Choosing sides in the Walley-Templeton state Senate race

Former state Rep. Page Walley and former Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton are assembling their campaign teams for this year’s only open state Senate race to succeed retiring Sen. Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville).

Walley is getting his campaign consulting from Bob Davis, a former state Republican Party chairman, and the Stoneridge Group. Templeton has enlisted another former state GOP chairman, Tommy Hopper, and consultant Layne Provine.

Former state Rep. Barrett Rich is backing Templeton, while retired Rep. Steve McDaniel is supporting Walley.

Senate District 26 comprises Chester, Decatur, Fayette, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, McNairy, and Henderson counties.

Here is the release on Templeton’s team:

Jai Templeton, Republican candidate for the State Senate in District 26 and past Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture, today announced several members of his campaign leadership team.

Melissa Lindsey of Henderson County will serve as Templeton’s campaign treasurer. Lindsey owns and operates a successful employee benefits company in Lexington. Harris Armour of Fayette County, Dr. John Gallien of Hardin County, and Barrett Rich of Decatur County will serve as co-chairs of Templeton’s campaign. Armour is a family farmer who has been actively involved in the Tennessee Farm Bureau for years. Dr. Gallien is a dentist with a thriving practice in Savannah. Rich is a former three-term State Representative who served citizens of Fayette, Hardeman, and McNairy counties.

Templeton has retained native Tennesseans Layne Provine and Tommy Hopper to serve as consultants to his campaign. Provine has won over 80% of his elections in two decades as a campaign consultant. Hopper is a former Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party and National Political Director for the Republican National Committee.

Jessica Stephens will serves as Templeton’s campaign manager. Stephens has managed legislative campaigns in Tennessee since 2006, including victories for Rep. John Ragan and Rep. Kelly Keisling.

“I’m excited about the team I’ve assembled. I’m grateful for their willingness to help me reach voters and share my plans for recovering from the coronavirus, rebuilding our economy, and protecting our conservative values,” remarked Templeton.

Templeton is a sixth generation family farmer with row crops, cattle, and timber production. He is the Community Development Manager for Centennial Bank in Adamsville. He is Chairman of the McNairy County Republican Party and was a Delegate to the 2004 Republican National Convention. Templeton and his wife, Allison, live in Stantonville and are the parents of three adult children. He has been a member of the First Baptist Church of Adamsville for 22 years.

And here is Walley’s grassroots announcement:

Former State Representative and Tennessee Commissioner, Page Walley, today announced his grassroots leadership team for his race for State Senate in District 26. The team consists of community leaders from all eight counties comprised in the district. Walley’s grassroots team will be charged with the mission to organize their respective counties on both a grassroots and financial level.

“I am excited about the grassroots leadership team we’ve assembled to share our message to the entire district,” Walley said. These folks are respected leaders in their community. I’m honored to have them stand with me.”

A staunch conservative, Walley served 5 terms in the Tennessee State House during the 1990’s and was a strong advocate in his opposition of a state income tax. He has served as a licensed Clinical Counselor for over 35 years.

Walley is pro-life, a member of both the NRA and Tennessee Firearms Association, Tennessee Farm Bureau, is a licensed minister and author, and received numerous awards for his leadership in the Tennessee State House. Walley and his wife Terry have been married for 35 years and has three children and three grandsons.

Walley’s Grassroots Leadership Team includes the following individuals.

  • Eric Bell – Henderson – Sheriff – retired
  • Lance Beshires – Henderson – County Trustee
  • Nancy Lofton – Henderson – Owner, Lofton Chevrolet Dealership
  • Judy Smith – Decaturville – Mental Health Office Director
  • Jo Ann Allen – Hickory Withe – Retired County Commissioner
  • Homer Bunker – Hickory Withe – Former County Commissioner, retired small business owner
  • Sally and Bill Cowan – La Grange – Farmers and Realtor
  • Sarah Belle Day – Somerville – Retired educator, Fayette Academy
  • Billy Whitworth – Hickory Withe – Agriculture sales and stables owner
  • Judy and Shelton Wilder – Braden – Farmer and Ginners
  • Patricia and Ricky Ayers – Hickory Valley – Educator, ginner, small business owner, and Mayor
  • Tony Davis – Middleton – Municipal administrator
  • Lisa Hodge – Hornsby – Business owner, Joe’s Grill
  • Timmy Hooper and Tony Hooper – Toone – Business owners, Hooper Sawmill
  • Roy Watson – Bolivar – Farmer and Construction
  • Andrea and Don Young – Bolivar – Banker and Adult Special Services Director
  • Brian Brown – Counce – Retired Coach and Educator and Insurance Agent, Hardin County High and McNairy Central High School
  • Laura Brown – Counce – Healthcare provider
  • Craig Layman – Brownsville – Co-owner, John Deere Dealership
  • Joy Mann – Brownsville – Farmer, healthcare administrator
  • Alice McClanahan – Brownsville – Retired banker at In South Bank, farmer
  • Jim Nunn – Brownsville – Cotton Broker
  • Shana Duke – Lexington – County Commissioner
  • Peggy Gilbert – Lexington – Alderman, Police Commissioner
  • Steve McDaniel – Parkers Crossroads – Former Deputy Speaker, TN State House, City Manager
  • Jeff Reeves – Lexington – Business Owner, Reeves Bros. Trucking
  • Carrie and Steve Moore – Selmer – Manufacturing engineer, United Stainless in Selmer
  • Danny and Jeannie Davila – Hickory Valley – Delta Pilot
  • Frank and Judy Bell – Henderson – State Farm Insurance Owners
  • Terry Bell – Henderson – Probation Officer
  • Ken Culver – Oakland – Pastor, Warren Community Church
  • Stark Davis – Henderson – Faculty member, Freed-Hardeman University
  • Sissy Dowdle – Somerville – Former Chamber of Commerce Director/Health Care Marketing
  • Mark Grey – Whiteville – Engineering Office Principle
  • Kerry Kimery – Grand Junction – Horse Breeder/Sales
  • John McFarland – Oakland – Gun store owner
  • Tom Minor – Rossville – Attorney
  • Debbie Norton – Gallaway/Braden – Retired NBC bank executive
  • Lola Putt – Somerville – Realtor
  • Wayne Thomas – Hickory Wythe – Farmer
  • Judy Walters – Rossville – Retired FedEx executive, Mayor
  • Susan and Bob Wilson – LaGrange – Owner, Wilson Air Center
  • Brad Grantham – Bolivar – Construction
  • Charlotte and Eddie Karcher – Somerville – Educator and Farmer

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