Tennessee state Sen. Jim Tracy is scheduled to be in Lynchburg on Tuesday, April 29 as a guest at the monthly Moore County GOP meeting.
Tracy will visit with the Moore County republican group at 7 p.m. in the lower level of the County Building. Tracy is challenging incumbent Rep. Scott DesJarlais, of Jasper, in the Republican Primary in the 4th Congressional District.
According to representatives from Moore County GOP, the meeting is open to anyone and — especially during election years — the group strives to provide a forum for candidates in an informal setting.
The meetings are not typical business meetings — i.e., the Moore County Board of Education or the Metro Lynchburg Council — but rather a casual atmosphere where citizens are able to meet candidates on the campaign trail. During non-election years, the group generally discusses political issues and often welcomes guest speakers.
According to the Daily News Journal, first quarter Federal Election Commission reports show that Tracy, of Shelbyville, continues to swamp DesJarlais in campaign fundraising.
Tracy raised $172,061 in the first quarter compared to the incumbent’s $76,102. At the end of March, Tracy had cash on hand of $913,561, compared to DesJarlais’ $198,356, a nearly 5-to-1 advantage for the challenger.
Money likely won’t be a big issue during Monday’s meeting here. Both Tracy and DesJarlais oppose national Common Core educational standards. But neither can agree on when Tracy decided he was opposed to the legislature.
DesJarlais contends that Tracy changed his position on Common Core from Jan. 13, 2010, when Tracy voted to approve Race to the Top legislation to accept federal government stimulus money to improve public education through a bill that included a fiscal note that mentions Common Core.
“At the time, no one knew what Common Core standards were,” Tracy said during an interview with the Daily News Journal. “The fiscal note is not the bill. Nowhere in the bill does it say Common Core. The fiscal note is what it costs to implement.”
Tracy said it was the State Board of Education that adopted the Common Core standards and not the Tennessee General Assembly.
Tracy noted that he supported legislation this year that halted further implementation of Common Core beyond the language and math in place, as well as delay of the related PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) tests on computers.
Tracy said he does support the concept of college readiness standards as long as the state and local school districts are the ones making the decisions to tailor what works best for their students. In Lincoln County, for example, students may need standards to prepare them to compete for NASA-related jobs in the Huntsville, Ala., area, where the Marshall Space Flight Center is located.
For more on Tracy and DesJarlais’ debate over Common Core, visit the Daily News Journal’s home page online at <www.dnj.com>. To see Tracy face to face, make a point to join the Moore County GOP Tuesday night at 7 p.m.