Press Releases

Evans Announces for State Senate District 25

Press release from the Campaign for Joshua Evans for Tennessee State Senate; Sept. 24, 2013:

SPRINGFIELD, TN – State Representative Joshua Evans announced his candidacy for the newly formed 25th District of the Tennessee State Senate. As a first responder, small businesses owner, and public servant, Evans has a unique understanding of the issues that face the five-county district, and the experience to achieve solutions.

“It has been an honor to serve in the General Assembly, and I look forward to the opportunity to serve in the Senate, and continue the fight for Tennessee’s families, to reduce our tax burden, improve our schools, and to develop an environment where business owners can succeed and create jobs,” said Evans.

During his five years in the General Assembly, Evans has been instrumental in moving forward key legislation that has resulted in the reduction of the sales tax on groceries and the Hall Income Tax, elimination of the state’s gift and death taxes, and establishment of essential education reforms that have led to measurable improvement in student achievement. Evans has also been a consistent champion for our constitutional rights, and for the sanctity of all human life. By focusing on fiscal restraint, improving education, and creating an environment where businesses can create jobs, Evans has shown a clear understanding of what it takes to make Tennessee and the district he represents appealing to employers and residents.

Through his years of service in elected office, Evans has built a strong reputation as a hard worker and responsive public servant. This strong reputation of hard work in both Nashville, and at home, is reflected in the strength of his early fundraising efforts. As he kicks off his Senate race, Evans has more than $50,000 cash-on-hand – significantly outpacing the other announced candidates in the race, who have each raised less than $7,000 as of the latest filing.

“I have been overwhelmed by the interest and enthusiasm I have seen as I have traveled across the 25th District. I share the values that characterize this district: a commitment to strong families, a passion for hard work, and a strong sense of responsibility to the community. These values will always shape my decisions as I work with the residents of the 25th District to improve opportunities for job growth, support parents and teachers in their efforts to provide the best education to our young people, and ensure that our values are reflected in the work that is done in Nashville,” continued Evans.

The 25th Senate District was created as a result of the 2012 redistricting, and it includes Cheatham, Dickson, Hickman, Humphreys, and Robertson Counties.

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About Joshua Evans:

Joshua Evans served eight years in local government and was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 2008. He is a small business owner and has served as a volunteer firefighter in Robertson County since 2001. Joshua and his family live in Greenbrier, and he is a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Press Releases

Evans Grateful for Chance to Serve Again, Requests Return of Signs for Future Use

Press release from State Rep. Joshua Evans, R-Greenbrier; August 6, 2012: 

By an overwhelming margin the good people of Robertson County have given me the opportunity to continue serving them, and I am very grateful. I thank God for the opportunity to go back to work representing you–today it’s time to get back to work.

Victory is always the result of a team effort, not just about the candidate. So I want to thank those who served on my campaign team and everyone who volunteered their time and energy knocking on doors, making calls, and other activities to help me. My staff, Rob, Brett, Kelsey & Matt have done an amazing job all summer. As always, my parents are an integral part of everything thing I do and I am thankful to my Mom and Dad.

I am so impressed that in the face of daily lies and misleading attacks, the people of Robertson County saw through the lack of integrity that was the basis of my opponent’s campaign. I expected no less of the good people of our community. Each of you who have helped, contributed, worked, prayed or voted for me, have left an impression upon me, and I am grateful.

Thank you Robertson County!

Joshua G. Evans
State Representative


Our team worked hard over the last few days to quickly reclaim all of our signs so that we will have them to use again in the future and to restore the cleanliness and beauty of our communities. To the best of our records, we have reclaimed all of the signs on our lists. If you still have a sign, big or little, or come accross a sign anywhere in the county, or have any other campaign magnets or other materials you need to get back to us, please send me a message and let me know where to get them, or bring them by The UPS Store in Springfield. If you drive by and see an Evans sign, pick it up for us please. Your help is greatly appreciated!

Press Releases

Evans Grateful for Primary Win

Statement from State Rep. Joshua Evans, R-Greenbrier; August 3, 2012: 

I have never taken the people of Robertson County for granted, nor did I take the outcome of the election for granted. My campaign team and I worked very, very hard. By an overwhelming margin, I have again been given me the opportunity to serve, and I am very grateful to God and to my constituents.

I think voters simply saw me as a local small business owner and proven conservative leader with deep roots in Robertson County versus a full-time lobbyist funded by Nashville politicians and special interests. I have a strong record of standing up for our county and our conservative values and they trust my record versus the idea of someone who would put outside interests and political considerations ahead of them and ahead of principles.

