Appearing as the guest speaker at Saturday’s quarterly Washington County Republican Party meeting, Vest touched on national politics, county politics and the Jonesborough school plan — a plan he hopes will be ready to go in October.
“I feel we have pretty strong support from the County Commissioners, now it’s just a matter of getting the financial advisers and the legal team to give their blessings,” Vest said. “We could have that Monday night or it could be a week from now, but I don’t see any reason why this can’t be finalized by October.”
Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy sees the plan as one that’s “desperately needed.”
“I think this provides a unique opportunity to go forward on a really special project and accomplish a lot of things that really need to be done in Jonesborough,” Grandy said. “It’s a great opportunity.”
Vest said it’s “great” to have support for the plan, and pointed to the community as a big reason why the plan has had such widespread support in the county.
“I think people in East Tennessee love our community and we’re going to do things to support it, whether it’s here in Jonesborough or Johnson City or wherever, we’re going to show we love East Tennessee,” Vest said.
During his speech, Vest also spoke heavily on national or “presidential politics,” saying that to win, a politician has to be the “aggressor” and appear “confident,” something Republicans have to do if they want to avoid losing congressional seats or the presidency.
“President (Donald) Trump didn’t win the election against Hillary (Clinton) because he had better ideas — and certainly wasn’t because he got help from Russia,” Vest said during his speech. “He won because he learned from the past.
“He was the aggressor,” he added.
And though nearly half of Vest’s 30-minute speech focused on presidential politics, Vest doesn’t feel national politics play much of a role locally.
“I don’t necessarily think it plays too much of a role here on a local level,” he said. “There’s no doubt our community has concerns and passions on a national scale, but in terms of here locally, it’s generally going to be more community type projects.”
Also during the meeting, party leadership announced Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Dr. Manny Sethi, a trauma surgeon from Nashville, will be speaking to the group on Oct. 14 and that the party will be opening a campaign headquarters on Browns Mill Road that same month.