Former State Senator Bob Rochelle formally entered the 2006 State Senate race in the 17th District this week and said he would not support a state income tax without a vote of the people.
?My name is Bob Rochelle and I want to be your State Senator?again,? Rochelle said at a press conference. Rochelle was surrounded by friends and supporters at the Wilson County Judicial Center as he made the announcement.
?Four years ago in the middle of a crisis, I felt we had to act. But times have changed. The crisis has passed. When times change, public officials should change with them. Therefore, I am today committing to the people of the 17th District that, as their Senator, I will vote against an income tax that is not approved by a vote of the people. Put very simply: No vote, No tax,? Rochelle said.
?The tax debate of four years ago created a massive distraction for the state. I apologize for that distraction,? Rochelle said.
Rochelle said he wanted to return to the State Senate so that he could get results for the 17th District.
?The income tax debate resulted in the election of some sub par one issue candidates who have shown no ability to get things done for our community. They have no answers, no courage, no solutions and will say whatever it takes to stay in office,? Rochelle said.
The 17th Senatorial District includes Wilson, Trousdale, Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith and part of Sumner Counties.
?I wanted to deal with the income tax question from the beginning,? Rochelle said. ?It?s a dead issue, I?ve dropped it and I won?t pick it back up. Now is the time to move forward.?
Rochelle noted that his opponent, State Senator Mae Beavers, was the only State Senator to vote against Governor Phil Bredesen?s new Cover Tennessee health care program, voted against the state budget and opposed a modest increase in the minimum wage.
?Senator Beavers is out of step with the 17th District,? Rochelle said.
?We need new roads to alleviate the traffic and congestion and to bring more jobs to our district,? Rochelle said. ?I stand here today prepared to fight for the future of Tennessee. I am ready to go back to work for you. I ask for your help.?