I stayed positive in the face of a relentlessly negative campaign of personal attacks and total distortions of my record by the opponent. I am very glad that I chose to focus on issues, on conservative values, and on a better future for Tennessee. Although there was documented information from public records about my opponent’s past that would certainly have given voters tremendous insight into his character, I simply exercised the restraint not to take that approach.

Now I am eager to continue representing the people of Robertson County with total commitment to work hard for them, to make Tennessee America’s most job-creation friendly state, to take a conservative approach to taxes and spending, and to defend life and liberty.

Press Releases

Evans: Nation on Path to Bankruptcy

Editorial from Rep. Joshua Evans, R-Greenbrier; July 6, 2012:  

Throughout this week of celebrating our Independence, I hope that, in addition to the fireworks and the barbecues, each of us takes the time to reflect on the system that our Founding Fathers so wisely developed. Influenced by the experiences of other nations where citizens struggled beneath all-powerful monarchs, overly-influential legislative bodies, and historic social barriers that stood in the way of true individual involvement in the state, our government was created to give voice to the citizens of our nation.

This time of reflection is essential today because we have a presidential administration that is acting with impunity – resembling the all-powerful monarchs that our governing system was designed to resist.

First, the administration argues before Congress that Obamacare is not a tax. This argument protected Congressmen who were afraid to explain to their constituents why they had voted for the largest tax increase in American history.

Then, the administration goes before the Supreme Court and argues that Obamacare is indeed a tax and thus constitutional. So – for all of you keeping score at home – for political expediency, the bill is not a tax, yet for Constitutional expediency, it is a tax.

In his recent proclamation that created a path to amnesty for many who are in our nation illegally, the President belied his apparent belief that members of congress are simply obstructions and side-stepped them and their collective authority.

And for good measure, when Congress dared to call into question the Department of Justice and its egregious failures through the Fast and Furious operation, the President invoked executive privilege, protecting a number of documents that could potentially reveal the implicit – or even explicit – support of the administration in these illegal activities.

These are three examples – all of them recent – of an administration acting in a manner where it appears as if all others are irrelevant or at best bit-players in the administration’s larger production.

Unfortunately for the American taxpayer, the price-tag for the President’s actions is growing by the day. The projected cost of Obamacare has already grown from $800 billion to $1.7 trillion. In addition, the EPA now has more regulations in the approval pipeline than the Agency generated in its entire 40 year existence. These regulations contribute to $1.75 trillion in costs to the American taxpayer while also killing jobs and stifling business growth.

We are on a path that will bankrupt this great nation. This fall, however, we have the opportunity again to exercise our freedoms to shift the direction of the country and to place us back on a path to prosperity.

In the 2010 elections, the American people expressed their displeasure with Obamacare, voting the Republican Party into 63 democrat-held seats in Congress – and 680 seats shifted to the Republican Party in state legislatures across the country. This was an historic shift, and voters have a similar opportunity this year.

The power of your votes is clearly evident in our General Assembly. Through the repeal of the Death Tax, through ongoing Tort-Reform efforts, through the strengthening of our right-to-work laws in Tennessee, through the passage of business-friendly, job-creating statutes, and through our extensive education reform efforts, we have navigated our state into a position where businesses and individuals in Tennessee have greater opportunities to be successful.

We are blessed to live in a nation where through our votes we are given the opportunity to steer our course, directing us – as we have in Tennessee – to prosperity. So as we celebrate our Independence and look forward to the elections ahead, I implore you to remember the privilege that we share in our ability to vote and the responsibility we share to exercise that privilege.

Press Releases

NFIB Picks Favorite Incumbents to Support In August Primary

Press Release from the National Federation of Independent Business, Tennessee Chapter; July 6, 2012: 

NFIB Endorses Candidates in 5 Senate, 20 House Primaries

NASHVILLE, July 6, 2012 – The National Federation of Independent Business, Tennessee’s leading small business association, today said it has endorsed candidates in 25 state legislative primary races. The endorsements were made by NFIB/Tennessee SAFE (Save America’s Free Enterprise) Trust, which is comprised exclusively of NFIB members. State primaries are scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 2, with early voting beginning July 13 and ending July 28. NFIB expects to announce general election endorsements later this summer. The general election will be held Nov. 6.

“NFIB supports candidates who understand how important it is to reduce burdens on small business,” said Jim Brown, state director of NFIB/Tennessee. “These candidates have consistently supported less taxation and have worked diligently to improve our unemployment and workers’ comp systems.”

