More than 30 people gathered on the steps of the Blount County Courthouse Tuesday to show their support for State Rep. Doug Overbey in his bid move into the seat held by State Sen. Raymond Finney.
Overbey spoke to them about his reasons for challenging the incumbent senator in the Republican primary.
“We started this effort back in January in order to bring effective, conservative leadership back to the Tennessee State Senate representing Sevier and Blount counties,” he said.
Overbey said three things motivated his team, education funding and getting Blount and Sevier counties fair share, preventing higher fuel prices and preserving family values.
Overbey said he would continue to stand up for Blount County and Sevier County’s share of state education dollars. He offers an alternative to a state senator who “sat quietly at his desk and voted with the majority when it’s against the best interests of the people of Blount County and Sevier Counties,” he said.
Overbey said incumbent State Sen. Raymond Finney had a chance in the spring of 2007 to stand up for keeping education dollars in Blount County and voted yes in a 32-1 vote. “He said his vote didn’t count, and he voted for the majority. That vote sent $13 million away from here to large urban areas. If your attitude is that your vote doesn’t count, stay home and send someone who’s dedicated to being a voice for Blount County and Sevier County.”
Overbey said residents don’t need more costly fuel, and he took incumbent Finney to task for proposing Tennesseans be forced to use reformulated gasoline as in California, a move that would hike the cost of fuel 34 cents. “We don’t need legislation that will automatically raise the cost of gasoline $10 a tank full,” he said.
Overbey said family values were his third reason for running. “You fight for the unborn, the newborns and those born with disabilities. We have to stand firm for our families,” he said.
Overbey said his challenging Finney wasn’t about grabbing power. “You do it because you believe in public service,” he said.