Regardless of how the election for President turns out (still undecided at this writing, but with the Biden-Harris ticket leading in electoral votes), Republican candidates from this area did well in 2020 and celebrated on election night last week at various watch parties, one of which was sponsored by the Franklin County Republican Party at The Oasis in Winchester.

District 16 State Senator Janice Bowling overcame her challenge from Democrat Sheila Younglove with a 74.76 percent margin in Franklin County, and recorded 75.94 percent of the vote in Coffee and the other counties within her district overall.

“Thank everyone for voting what their values are,” she exclaimed. “75% share my values, which are pro-conservative values.”

“I will continue to work with Fiber To The Premises issues, which is a passion of mine. I’ve been telling them for seven years we need to extend internet access to all of the state so we don’t have the digital divide in Tennessee. That way, people can work from home, receive medical care at home, the farmers need fiber optic access, too.”

Franklin County native and resident Iris Rudder was unopposed for the District 39 State Representative seat, but received 13,431 complimentary votes in her home county and 21,716 district-wide.

“Thank you Franklin County,” she said while attending the Winchester Watch Party. “It was a huge vote of confidence, and I was really pleased. I said it many times; I was lucky not to have an opponent this year during the coronavirus; otherwise, it would have been very stressful.”

Rudder took time to consider the challenges she faces during her next term.

“I serve on the Education and Judiciary Committees. I want to make sure our teachers can do their jobs, and that our children can read. Right now, 67% of students in Tennessee are not reading at third grade level. I’d like to get back to Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, so let’s get back to education.”

“I am joining with Senator (Janice) Bowling on the medical cannabis bill. That’s a passion of mine. People need an alternative to health care. So, basically, for me, it’s law and order, low taxes, and jobs.”

Fourth District U.S. Representative Scott DesJarlais garnered 72.26 percent of the Franklin County vote to defeat Christopher J. Hale, his Democratic opponent. He held the upper hand throughout the other 15 counties, including Coffee County, in Tennessee’s Fourth District of the U.S. House.

“That makes me feel great,” he said while watching the early returns in other races. “Franklin  County has been great. Really, the whole district of 16 counties. My worst margin was in Nashville.  I thank everyone for letting me represent them another four years.”

“I think we have to pay attention to agriculture, trade deals, and health care,” he said as he looked into his crystal ball at the next four years. “As a member of the House Armed Services Committee and with AEDC nearby, I will be working to keep our military strong.”