Endorsements by Senate and House Districts (NFIB members bolded)

Senate District, Name

2, Doug Overbey

14, Jim Tracy

18, Ferrell Haile

28, Joey Hensley

32, Mark Norris

House District Name

2, Tony Shipley

5, David Hawk

6, Dale Ford

8, Art Swann

10, Don Miller

11, Jeremy Faison

12, Richard Montgomery

20, Bob Ramsey

22, Eric Watson

24, Kevin Brooks

27, Richard Floyd

31, Jim Cobb

45, Debra Maggart

48, Joe Carr

61, Charles Sargent

66, Joshua Evans

71, Vance Dennis

90, John DeBerry

96, Steve McManus

99, Ron Lollar

NFIB’s endorsement is critical to these campaigns. Small business owners and their employees vote in high numbers and are known for actively recruiting friends, family members and acquaintances to go to the polls. NFIB has pledged it will activate its grassroots network on behalf of these campaigns. NFIB’s political support is based on the candidates’ positions and records on small business issues.

Liberty and Justice News Transparency and Elections

Challenger to State Rep. Joshua Evans has DUI Record

A Capitol Hill lobbyist looking to unseat a rank-and-file House Republican has an arrest on suspicion of drunken driving in his history — a fact that a couple GOP incumbents want to highlight even while a fellow member of their caucus faces trial for DUI himself.

The two legislators are careful to say the run-in with the law shouldn’t disqualify Lee Harrell from being seriously considered in the race against Rep. Joshua Evans for the Robertson County House seat, but firmly add that it’s a fact voters should know.

“I think it’s probably important for voters to have that information and be able to use that in their consideration,” said Evans, a Republican from Greenbrier and small business owner.

Evans is beating back a challenge from Harrell, a lobbyist for the Tennessee School Boards Association, in the 66th District encompassing Robertson County. The August primary election race is one of 21 this year where House Republican incumbents are trying to fend off challengers.

Harrell was arrested Sept. 4, 2010, on drunken driving charges and refusing to submit to a blood alcohol test.

“It was certainly a mistake, but I learned from it. I’ve moved on. I’m a better person because of it,” Harrell told TNReport.

According to the arrest warrant, Harrell was driving 80 miles an hour in a 55 mile-per-hour zone on I-40 in Nashville on a Saturday night and was seen “meandering back and forth in his lane of travel, partly crossing into other lanes.” The report said he had watery, bloodshot eyes, smelled of alcohol and “lacked smooth pursuit” while performing field sobriety tests before refusing a blood-alcohol test.

His DUI charge was reduced to reckless driving. He pleaded guilty to the charge in January 2011, along with violating the implied consent law.

TNReport obtained documents about Harrell’s arrest from Rep. Vance Dennis, a Republican lawyer from Savannah who describes himself as a “good friend” of Evans, and provided the information for “personal” reasons.

“I was just trying to be helpful to the people of his district of Robertson County. To make sure everybody knows everything there is to know about Rep. Evans’ opponent,” he said.

But Dennis wouldn’t go so far as to criticize the plight of Rep. Curry Todd, a Collierville Republican who was arrested in October for DUI, illegal possession of a firearm and refusing a blood-alcohol test. His case has been bound over to a grand jury.

“I’m not going to cast aspersions on anyone for their prior actions, but I think people of the state have a right to know what’s out there and what’s in an individual’s history who’s running,” Dennis said.

Harrell says the leaked details of his DUI arrest prove his opponent isn’t certain of his re-election.

“You see this in politics all the time, and I think it’s just an indication that my opponent is not that confident in his voting record or in his relationships he has in the district, so he wants to point to this first rather than pointing to relevant information or relevant facts,” said Harrell.

Evans says Harrell’s mishap with the law only “recently came to his attention” and says he had nothing to do with making sure those details landed in TNReport’s hands. But he quickly added that he considers himself a proponent of stiffening DUI laws, including those that allow drivers to skip out on blood-alcohol tests.

“An issue like this is really up to the voters,” Evans said when asked whether Todd’s arrest, too, should be highlighted. He said he doesn’t plan on making Harrell’s DUI a part of his campaign.

Lawmakers added several DUI laws to the books this year, including one that would have forced drivers suspected of driving under the influence, like Harrell or Todd, to submit to a blood-alcohol test if compelled by a court order or a search warrant. That law is now in effect. Todd, who was on the floor during much of bill’s debate, left the chamber for the day minutes before lawmakers in the chamber voted.

Another clarifies that people entitled to use a drug that impairs a operating heavy machinery cannot use that as a defense against a DUI charge. That law kicks in July 1.

Education News NewsTracker Transparency and Elections

Prominent Education Lobbyist Jumps Into GOP House Primary Race

The lobbyist for the Tennessee School Boards Association, who played a central role in last year’s GOP-driven education reforms, is challenging an incumbent in this year’s Republican primary election.

