Teachers’ union endorses Republican Dickerson over Democratic challenger Campbell

The Tennessee Senate meets on June 1, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The Tennessee Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union, has endorsed incumbent Republican state Sen. Steve Dickerson (R-Nashville) over his Democratic challenger, Oak Hill Mayor Heidi Campbell.

“Davidson County is home to the best educators in Tennessee, and I will continue to support meaningful legislation that will fully fund our schools, empower school principals and support our teachers,” Dickerson said in a statement.

Here’s the TEA’s endorsement letter:

Dear Sen. Steve Dickerson:

You have received the TEA endorsement for re‐election to the Tennessee State Senate for District 20. Your strong legislative record of supporting and defending Tennessee’s public schools and the dedicated professionals who work in them is the basis of the unanimous endorsement by the members of the TEA Fund for Children and Public Education, our political action committee. Congratulations, for it is well deserved.

In the many legislative battles over public education, your advocacy and care have stood out to educators here in Nashville and across Tennessee.

Fighting privatization. You have a long history as an ardent opponent of vouchers, not only when they targeted your senate district in the most recent legislative fight, but in any and every manner privatization schemes have been proposed. Your opposition has been vocal and effective and based on your knowledge that public schools are the foundation of our communities.

Defending the profession. When teachers’ careers have been threatened or attacked by misguided policies and proposed legislation, you have been a stalwart defender and advocate for educators. When the State Board of Education passed a policy to revoke teaching licenses based on the fuzzy numbers of TVAAS, you stepped in to help pass legislation outlawing the practice. You recognize teaching as a profession—one as important as your own—and treat it with the respect and support it deserves.

Improving student outcomes with community schools. All of us who are dedicated to improving student outcomes in schools with high poverty rates know we must address the barriers to learning that accompany the economic insecurity of families. It is why TEA has worked closely with you to increase efforts to expand and enhance community schools in Tennessee. Community schools have a proven track record and are grounded in the knowledge that the emotional, social, and physical needs of students must be addressed for them to succeed academically.

It is critical to keep effective and respected advocates for public schools in the state senate. That is why we fully support your re‐election and ask every voter who supports public education to cast their vote for you.

Good luck in your campaign. Sincerely,

Beth Brown

President, Tennessee Education Association

9 Responses to Teachers’ union endorses Republican Dickerson over Democratic challenger Campbell

  • Avatar
    Beatrice Shaw says:

    This is VERY powerful wording. Good to see a Republican doing what is right!!

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    The TEA endorsement was the kiss of death in the Senate race for Templeton.

  • Avatar
    Taxpayer #314 says:

    I agree, this is very powerful wording and it really is good to see a Republican actually doing what is right. Congratulations to Sen. Dickerson.

  • Avatar
    Karen Bracken says:

    Not surprised. In my opinion Steve Dickerson is more of a Democrat than even Campbell. it is his support of all things union that won him this endorsement.

    • Avatar
      Herbert Mark Rogers says:

      Karen Bracken, it is thinking like yours that is leading the Republican Party into the status of being the pernanent minority.

  • Avatar
    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    Of course, we are dealing with representation of Nashville, one of our liberal ghettos, so Dickerson (ACU-71%) is about as good as we can expect and 71% isn’t that terrible all things considered. So long as the Rellpublican caucus treats him as a sort of curiosity with no influence whatsoever I probably would vote for him if I was insane enough to live in a liberal ghetto.

    • Avatar
      Perry Aubric says:

      By “liberal ghetto,” Stuart of course means living around black people, which he of course would never do.

      But as far as Dickerson’s district is concerned, I am curious exactly what neighborhood in it Stuart considers to be a “ghetto”? Give us an example, Stuart. What part of Steve Dickerson’s district is a “ghetto? Be specific.

    • Avatar
      Herbert Mark Rogers says:

      Karen Bracken, it is thinking like yours that is leading the Republican Party into the status of being the pernanent minority.

  • Avatar
    Frank Hundley says:

    The TEA endorsed @Rep. Gloria Johnson’s opponent in her race in 2018 (and Gloria is an actual teacher!) because he was an incumbent. The TEA doesn’t go against incumbents. Evidently, like with his recent discovery 2 weeks ago that he supports Medicaid expansion, Steven Dickerson has had another election year conversion, and as he faces a difficult re-election, he’s now seen the light on vouchers as well! He took $8,500 from Students First (a pro voucher group) in 2016 and voted FOR vouchers four times prior to his last vote opposing the Education Savings Account. It’s also worth noting that he voted for the Governor’s budget which gave Bill Lee a pay raise, but denied teachers a cost of living increase. Yet again Steve’s trying to be all things to all people to protect his re-election chances, but if people want a Democrat in that seat, they should vote for the Democrat in the race. Heidi Campbell has been endorsed by Metro Nashville School board members Emily Masters and Freda Player Peters because, as Emily said, “Heidi Campbell is the representative we need to preserve the integrity of our neighborhoods and schools and ensure that all children can achieve educational success. She will fight against efforts to take public school funds away from our public schools, and she’ll work to get our teachers the pay they deserve.” The Heidi Campbell for TN Senate 20 campaign is ready to discuss Dickerson’s evolving position on issues with with the Senator at anytime, but he has so far refused to make himself available.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *