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Meet Caleb Hemmer, candidate for Tennessee House, District 59

What office are you seeking? (Include district)

Tennessee General Assembly- House District 59

Why are you running for this office?*

 I’m running for State Representative because I know we can do better for Tennessee, and I have the desire, experience, and mindset to help people, serve my community, and get things done — and done right.  I saw how the leaders of the General Assembly were not standing up for the values and interests of Nashvillians and knew I could bring a pragmatic approach that is missing at the Capitol.

What makes you qualified to hold this office and better qualified than your opponent(s)? (Please specify if you are unopposed, but feel free to answer)*

Experience matters, now more than ever in such serious times. My vast experience in both the government and the private sector allows me to be the best candidate for this office. I learned first hand how state government can truly work for the people it serves and how to govern effectively as a former aide and executive staff member to Governor Phil Bredesen.  I have also served for nearly seven years on the Metro Board of Fair Commissioners and where I helped lead the redevelopment of the Nashville Fairgrounds. I plan on bringing my experience as a government executive and successful entrepreneur in the private sector to work for affordable healthcare, sound fiscal management, and the formation of economic policies that create high-paying jobs and an economy that works for everyone. 

I believe my own life experience has prepared me the most for holding this office.  I am kind, understanding, and empathetic, and I believe those honorable qualities are missing from today’s civil discourse.  I grew up in South Nashville with very humble beginnings.  I am a product of the Metro Nashville public school system.  I worked myself through college as a first-generation student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  I went on to graduate school at Tennessee Tech, earning my M.B.A. Now, I have a successful professional career.  This experience allows me to have the perspective that not everything is given to us and as a community, we need to work together to ensure success is possible for everyone who lives in it.

How can you make the biggest impact on your community through this position?*

I plan on being very responsive and visible to my constituents’ concerns and needs. I think there is nothing more frustrating for people than to feel they are not being heard so I want to respond accordingly and in a timely manner.   I believe elected public service is the best way to help people at scale and I know I have the right experience to make a huge impact for Tennesseans. 

If you are elected (or re-elected), what are your top 2 to 3 priorities for your new (or next) term in office?*

I plan on focusing my energies on Healthcare, Education and Economic issues, if elected to the Legislature. While there are so many important issues to work on, the main reason I am running is to help people.  I’m good at multitasking and plan on prioritizing these three issues as well as many others  to better the lives of citizens in the 59th District and other residents of Tennessee.  

The theme of my campaign is “We Can Do Better” and I know I can  tackle these tough issues and create a better Tennessee for all of us.  In fact, I’m already keeping a list of concerns, ideas  and bills on my phone when I hear or see issues of interest, so I can hit the ground running next session!

What are you hearing most from voters about what they want you to accomplish, if elected?*

In these trying times, most people I speak with just want a normal person who cares deeply for their community, will be thoughtful, ethical, and work hard at the Capitol, and be responsive to constituents’ actual concerns. 

What else do you want voters to know about you that will help them make an informed decision on Election Day?*

We need more effective leaders in state government who put people above politics so they can have a true dialogue and make effective changes for the people they represent. I know my background and approach will allow me to be successful for the citizens of the 59th House District.

Tell us about about a mentor or guide who made a difference in your life and what wisdom would you impart to the community?*

Gov. Phil Bredesen has been such an incredible influence on my life. Having worked with him for nearly a decade in both government and business, I learned so much about how to effectively run organizations, but most importantly how to listen to others and process information.   The art of listening is lost on a lot of leaders today. I plan on doing a lot more listening than talking if elected to the Legislature. 

Will you commit to being civil in how you present yourself and the way you interact with opponents and others? (Our definition of civility is being a good, active, honest and respectable citizen)*

Yes.  I have two young children and the best way to parent and teach them to be good humans is to be one myself. It is disheartening that this question has to be asked, but I am glad you asked it so that I can respond with an unequivocal YES. 

A fun question: What are one or two attractions (restaurants, parks, venues, etc.) that visitors cannot miss if they come to your community?*

District 59 covers the entire Southern border of Davidson County and includes so many special places but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention two of the most popular places:  Loveless Cafe and Radnor Lake.   Loveless Cafe is internationally known for its biscuits and great southern cooking and one of my favorite places to eat with family and friends.  Radnor Lake Natural Area is a wooded oasis and I am so thankful for this important state resource that is loved by so many people in the community. 


Q&A previously published by The Tennessean

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Paid for by Friends of Caleb Hemmer, Will Howorth, Treasurer