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Republicans battle for chance to face Dunlap
Fighting for the Republican nomination for the 43rd District of the Tennessee House of Representatives is Paul Sherrell.

The three Republicans slugging it out for the chance to face Democrat Kevin Dunlap in the general election in November made a visit to McMinnville last week to participate in a Southern Standard/ WCPI political forum.
The three fighting for the Republican nomination for the 43rd District of the Tennessee House of Representatives are Paul Sherrell, Bob Robinson and Sam Elder. The 43rd District serves roughly two-thirds of Warren County and all of White and Grundy counties.
Dunlap faces no opposition in the Democratic primary.
All three Republicans are from Sparta. They stressed their Christian values and a desire to improve moral standards in America.
“I am a Christian and I’m proud of that,” said Robinson. “We put In God We Trust on our money so that should say something on combining the two. I think government needs to rely more on the morals this country was built on. We see in our communities the meth and everything else that’s going on and it breaks my heart. I’m a Scout leader and I have been for 16 years and I get to see good, young men become good adults and that’s why I want to do more in becoming a representative.”
Sherrell, a 1977 White County High School graduate, said he has received the endorsement of the Tennessee Republican Assembly, which emphasizes Christian values.
“My relationship with Jesus Christ is very important in my life and in my campaign. The biggest issue I hear from voters, our people out here in the 43rd District, is about the values and the way our country is going. Our country is headed, it seems like to me, in the wrong direction. Our country was founded on the Bible and the Constitution and our forefathers fought for it so we can have freedom.”
Sam Elder is a Tennessee Tech graduate, an Eagle Scout, and a man with over 50 years of Scout experience himself.
Said Elder, “One of my basic beliefs is life starts at conception. I don’t believe there should be any alteration of that unless it’s a medical decision made by a medical doctor on the life of the mother. And I’m not a medical doctor so that’s as far as I can go on that. I believe very strongly marriage should be between one man and one woman. That’s the way it’s established in the Bible and that’s the way it needs to stay. Folks are issued a gender at birth that’s on your birth certificate and that’s what you need to be … As far as guns are concerned, I’m very much in favor of gun permits. I believe anyone should be able to have one. I know the Constitution gives us a right to carry one, but also gives us the right not to carry one if we don’t want to.”
When asked about education in Tennessee, Sherrell said the best way to improve it is to keep the federal government out of it.
“I believe the problem we have in education is the federal government is putting too much mandating on us in our state,” said Sherrell. “I think we have smart enough people here in Warren County and White County and Grundy County to teach our children what they need to do. We don’t need to be taught what Washington wants to teach, Common Core and things like that … If we can get our state government to get away from the federal government’s mandates we will be a whole lot better in our education system.”
When asked a question about government entities flying the Confederate flag, Elder says he supports it.
“The Confederate flag of course came from the Civil War,” said Elder, “and slavery and several other things came from that issue that had to be solved. So to say we can’t fly the Confederate flag is like saying we can’t discuss some of these other issues in history that have developed around it. I don’t have a problem of flying the Confederate flag because it’s part of our American heritage. It’s part of history.”
When asked about gun violence and police officer fatalities, Robinson said he favors harsher penalties for people who use guns to commit crimes.
“We have enough gun laws as far as carrying them, but if we increase the penalty for using a gun in a crime, that would deter them greatly,” said Robinson. “I think our judicial system and the loopholes and everything that’s going on make it too easy for them to use it and get away with it. If there is going to be a law against guns it should be against the use of guns in a crime. I think that’s the key to bringing down some of the officer fatalities. That’s tragic. Those guys put their life on the line for us every day.”