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SC’s Sen. Scott to TN Republicans: Show Voters ‘How Much We Care’

The Tennessee Republican Party’s annual Statesmen’s Dinner Friday night saw the ballroom at Nashville’s new Music City Center packed with a who’s who of state GOP-ers from up and down the ticket including Gov. Bill Haslam, U.S. Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander and seven members of the state’s U.S. House delegation.

But the big draw of the evening’s program — part award ceremony for local party stalwarts, part partisan pep-rally — was a fresh senator from another southern red state, Tim Scott from South Carolina.

In a recent letter to the Tennessean, state Republican Party Chair Chris Devaney called Scott as a “rising national star,” praising him as “refreshing voice of principle who is guided by an unyielding faith in God and rock-ribbed Republican values of less government influence and individual liberty.”

In his keynote address Friday, Scott, who served as U.S. congressman for two years before being tapped by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to fill a vacant Senate seat in January, struck an optimistic note, predicting political gains in upcoming elections. But Scott told the crowd Republicans need to reach out and connect with citizens to find success in the ballot box.

“Where we are as a country, it doesn’t look very good. I understand that we have major challenges in this nation but I also understand that the greatest days of America is ahead of it,” Scott told the audience. “I think we can win back the Senate in 2014, we have a grand opportunity in front of us and America will give us an opportunity to lead again in the Senate.”

“There are a couple things that we have to remember in order to get there,” he continued. “The first thing is this, that America, they want to know how much we know but they want to know it after they understand how much we care. Our ability to achieve success in the Senate and maintain the House will be our ability to communicate our message effectively.”

Sen. Scott also predicted a Republican return to the White House in 2016, saying it would be a “wonderful day” after “eight long years of President Obama” and earned cheers with a crowd-pleasing attack on the Affordable Care Act, which he charged was “eroding the very foundation of freedom as we know it in health care.”

“I think we ought repeal Obamacare today,” Scott said to heavy applause. “The employer mandate is not enough, the individual mandate would not be enough,” he continued, referring to two requirements of the law, the first of which the Obama administration has recently said it will put off enacting for an extra year.

Scott also claimed that the ACA “adds $800 billion of new taxes and new responsibilities on the back of everyday citizens,” and argued that the new law “takes away the very precious relationship between a doctor and a patient.

Scott is currently campaigning to keep his Senate seat for another two years in a 2014 special election that will determine who gets to serve out the remaining term of his predecessor Jim DeMint.

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Press Releases

Ramsey Named Honorary Race Director of Coca-Cola 600

Press release from Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated; May 15, 2013:

CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A United States senator, a lieutenant governor and a military hero will lead race fans in the commencement of the nation’s largest Memorial Day celebration as they serve as race officials for the 2013 Coca-Cola 600. Sgt. Aaron Causey will be Grand Marshal; U.S. Sen. Tim Scott will serve as Honorary Starter and Tennessee’s Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey will serve as Honorary Race Director for the 54th running of NASCAR’s only 600-mile race at the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 26.

“It is our pleasure to welcome these distinguished elected officials, as well as a military hero to the 2013 Coca-Cola 600,” said Lauren C. Steele, senior vice president, corporate affairs, Coca-Cola Consolidated. “It is exciting to have these state leaders to recognize America’s servicemen and women at the largest Memorial Day celebration in the country. We are honored to have a true American hero announce those famous words: ‘Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!’”

As race officials, Scott and Ramsey will be honored at a pre-race event, attend the official drivers meeting, address the crowd of more than 140,000 fans, participate in the pre-race spectacular and present the trophy to the winning driver in Victory Lane. As Grand Marshal, Causey will give the race command, while Scott will wave the green flag over the 43-car field to start NASCAR’s most challenging race. As Honorary Race Director, Ramsey will ride in an official pace car.

Causey graduated from EOD school at Eglin Air Force Base in August 2001 and was then stationed in Aviano, Italy. He served in Iraq in 2004 along with many other international missions during his years in Aviano. In 2006, he left the Air Force to continue working in EOD, transferring to the Army. He deployed to Iraq 2006-08 out of Fort Stewart, Ga., then was stationed in Mannheim, Germany 2008-10. Later in 2010, he was stationed at Fort Drum, NY and deployed to Afghanistan in March 2011. On Sept. 7, 2011, he was performing dismounted operations in an attempt to disarm a suspected IED when one detonated under him. He ultimately lost both legs above the knees, two fingers, suffered broken arms and hand injuries, shrapnel wounds over most of his upper body, loss of tissue, and multiple other serious injuries. He lives with his wife of three years, Kat. After recovery is complete, they intend to stay in the DC-metro area and build a new life together.

Scott is a U.S. senator representing the great state of South Carolina. His goal is simple: to positively affect the lives of the American people. That path has taken him from a successful small businessman, to being elected to Charleston County Council, the South Carolina State House, the U.S. House of Representatives, and now the U.S Senate.

Ramsey is serving his fourth term as Lt. Governor of Tennessee. A small businessman himself, he has become a leading voice for economic growth in his state and region. He and his wife, Sindy, live in Blountville.

Continuing its tradition as the biggest Memorial Day Weekend celebration in America, the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show will pay tribute to veterans and active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The Welcome Home Our Troops Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show will also include a performance of “I Will Give My All” by country music artist Jamie Tate and the 82nd Airborne All-American Chorus, a bagpipe performance of “Amazing Grace” by the Charlotte Fire Department Pipe Band and “Taps” played by a Fort Bragg bugler. There will also be a 21-gun salute from the Fort Bragg Firing Squad.

Coca-Cola has been involved with stock car racing for more than 50 years and has been the official sparkling beverage of NASCAR since 1998. Through its partnerships with International Speedway Corporation, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Coca-Cola refreshes racing fans at the majority of NASCAR-sanctioned tracks. A signature part of the brand’s NASCAR association is the Coca-Cola Racing Family – a group of top drivers that include Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart. The company also maintains relationships with Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, Kyle Petty and Elliott Sadler. Coca-Cola Racing Family members make appearances and are featured in advertising, promotions and packaging.

Tickets for all May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Fans can purchase two frontstretch tickets with excellent views of pit road and the world’s largest HDTV for just $99 to the May 26 Coca-Cola 600.