Since former East Ridge mayor and retired police officer Vince Dean was selected to fill the District 30 seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives, he has become one of the most popular, most effective members in the general assembly.
Dean's seniority and grasp of policy issues have led to his appointment as chairman of the House General Sub-committee of Transportation. In that position, he has worked to prevent gas tax hikes. Dean also has led an effort to ensure that, as alternative fuel sources change the face of transportation funding, taxes remain fair and low.
Unlike many state lawmakers from the Chattanooga area, Dean understands that government doesn't create jobs. His recipe for encouraging job growth relies on the time-tested formula of maintaining low taxes while reducing regulatory burdens and unnecessary environmental restrictions.
Dean's opponent is Democrat Sandy Smith, a special ed teacher who recently retired from Hamilton County Schools. Since her retirement, she has been a guiding force for the East Ridge Education Council and has worked closely with Dean to ensure ideas to improve education reach the state legislature.
Running as a pro-Obamacare, anti-gun, pro-choice, pro-union Democrat in a Republican-leaning district against a respected, four-term Republican lawmaker will likely doom Smith's bid for state legislature. Still, we applaud her commitment to improving education and hope that she remains politically active in East Ridge and Hamilton County if she comes up on the losing end of this contest. Her passion for children and her desire to improve her community are unquestionable.
Dean has a proven history of representing the 30th State House District well, while working across the aisle without compromising his conservative values. The state would be better off if all 132 members of the Tennessee General Assembly displayed the class, respectfulness and commitment to improving Tennessee embodied by Dean.
The Free Press wholeheartedly endorses returning Vince Dean to the Tennessee General Assembly.