By: Lauren Moore
Bill Haslam, governor of our home state, Tennessee, has denounced Republican candidate Donald Trump, instead endorsing his running mate, Mike Pence. While the Presidential election is vastly important, it calls into question, are local and state elections just as important? In fact, local and state governments tend to have a greater effect on people’s day to day lives.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, one of many seeking to add his input on this year’s presidential election, recently released a statement asserting that he believes Donald Trump should step down as the Republican nominee and Mike Pence, Trump’s vice-presidential running-mate, should replace him in the race.
Haslam, a governor, obviously does not receive nearly as much coverage as his national counterparts; nevertheless, his words might actually affect Tennesseans more so than the actions of Washington. After all, the local and state governments tend to have a greater effect on people’s day to day lives.
In fact, Tami Sawyer (‘00), a local and national political activist who recently spoke in Ms. Whitaker’s government class, defended the notion of voting “down ballot” - the idea that the positions farther down the ballot, largely local positions, hold greater influence than positions at the top of the ballot, largely federal positions. She feels, therefore, that these votes should be valued more by citizens, and stated that “We can go back and forth on Trump and Hillary all we want, but, at the end of the day, it's at the local and state level where the real impact is made."
Ms. Sawyer ran for Tennessee House Representative in District 90 this past August, and, although she did not obtain the position, her story left the students she talked with inspired to make a difference at the local level.