Press Releases

Gresham Challenger Wants Debate

Press release from the Meryl Rice Campaign for District 36; August 16, 2012: 

WHITEVILLE – Senate Candidate Meryl Rice is calling on Senator Delores Gresham today to join her in a public forum for a debate of their issues that are affecting the citizens of District 26.

“The people of this district deserve to have the best information available to them when they prepare to go to the polls in November;” said Rice, “seeing us face-to-face is the best way for voters to make a decision about who would represent them best in Nashville.”

So far, the Hardeman County Journal and the Hardeman County Business and Professional Women have both offered to host debates between the candidates, but Rice says that she is ready to debate wherever the opportunity presents itself.

“I believe that the issues are on my side,” she continued, “and I would love to have an opportunity to prove to the people of this district that Senator Gresham is out of touch with the needs of the people she is supposed to be representing.”

Gresham, the Chair of the Senate Education Committee, has presided over some of the most controversial measures in the recent General Assembly, including the overhaul of collective bargaining for teachers, the implementation of a new complicated teacher evaluation system, sending state dollars to an out of state company to operate a virtual school, and an attempt to cut Lottery Scholarships in half for over 5,000 Tennessee students.

Rice has spent her thirty-nine year career working as a human service professional. Her last full-time employment was as the Director of Crisis Services for Quinco Mental Health Centers. She has also worked at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Professional Counseling Services.

The election for District 26 will take place on November 6th. Due to the once a decade redistricting process, District 26 is now comprised of Chester, Decatur, Haywood, Hardeman, Hardin, Henderson, Fayette, and McNairy Counties.

Meryl Rice is a candidate for Tennessee Senate District 26. She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Southern Mississippi. Rice and her husband Randall live on a small farm in Whiteville where they operate a small business; they have three children and five grandchildren. For more information, please call- (731) 609-3236 or email at

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