Ed Jackson wins Tenn. Senate primary

August 8, 2014

JACKSON, Tenn.--With 59 percent of the votes, retired businessman and Jackson native Ed Jackson won the Republican primary for the District 27 State Senate seat.

He will face Democrat Randy Lamb and independent candidate James Baxter in the November general election. Lamb was unopposed in the Democratic primary. The district is made up of Madison, Crockett, Dyer, Lake and Lauderdale counties.

"It's a wonderful thing," Jackson said.

Before some friends approached him about running for office, Jackson said he had never considered it.

"This is just the first half of the race," Jackson said. "The next half is going to be tough, but I'm ready for it, and I'm going to start tomorrow."

Jackson hopes his experience as a small business owner for 35 years will help him as the state senator for District 27.

An opponent of Common Core, Jackson hopes to join the education committee if he is elected to the state Senate.

He also hopes to be able to attract new businesses to West Tennessee by improving the educated work force.

Jackson said that if he is elected Nov. 4, he hopes he will be able to bring more jobs into the district and make a better Tennessee.

His Republican primary opponent was Brandon Dodds, the owner of EyeCare on Main Street in Newbern, where he is the lead doctor. Dodds has served for two years on the Dyer County Commission, where he serves on the education and alcohol committees.

"I want to congratulate Ed Jackson," Dodds said. "He ran a good, clean race, and he did a good job."

Dodds calls himself a staunch constitutionalist, and he believes in a strong state government.

"I had a great time and met so many wonderful people and really appreciate the help they gave me," Dodds said. "They really went above and beyond, and I appreciate all their efforts."

Dodds did not rule out the possibility of running in the future.

Small Business Endorses Candidates in Legislative Primary Races

June 23, 2014

JACKSON, Tenn.--The National Federation of Independent Business, Tennessee’s leading small business association, today said it has endorsed candidates in 19 state legislative primary races. The endorsements were made by NFIB/Tennessee SAFE (Save America’s Free Enterprise) Trust, which is comprised exclusively of NFIB members.State primaries will be Aug. 7, with early voting beginning July 18 and ending Aug. 2. NFIB expects to announce general election endorsements later this summer. The general election will be held Nov. 4.“NFIB supports candidates who support small businesses and who are dedicated to protecting our free enterprise system,” said Jim Brown, state director of NFIB/Tennessee. “These endorsed candidates have consistently voted to reduce burdens on small businesses or have pledged to support them on key issues impacting their operations.”


District, Name
17, Mae Beavers
27, Ed Jackson*

Ed Jackson uses business sense, endurance in Senate race

JACKSON, Tenn.--Before Ed Jackson ever picked up a campaign sign or stood up to give a political speech, he was running.

Jackson, 65, ran to put himself through school at Memphis State University in 1968-1971. While some runners' specialties were in the shorter races, Jackson ran distance, cross country and the 880 meter, or the half mile.

Those races took perseverance.

"Endurance and some speed as well," he said. "Endurance was the main thing."

Since March 2012, Jackson has been preparing for another race that also has required plenty of endurance. He is campaigning as a Republican for the District 27 state Senate seat that is being left vacant by Democrat Lowe Finney. Jackson will face Brandon Dodds, from New­bern, in the Aug. 7 Republican primary. The winner is set to face Randy Lamb, the sole candidate in the Democratic primary, in the November general election.

For two years Jackson has been campaigning and learning about what residents in Madison, Crockett, Dyer, Lake and Lauderdale counties care about and what problems they have.

"My goal starting that early was I guess to go back to school and learn everything I could about what are the issues and what are the challenges for the 27th Senate District and West Tennessee," Jackson said.

Jackson believes his early research on the issues gives him a head start on his Republican primary opponent.

"My learning curve from what I've done will be shorter or not as steep as it would be had I just started two, three or four months ago," he said.


Ed was raised in Jackson and graduated from Jackson High School.

As a boy, Jackson earned his Eagle Scout rank as a Boy Scout, one of the most rewarding things he said he has done.

"That really taught me a lot in life in working with others, in earning the merit badges," he said. "They were not given to you. They were tough. You had to work for those things, and you had to have a bunch of them in order to get your Eagle."

He attended Lambuth College before transferring to Memphis State, now the University of Memphis.

After school, Jackson enlisted in the Army National Guard's 30th Armored Division, where he said he learned discipline and commitment. He served in the Tennessee National Guard for seven years.

Jackson has worked at a number of jobs. He began working at Southern Supply Company for seven years before taking a sales job with the Minnesota-based Tennant Company where he traveled West Tennessee exclusively for almost 30 years before retiring.

In between jobs and on the side, Jackson tried his hand at opening the Casey Jones Ice Skating Rink and running the Fairgrounds Speedway.

Ed and Marilyn Jackson have been married for 41 years and have three children, Jarod, Jenny and Ed Jackson III. They also have three grandchildren.

The Jacksons said their Christian faith is an integral part of their lives. The couple helped start the Crosswinds Church of Christ at Three Way seven years ago and still attend there. When the church began, Ed said, it had 50 members, but now it has 280.

The couple owns three businesses in Jackson, Southern Comfort Coaches, Snappy Tomato Pizza and Marilyn Jackson's Gifts, the latter of which began on the Jacksons' dining room table, Ed said. In 2013 it was named the Chamber of Commerce's Business of the Year for companies with one to 49 employees.

Ed was working for Clay Carlock at his Nissan store before quitting to focus on the campaign.

Along with his businesses, Ed is on the board for the West Tennessee Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, where he is the vice president of marketing. He is an acting Rotarian in the Jackson Rotary Club and is also a Youth Town fundraiser.


Jackson was approached by friends who suggested that the businessman get involved in politics, something that wasn't on his radar at the time. Ed said that he had always kept up with politics, but running for office never crossed his mind.

