Dean speaks at Democratic fish fry


Karl Dean

By Cliff Hightower  |  Citizen Tribune

There was no stump around. So, Karl Dean, former mayor of Nashville, and Democratic gubernatorial candidate climbed up on the next best thing.

Dean stood on a picnic table Saturday, telling members of the Hamblen County Democratic Party that he is pro-business and pro-education.

“People want to see a government that’s not bickering, fighting, working on issues they have no control over, they want a government that gets something done,” he said.

Dean stopped by for the Hamblen County Democratic Party Catfish and Turkey Fry at Cherokee Park. Also in attendance were former state Rep. Ken Givens, who was also former Commissioner of Agriculture under former Gov. Phil Bredesen, and Democratic County Commission challengers Nicholas Knight and Christy Cowan.

Dean is running in the August primary against fellow Democrat state Rep., Craig Fitzhugh, who is the minority leader in the state house of representatives.

So far, Dean has raised about $1.2 million in election funds and spent around $200,000.

This is the second time he’s been to Hamblen County since entering the race.

Dean said he thinks he can reach voters in Hamblen County because he is a moderate candidate that can reach out to both sides and he thinks that is the kind of politician Tennessee voters like.

“I think they want someone who’s practical, has common sense, moderate and gets things done,” he said.

He said one thing he would want to strive for is see Medicaid expansion. He said there is money being left on the table.

“We get less than other states and it’s hurting us,” he said.

He said the drug problem is a prime example of how not expanding Medicaid has hurt Tennesseans and is hurting being able to provide necessary services.

Givens, who came to speak for Bredesen, said his old boss is “tried and tested” and is an independent who would serve all Tennesseans.

“He’s not going to Washington to fight anyone,” Givens said. “President Trump is the President. If Trump proposes things that are good for Tennessee, then Phil Bredesen will go with it. If it’s not good for Tennessee, that’s who he represents.”

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