights outlined in the Bill of Rights attached to our great Constitution.

I have no voting record to point to, no record of public office to highlight, but I promise the people of the eighth district, I will represent you as you would represent yourself. I will not bow to special interest or special donors.

The voters of the 8th district have the responsibility to vote for a representative that will keep the best interest of West Tennessee as the sole ambition of the representative. I do not seek to rule over, but to serve the great people of West Tennessee. I want to improve the lives of the people of West Tennessee by shrinking the federal government, lowering taxes, and bring fiscal and monetary discipline to the federal government. I want to return decision-making responsibilities to State and local governments and remove federal agencies from decisions meant to be made at the local level.

Voters have a choice of thirteen republican candidates on Aug. 4. Many of the candidates have been in various elected or appointed office throughout their careers. I will oppose any legislation that seeks to subvert Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness for Americans and West Tennessee.