By Sabrina Bates
Sen. Roy Herron concluded his jobs tour with a stop in Dresden Saturday evening. Herron is the Democratic candidate for the 8th Congressional District race. He met with community members such as Brenda Lowrance asking for their vote in November.
After the August election, the field of candidates seeking to take the helm upon Con. John Tanner's retirement has been narrowed to two - one Republican and one Democrat.
For the Democratic candidate who is hoping to join the lineage left by Blue Dog Dem Tanner, the road is long and winding across the 8th District.
"In seven days, we have visited 19 counties. I have met face-to-face and person-to-person with the voters," Herron told a crowd gathered in Richie and Reggie's Barbecue Saturday in Dresden.
The campaign stop was the last leg of the "Cuttin' Waste and Creatin' Jobs" tour for the Democrat.
"Fiscal sanity is an important factor right now in this district. The most important is creating jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs," Herron said.
The state senator said the stop in Dresden is significant for him because those voters were the "closest" to him, not just geographically.
"I look around this room and I see people that I have grown up with. I see people who have supported me in all of my endeavors and your support right now means a great deal to me in this campaign," the Dresden native expressed.
Herron touched on the national leadership, recession and the staggering unemployment numbers in the 8th District.
"I didn't grow up during the Depression, but I was shaped by those who did. I will be fiscally responsible like you raised me to be," Herron told the crowd.
The candidate said Congress had spent money the nation didn't have and waste needed to be cut.
"There are certain things worth investing in. I don't believe in spending, but I believe in investing. The best social program ever invented is a good job," Herron added.
In District 8, one in five people are "underemployed, according to Herron, those who want to work full-time, but work only 20 to 30 hours a week.
District 8's Perry County shows that one in three people are unemployed, according to Herron.
"As disturbing as these numbers are, the situations are real. I have met children whose parents couldn't afford glasses for them. I have met children who didn't have new shoes to go to school in. We need to help people go from welfare rolls to payrolls," Herron said. In District 8, Herron reminded the crowd that the West Tennessee Megasite in Haywood County has the potential to impact those across the district.
With the creation of the port in Lake County and the interconnect of Interstate 69 through Obion County, District 8 is poised for economic growth, according to the state senator.
"I'll cut waste everywhere I can and I'll make some tough decisions when necessary. I offer you one word of hope: optimism. I am optimistic in the investments of our future. It's time to be tax makers, not tax takers," Herron added.
Herron faces Republican candidate Stephen Fincher, a farmer from Frog Jump.
Both vie for the 8th District Congressional seat.