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Monday, Sep. 1, 2014

Tracy seeks to stay in State Senate

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

(Photo)
Jim Tracy
(Submitted photo)
State Sen. Jim Tracy of Shelbyville formally announced Monday that he will be a candidate for re-election to the Tennessee State Senate starting with the Aug. 2 Republican primary.

Tracy's district was formerly the 16th but as a result of redistricting he, and Bedford County, are now in what is known as the 14th District, effective with this election cycle. The district includes Bedford, Marshall, Lincoln, and Moore Counties and portions of Rutherford County.

New areas

Marshall and Lincoln Counties, which were formerly in the 13th district, were added to the district as a result of reapportionment legislation passed this year as required after the decennial census.

"I told the people who elected me that I would represent them with honesty and integrity as their voice in Nashville," said Tracy in a news release. "I also said I would stand against higher taxes and government waste and work hard to create a climate that brings new jobs to our area. I have kept that pledge."

Tracy, an insurance agent, has served two terms of office in the State Senate.

Jobs, economy

Tracy said jobs and the economy will continue to be key issues that he will focus on in the next legislative session. Tracy is chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee which oversees all legislation pertaining to roads and highway construction in Tennessee. He said his current leadership roles on the Transportation, Education, and Commerce Committees and his experience serving on the School Board and Economic Development Board, as well as his role as a small businessman, gives him a well-rounded perspective on bringing new and better paying jobs to the district.

"As a small businessman, I understand the challenges and burdens our small businesses face," said Tracy, who sponsored several bills in the State Senate which he says create a better climate for job growth, including the Small Business Incentives Act that was approved this year. "The key ingredients to bringing new and better paying jobs to our legislative district are educational excellence, good infrastructure, and low taxes. Equally important is excellence in education to provide the workforce needed for the jobs of the future.

Education

"As a former teacher, I know that we must continue to improve our K-12 schools and post-secondary schools to provide our students with a globally competitive education to bring 21st century jobs to our communities," added Tracy. "That is why it was so important that we have a state-of-the-art math and science building at Middle Tennessee State University. I was pleased to be a part of the efforts that were successful in making that building a reality for MTSU."

Tracy was prime sponsor of two bills passed during the recently adjourned session intended to help increase the number of college graduates in Tennessee. One new law ensures students will receive college credit for dual credit courses that they complete successfully in high school, while the other, which was passed last year, gives students the option to attend summer classes using their HOPE Scholarship in order to progress and graduate in a timely manner.

Tax relief

Tracy said he was also pleased to be a part of the successful efforts to pass tax relief for Tennessee citizens as co-prime sponsor of legislation to reduce the taxes on food and a new law phasing out the inheritance tax passed during the 2012 legislative session. Last year, he was co-prime sponsor of the Hall tax reform legislation passed to give relief to senior citizens and a constitutional resolution to ensure Tennessee never has an income tax.

In addition, Tracy sponsored a new law to establish a voluntary "Yellow Dot" program in Tennessee to alert emergency medical personnel on the roads to important health information of the driver or a passenger. The program, which targets aid for senior citizens, can help save lives during the critical "golden hour" by improving communication at a time when accident victims may be unable to communicate for themselves.

Tracy, however, said one of his key roles in the State Senate is helping constituents cut through the red tape on a variety of matters pertaining to state government. "Nothing makes me happier than to help one of my constituents overcome a problem and see that government can work for them," Tracy said.

More work

"There is still much work to be done in Tennessee, particularly to encourage economic development in our state," he continued. "My goal is to continue working in* our State Senate to get results on important issues facing our state. I look forward to working with the people of this community and listening to their ideas on how we can move this state forward as this campaign continues over the next several months."

Tracy is married to Trena Tracy and has three children. He is a member of numerous civic organizations and has received numerous awards for his public service.*

Matt Randolph of Ardmore has filed to run against Tracy in the Republican primary. No Democratic or independent candidates filed for the seat.