I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Oak Hill’s mayor, Heidi Campbell, who is the Democratic candidate to represent Tennessee’s 20th State Senate District. She’s running against Republican incumbent Steven Dickerson on a platform of economic efficiency and was a pleasure to have as a guest on Here & Queer Nashville.

District 20 is an incredibly gerrymandered district that encompasses most of the affluent white suburbs that surround Nashville proper. It forms a craggy C-shape with its opening in the southeast end of the county, omitting the economically, racially, and ethnically diverse Antioch. I grew up in Antioch, and after years of nothing but negative press about my neighborhood, the strange shape of district 20 comes as no huge surprise. Although Mayor Campbell’s platform does not explicitly plan to address gerrymandering, she does support State Senator Jeff Yarbro’s initiatives towards redistricting the state more equitably.

Heidi is in favor of marijuana legalization, disability rights, and paying our public school teachers what they’re worth. She has promised to be a “staunch and unwavering ally for the entire LGBTQ+ community in the state legislature.” She supports equitable access to healthcare for all and expressed specific frustrations with our state legislature’s decision to not expand Medicaid, leaving billions of dollars on the table and causing the closure of rural hospitals. Mayor Campbell also happily agreed to participate in a virtual town hall with members of the LGBTQ+ community to discuss her policies and voting record.

Heidi has gained bipartisan support because of her commitment to economic efficiency. As mayor of Oak Hill she eliminated her salary and balanced the budget. Should she win, she would be entering a super minority in the state senate (currently only 5 of the 33 seats are held by Democrats) and being able to work “across the aisle” to pass legislation could prove a valuable asset.

With endorsements from the Communication Workers of America, the National Women’s Political Caucus TN, United Auto Workers, a plethora of local leaders, and yours truly, Heidi promises to be a voice for women, LGBTQ+ people, and all Tennesseeans.

I’m excited to vote for Heidi Campbell for Tennessee State Senate District 20 on November 3, 2020. Early voting begins in Tennessee October 14 and runs through October 29. You can find Heidi on the web at www.campbell20.com, on Instagram @campbell4senate, and on Twitter @campbellTN20. Make sure you follow me, Vidalia Anne Gentry on Instagram @vag4short, and check out our podcast, Here & Queer Nashville, for more from Heidi!

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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