published Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Howard-Hill says background gives her a different perspective

by Dan Whisenhunt
Audio clip

Van Irion and Jean Howard Hill

Republican 3rd Congressional District candidate Jean Howard-Hill said she's a conservative moderate who sees many of the issues near and dear to the GOP differently because of her background.

Speaking Tuesday to the editorial board of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Dr. Howard-Hill said one of her goals is to restore people's confidence in their government. She said she does not think government needs to grow, but thinks it should be as large as it needs to be to function.

She said she agrees with the core values of the Republican platform.

"As an African-American, I believe we should be empowered to build wealth," said Dr. Howard-Hill, who has taught courses in political science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. "I believe in a strong military presence."

Dr. Howard-Hill said people have the right to choose where they stand on each issue.

For instance, she said, she embraces "traditional family values," but she looks at gun control in the light of the impact gun violence has had on the black community. She also said she opposes federal budget earmarks.

On the question of abortion, Dr. Howard-Hill said the majority of people she's spoken with believe abortion is a personal choice. She said she would have to get the opinion of her constituents before voting on an abortion issue.

If elected, she wants to reform Social Security, help veterans and put a special emphasis on higher education.

Richard Wilson, a professor of political science at UTC who votes Democratic, described Dr. Hill as a "perennial" candidate.

"Her positions are vague and I don't know exactly what they mean," he said. "If she were elected, I don't know what she would do."


* Republicans

Tommy Crangle, Chuck Fleischmann, Tim Gobble, Harvey Howard, Jean Howard-Hill, Van Irion, Rick Kernea, Basil Marceaux Sr., Art Rhodes, Robin Smith, Grover Travillian

* Democrats

Alicia Mitchell, Brenda Freeman Short, Brent Davis Staton, John Wolfe

* Independents

Don Barkman, Mark DeVol, Gregory C. Goodwin, Robert Humphries, Mo Kiah, Savas T. Kyriakidis

The state primary is Aug. 5.

Source: Tennessee Department of State

Jean Howard Hill

Age: 57

Occupation: Educator, researcher

Fundraising: Less than $5,000

about Dan Whisenhunt...

Dan Whisenhunt covers Hamilton County government for the Times Free Press. A native of Mobile, Ala., Dan earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Alabama. He won first place for best in-depth news coverage in the 2010 Alabama Press Association contest; the FOI-First Amendment Award in the 2007 Alabama Press Association contest; first place for best public service story in the Alabama AP Managing Editors contest in 2009 for economic coverage; and ...

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