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  • Writer's pictureTom Stewart

Cepicky launches campaign for re-election with support from Gov. Lee


Posted Aug 6, 2019 at 12:40 PM

Updated at 4:30 PM

Rep. Scott Cepicky, R-Columbia, kicked-off his re-election campaign Monday night as the freshman representative and his supporters ate a steak diner inside Columbia’s Westbury House on the Square and heard from some of the state’s most powerful Republicans.

In December 2017, Cepicky held an event at the same venue, announcing he would pursue the District 64 seat in an effort to continue the conservative legacy set by retiring Rep. Shelia Butt, who served four terms in office. At that announcement, Butt likely was the biggest name in state politics in attendance, voicing her support for Cepikcy, who was chairman of the Maury County Republican Party.

This time, as the former pro baseball player and mortgage banker vowed to continue to pursue the mantle of conservative principles of faith, family and freedom for two more years in office, he was joined by the state’s most powerful conservative leaders including Gov. Bill Lee, Speaker-of-the-House-to-be Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, and Rep. Micah Van Huss, R-Jonesborough.

“You all should be very thankful to have Scott in the role that you have him in,” Lee told the select group of supporters who were in attendance at the banquet.

Lee, who told the crowd of local business leaders that Butt was an early supporter of his campaign, said it was up to them to continue to make sure the state will remain in the hands of conservative leaders. Butt publicly endorsed Lee in July 2018.

“We got a tremendous amount of work done, but it takes the people in local leadership and it takes you engaging,” Lee said. “I am preaching to the choir, but the choir needs to stay engaged.”

Tennessee’s 50th governor encouraged Cepicky’s loyal following to continue their generous support.

“I want to say thank you for supporting him,” Lee said. “Thank you for being here and thank you for writing a check. Thank you for being here so that we can continue to do the good work that we are doing. We have increasingly had the possibility of defining of what principal conservatism is. It is bringing business principles into the way you run a government. It is remembering the things that made the movement better. It is why defending religious liberty is important, why faith is important in the public square. We can lead the nation. People look to us and they see what we are doing.”

Sexton, who was selected last month as the nominee to become the next speaker of the House shared a similar support for the current representative of District 64.

“If you believe in the God that we all believe in, we all play a role,” Sexton said. “What Scott and the other Republicans have done in this freshman class, they have come in and literally allowed us to take control and move in a new direction.”

The incoming speaker said Tennesseans are sending representatives like Cepicky to Nashville to uphold a conservative message defined by a “do it for yourself,” mentality, and that hard work can lead to success.

“He is vital part of our team, and I take great pride in knowing the person you are sending to Nashville,” Sexton said. “You could not send any person better to represent you than Scott.”

Fellow local legislators state Rep. Michael Curio, R-Dickson; and state Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald were also in attendance, along with District Attorney Brent Cooper, Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles, Judge Douglas Chapman and Public Defender Travis Jones.

“Send Scott back to us please,” said Van Huss, as he gave the first supporting speech of the evening.

This year, Huss proposed a signature bill to ban all abortions from the point of a fetal heartbeat, about six weeks after conception. The bill passed during the previous legislative session and will go before the Senate when it reconvenes in January. The move revived a similar bill that was introduced at the state Capitol three years earlier. It was supported by Cepicky.

“The American family has lost its morality,” Van Huss said. “Our nation is a nation in moral decline. It is our responsibility to get abortion abolished in the state of Tennessee.”

Clay Dogett, R-Pulaski; Chris Dodd, R-Madison County; also attended the event.

“The support form the district has been incredible,” Cepicky told The Daily Herald. “My job is to represent Maury County in the General Assembly. These representatives wanted to come down and support me and that shows that I am doing the job that I am supposed to do.”

Moving forward Cepicky says he plans to support giving teachers more time to work with students rather than “concentrate on data collection.”

When elected, Cepicky said Maury County needs a leader in the state House who is prepared to tackle issues such as the unprecedented growth facing Maury County in the coming years.

He listed the widening Bear Creek Pike to four lanes, new infrastructure to accommodate a growing population in Spring Hill and the resolution of Mt. Pleasant’s debt on its sewage system as top priorities.

In recent months Cepicky, a former Maury County Commission chairman, has pushed for a proposal to build an new agriculture center in Maury County.

Originally planned for the Maury County Park, the revised and expanded effort is projected to be built on 471 acres off of Highway 50 toward Lewisburg, about 6 miles from an interchange with Interstate 65.

While meeting with constituents at the Maury County Sheriff’s Rodeo last month, Cepicky called the project a path for the county to move forward and simultaneously retain the agricultural values of the region that celebrate the same small town neighborly values that he stands for.

During his first session, he served as a member of the House Education Committee, the Insurance Committee, the House Education Administration Subcommittee and the Property and Casualty Subcommittee.

He introduced a bill that would make it a felony to commit any type of drug-related crime within a drug-fee zone, 1,000 feet from a school, park , library or daycare, in what Cepicky called an effort put and end to a legal loophole used by drug dealers in Maury County and across the state.

The proposed bill also outlines that any county with a population greater than 300,000 residents would shrink the size of the drug-free zone from 1,000 feet to 500 feet to create “equity in its application” across the state.

When state House of Representatives narrowly passed a controversial school voucher program this year, both Cepicky and Curcio voted in support of the bill which calls for the creation of an education savings accounts that give parents an average of $7,300 in public funds for private school, supplies and other educational needs.

After being criticized by local educators after previously stating that he would not support the same for Maury County, Cepikcy said he supported the bill as no funds will be diverted from Maury County’s public school district under the approved legislation.

The Maury County School Board passed a resolution opposing vouchers months earlier.

In the days leading up to the April vote, Cepicky said he supported the bill, championed by Lee, only after making sure that communities will have the right to choose if charter institutions would open in their district.

“It is an honor,” Cepicky said. “I take all 64,000 people I represent with me. Not just the ones that voted for me. When I go to the General Assembly about how great Maury County is. When you have a campaign kick-off and you have got the governor and new speaker of the House here to support you, I think that says a lot about the trust they have in me and what they are trying to get done here in Maury County. There is more work to be done and they want me to come back and keep doing the work.”


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