Alexander launches campaign for General Assembly

Robert Houk • Apr 14, 2020 at 8:27 AM

Rebecca Keefauver Alexander launched her campaign for the 7th District seat in the state House of Representatives by telling supporters Monday she “will not waiver” from her conservative roots if elected to the Tennessee General Assembly.

“We are going through one of the most difficult times in our lifetime,” the Republican said. “It will take real leadership to set us on our feet again.”

Alexander kicked off her bid to unseat state Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, in the Aug. 6 GOP primary at an event live-streamed on Facebook from the Keefauver family’s former dairy farm on Hales Chapel Road, where she and her three sisters grew up.

The candidate said she plans to take the conservative principles of Washington County, where her family has lived for eight generations, to Nashville.

“Let me just say for the record, I’m not a politician,” Alexander said. “I am only a girl who grew up in Washington County, and I feel called to serve my community and help it prosper.”

Alexander, who is a Milligan College graduate, and taught briefly at a local high school, said she will make improving teacher pay a priority if elected. She also said workforce development will also be a top issue if she is sent to the state Capitol.

She said “the big question” is: “How do we prepare students for real life in this world?” The answer, Alexander said, is improving literacy in the early grades.

“Let’s figure out ways to keep students motivated,” she said.

Alexander said she would also work to stop the “federal overreach” that is hurting small family farms in favor of corporate agriculture.

“When I was a girl, we had more than 400 dairy farms in Washington County,” she said. “We have only 11 today. That statistic alone should scare us.”

She said small businesses should also be given “every advantage” possible, including lower taxes and reduced regulations.

Alexander was introduced at Monday’s campaign kickoff by her siblings, who noted she has raised two daughters, earned a master's degree from East Tennessee State University and is a professional storyteller. She and her husband, Howard, run their family’s business, Dillow-Taylor Funeral Home, in Jonesborough.

She has also worked as national sales manager for Magnavox, a job that allowed her to open 120 stores and travel around the world.

Alexander is active in the Jonesborough Storytellers Guild, the Jonesborough Food Pantry and is on the board of advisors for Emmanuel Christian Seminary.

“The most obvious problem is that we have kicked God out of our schools and watered down Tennessee and American history,” she told supporters.

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