"I think he's been preparing his whole life for this," Marilyn said. "I don't think we knew it would be a political field, and as I've been known to say before, Ed wants to be a public servant. If he ever becomes a politician, we may talk at home. We will talk at home," she said, laughing.

To prepare for his campaign, Ed visited all five county mayors in the district, most of the city mayors, education and health care leaders, and law enforcement officials.

"It's been very, very eye opening, and it's been very helpful, too," Jackson said. "Should I get elected then I will have a good head start. I won't have to start from scratch and learn what's going on."

He cited concerns about the district's jobs, education and crime problems as reasons for wanting to run for office. He also lists his more than 35 years of doing business in Jackson as helpful for work as a state senator.

"This has prepared me," Jackson said. "There's been times when you've got to meet payroll and sometimes you struggle, sometimes you have to do things to adjust. You have to make sure you balance your budget."

"Small businesses are just like the state on a whole much (smaller) scale," he said.

Richard Barber, executive director of Aspell Recovery Center and a supporter and friend of Jackson's, agreed.

"He understands the value of small business and what some of the challenges are," Barber said. "We know that small business is critical to the economy."

The National Federation of Independent Business, or NFIB, agrees as well. The small-business association recently endorsed Jackson's campaign.

As a native West Tennessean, Jackson said he is concerned about the lopsided economics of the state where Middle and East Tennessee are booming economically.

"There's tremendous growth over there," he said. "I feel like we need to have a louder voice over here (in West Tennessee) and get more of a share of what's going on in the state."

Jackson voiced his desire to be on the education committee if elected. He doesn't agree with Common Core standards of education and said he would like to help construct a system that works for Tennessee teachers.

Jackson also said that to attract businesses to West Tennessee, the region needs to have more educated workers and he would like to try to help in that regard.

With the Republican Party having a supermajority in Nashville — with a Republican governor and both houses of the legislature being controlled by the party — Jackson said it will be easier for him to pass his ideas on through the legislation.

"To be in the majority is going to be helpful because I will have a seat at the table," Jackson said. "I will be able to have a voice that is heard and it will be heard here in West Tennessee."


With graying hair at 65, Jackson said his age shouldn't be a concern in this election.

"I still have a lot left in me, a whole lot," Jackson said. "I think life experiences, some are positive and some are negative. You learn from life experiences, and I think that has given me a huge advantage over other people that are running."

Jonathan Harlan, owner of Aeneas Internet and Telephone and a supporter of Jackson's, said that he didn't think age would be an issue for Ed.

"Ed is a mature man. And he is an ideal age," Harlan said. "He knows himself, and he is who is he is. That's a concern for elected officials. I trust Ed to remain to who he is today — four to eight to 12 years from now."

Jackson has devoted the last six months to focusing on his campaign full time, and he said that he would be able to fully devote himself to his work in Nashville.

The native Jacksonian is leaning on his many years of traveling the district and his business successes in Jackson to help get out the vote during early voting and on Election Day, Aug. 7.

"So many people know Ed, and have known him way before he ever did anything like this," Marilyn Jackson said. "And I think that's what's going for him because they know the kind of person he has always been. He did not become a nice guy to run for office, he has just led into this."

"What you see is what you get, and you'll like what you get," she said.

Reach Tyler Whetstone at (731) 425-9629. Follow him on Twitter @tyler_whetstone.

About Ed Jackson

• Candidate for the District 27 state Senate seat.

• Graduate of Jackson High School and attended Lambuth College before graduating from Memphis State.

• Ed and his wife, Marilyn, own three businesses in Jackson. Ed has been in business in various capacities for more than 35 years.

New Jackson baby!

Edward & Marilyn Jackson are proud to announce the birth of their third grandchild (and first grandson), Everett Stonewall "Stone' Jackson! Proud parents are Edward & Chelsea Jackson. Weighing in at 8.86 lbs., Stone was born in Shenzhen, China at 5:06 a.m. local time and the parents and baby are doing great! Welcome to the world, Stone!


Gov. Haslam Kicks Off Re-Election Campaign

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam kicks off his reelection campaign. Gov. Haslam says he is ready for four more years. Over a thousand people filled the Loveless Barn Saturday morning. The mood was optimistic as Tennessee's Governor greeted supporters and friends.

    Nearly four years ago Bill Haslam was elected, now he's ready for a second term. "It has been an incredible honor and privilege to do this," says Governor Haslam. In a speech that lasted about 15 minutes, Haslam renewed his commitment to familiar principles. He says the state will live within its means, seek true education reform, and recruit high quality jobs. "Our promise to you is we're not going to let up. We're going to keep working on those things in the next four years," says Gov. Haslam. The campaign kickoff comes just ten weeks before the primary and five months before the general election. Most political insiders expect Haslam will win easily. "One of the good things about running for reelection is you can run on your record, and we're proud of the things that Tennessee has accomplished both in job growth and education advancement," says Gov. Haslam.

    The Governor highlights Tennessee's new program promising two years of free community college to high school graduates, and he says Tennessee is the state with the lowest debt per person in the country.     

    House speaker Beth Harwell says she's glad to support him. "He has been fully dedicated to number one making sure we are a low-debt state, balancing our budget, and then very dear to his heart is education, and education reform," says Rep. Beth Harwell, (R) House Speaker. Despite his front-runner status, Haslam says he'll be working hard. "Our pledge to you is to have the kind of place that you, your children, and your grandchildren want to call home," says Gov. Haslam. The Haslam campaign has already raised more than five million dollars. You can expect to see his campaign commercials within the next two months.

Read More at: http://www.fox17.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/gov-bill-haslam-kicks-off-reelection-campaign-john-dunn-21642.shtml