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Baer, Haynes stump at Farragut GOP for state district house seat

Ryan Haynes, the younger candidate in a GOP duel for Tennessee State Representative District 14 seat, emphasized energy and enthusiasm at age 23.

His Republican opponent, U.S. Navy veteran Thomas Baer, 65, emphasized experience at having dealt with state and local governments as a businessman and advocate.

Both Farragut men made campaign sales pitches before Concord-Farragut Republican Club during its monthly meeting, Thursday, May 8, in Gondolier Restaurant. There is no Democrat opposition.

“I want to be the first to tell you right here, right now, I’m not running as a Republican, I’m running as a conservative,” Haynes said.

“I think my energy and my enthusiasm will serve us well in the legislature,” Haynes added. “I think energy and enthusiasm are the two of the most valuable traits you can bring to that job over in Nashville.”

Baer, U.S. Naval Academy and U.S Naval War College graduate with a doctorate in nuclear engineering, said his experience includes dealing with government in relation to his presidency of three companies dealing with “hazardous chemicals and nuclear waste issues.”

He also emphasized government experience in relation to successfully advocating tighter college security rules and parole system changes following his son being murdered on the UT campus in 1988.

Baer said he wants to bring the “tenacity of my experience” to Nashville.

Haynes, a University of Tennessee graduate, came out against what he labeled the “newest fad,” a state property tax, emphasizing he would never vote for such a tax.

“A consumption-based tax is right for Tennessee,” he added.

The 23-year-old candidate said he’s also against state toll roads. “In the 14th District out in Hardin Valley, some people have proposed that we have a toll road on that Orange Route,” Haynes said. “The last thing people need after they’ve paid the gasoline tax already to build the roads, is then have to pay to drive on the roads.”

Also against state income and state property taxes, Baer called both “regressive … a drag on the economy, they keep businesses from being able to invest that money and create new jobs.” Baer also opposed toll roads.

Concerning elderly health care in conjunction with TennCare and Medicare, Baer said, “It’s either all or nothing, you either go to a nursing home or you get nothing. We can save a lot of money in these programs by setting up a system where we can do part of the long-term care in the home.”

Emphasizing that without wife and children, Haynes would have more time to devote in Nashville. “I can tell yah, I won’t stopping working for you if I’m elected.”

Baer said our military veterans should be ensured an education, with funding coming from the lottery fund.

In order to keep Social Security viable, Baer said, “We’re going to have to raise the age levels” of eligibility, adding he’s “absolutely” in favor of privatizing Social Security funds as an personal investment “option.”


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