Lee Harrell of White House will square off against state Rep. Joshua Evans, a two-term Republican from Greenbrier and small business owner. The district follows the lines of Robertson County north of Nashville. There are no Democratic candidates in the race so the winner in the primary will go on to represent District 66.

“Anytime you go against someone who is there, who is established, who has the name recognition, it’s an uphill battle,” said Harrell, who’ll continue to lobby the Legislature for the TSBA this session until lawmakers head back to their districts in the next few weeks.

“I certainly don’t expect anyone in the caucus to come out publicly and support me or to go against an incumbent. I’ve accepted that,” he said.

Harrell was a key combatant on a highly partisan political battlefield last year as the newly empowered GOP majority drove into law several major education reforms. A central element of the overhaul gutted the power of the teacher unions by rescinding a 1970s-era law that mandated elected school board officials engage in binding collective bargaining negotiations with local chapters of the Tennessee Education Association in order to hammer out teacher contracts.

Harrell said that while he regards education as his strong suit, he’s a well-rounded candidate and a Capitol insider, able to effectively communicate and negotiate across party lines and with people from various backgrounds and interests.

“I know all the players, the lobbyists, staffers, the legislators,” Harrell said. “I feel like with that background at this point in my life, I’m at a situation where I can stop, run for office, use my background, use those relationships and connections to give back to the people of Robertson County.”

The primary election will be held Aug. 2.

Press Releases

TN School Boards Assn. Lobbyist Announces Candidacy for Legislature

Press release from Lee Harrell, Candidate for House District 66; April 5, 2012:

WHITE HOUSE—Lee Harrell has qualified to challenge Joshua Evans for the Republican nomination in House District 66. Harrell currently works for the Tennessee School Boards Association as the Director of Government and Labor Relations and resides in White House.

“I am running for this seat because the voters of Robertson County deserve a state representative who is accessible, hardworking, and dependable. As state representative, I will continue my passion for improving education in Tennessee. A strong system of public education will attract industry, generate jobs, and promote economic development,” said Harrell.

“Also, as a Republican, I firmly believe in a smaller, less intrusive government. Washington, D.C. is out of control with its wasteful spending and reckless, unconstitutional mandates, and we need strong leaders in our state legislature to stand up to these bureaucrats,” he added.

Harrell has dedicated much of his career to the issue of public education. Before working for the Tennessee School Boards Association, he served as a research analyst for the State Senate Education Committee. He worked with the committee through the implementation of BEP 2.0, charter school reforms, expansion of lottery scholarships, and several other educational initiatives. With TSBA, he has worked with the General Assembly and other stakeholders in securing Tennessee’s Race to the Top Grant as well as endorsing legislation to end collective bargaining.

Press Releases

TN Right to Life: Knox Co. Murder Case Could Test State’s New Fetus-Protection Law

Press Release from Tennessee Right to Life, Dec. 21, 2011:

While police continue searching for their killer, the recent murders of Brittany Caroline Eldridge and her unborn child could be the first cases prosecuted under Tennessee’s recently expanded Unborn Victims of Violence Act. As passed in May, HB 498 / SB 633 establishes that unborn children at any age of gestational development may be legally considered victims of assault or homicide. Previous Tennessee statute only recognized unborn victims after the age of viability, generally considered to be 24-25 weeks.

Local newspaper accounts had reported that the Knox County District Attorney’s office was “waiting on an autopsy to verify whether or not the infant was viable in order to ascertain if there would be one or two homicide prosecutions.”

Tennessee’s new law, however, is very plain and specifically states that when a defendant “commits a homicide or assault against a pregnant woman, the woman’s fetus, regardless of viability, is also considered a victim of the offense.”

Sponsored by Rep. Joshua Evans (R-Greenbrier) and Sen. Mae Beavers (R-Mt Juliet), the policy change was signed into law by Governor Haslam and took effect on July 1 as Public Chapter 408. As such, Tennessee joined 26 other states which define the killing of an unborn child at any stage of gestation as a form of homicide.

Studies conducted about violence against pregnant women including those conducted in Maryland, Illinois and New York found that homicide is the leading cause of death among pregnant women. The growing violence against pregnant women prompted Tennessee legislators to consider the legislation that would recognize the lives of unborn children assaulted or killed in the commission of a crime as well as that of the mother.

Tennessee Right to Life thanks you and other members for helping elect pro-life majorities to the Tennessee Senate, House and U.S. Congress. In 2010, 90% of our endorsed candidates won their races. And since 2009, eight key pro-life provisions have been passed by the Tennessee General Assembly.