Judge Bob Corlew, Candidate for Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District
June 14, 2018
Three of the five candidates seeking the Republican nomination to fill the 6th District Congressional detailed their positions on a variety of issues at a forum in Cookeville Thursday evening — ranging from immigration to taxes to "the infiltration of Islam" in the country.
Bob Corlew, Judd Matheny and Lavern "U-Turn LaVern" Vivio spoke at a gathering of the District 6 Patriots group.
"Like everybody else up here, I'm a conservative," said Vivio, whose nickname came from her broadcasting career as a traffic reporter in Nashville. "I'm going to check all the boxes of the conservative platform."
Vivio said that platform included being pro-life, upholding the Second Amendment and supporting the need to control the border.
"We're all going to say exactly what you want to hear (and) what you need to hear to know that we're conservatives," she said, urging those in attendance to do their own homework on the candidates.
Corlew, a retired judge, also described himself as "the conservative candidate," adding that his concerns include the national debt and the need to better secure the border.
"Why shouldn't we have a strong border?" he asked. "This is the border with the most important country in the world. We need a strong border not only to prevent illegal immigration but frankly because of the drug issues. So many of our criminal cases today are related to drugs."
He said he was the only candidate to sign a pledge to eliminate "death taxes" and "do my best to balance our budget."
"I want to go to Washington, not to talk about these issues, but so that I can do things about these issues," he said. "We have too many people in Washington who, sadly, are doing too much talking and not enough acting."
Matheny, a former Putnam County law enforcement officer and current state representative from Tullahoma, touted his record on conservative causes.
"You're looking at the man that leads the Republican caucus in the Tennessee House," he said. "I, along with 68 of my colleagues stopped Nashville from becoming a sanctuary city last year."
Matheny said he also stopped Common Core in Tennessee and led the fight against increasing the gas tax.
"It's ludicrous to think that you can call yourself a Republican and push an agenda like that," he said.
The three candidates generally agreed on most of the issues that were brought up by audience members, including what they said was the danger posed by the spread of Islam in the United States.
"Are you aware of this over-abiding threat to our country?" asked Cookeville resident John Boggs.
"(It's) something that I know all too well," said Matheny. "For about 10 years, I've been confronting this directly. It is up to us to stop Islam. You can't trust them, you can't negotiate with them."
"This is a battle we're very, very unwise to ignore," said Vivio. "Why do we let people in our country that hate us? We have to have radical immigration reform."
Corlew said, "What is important is that we all recognize that ... the only true religion is Christianity. One of the planks that I have in my platform (is) restoring Christian values and Christian principles into our government."
Voters in the Republican and Democratic primaries will choose their nominees Aug. 2.
Other Republican candidates in the 6th Congressional District include Christopher Brian Monday of Cookeville and John Rose of Cookeville. Democratic candidates for that seat are Dawn Barlow of Rickman, Christopher Martin Finley of Nashville, Peter Heffernan of Gallatin and Merrilee Wineinger of Hendersonville. Independent candidates are Lloyd Dunn of Portland and David Ross of White House.
The Washington Examiner: Illegals, MS-13, border wall, become top issues in House races, Dems on defense
With some polls showing that illegal immigration and the violence of Hispanic gangs like MS-13 topping issues voters care about, many Republican House candidates are calling for action at the border and one Tennessee candidate even went to the border to film his support for President Trump’s wall.
“If we don’t secure our border, we can’t secure our nation’s future. But simply talking about securing our border is not enough as it has delivered little positive action in Congress. That is why I visited the border last week,” said Tennessee House candidate Bob Corlew.
“To secure the border and stop illegal criminal aliens from entering our country, we must finish the wall, end chain migration and be vigilant in the pursuit of dangerous criminals like the notorious MS-13 gang who have engulfed families and neighborhoods,” he added in his new ad titled “Border” and released Tuesday.
He is one of several candidates making illegal immigration and MS-13 gang violence a top issue. Others from around the nation and not just those from border states have joined in as polls of Republicans show the issue is a key one.
Just last week, Secrets reported on a poll from the Convention of States that put illegal immigration at the top of those issues voters are worried about.
The rise of MS-13 has also sparked outrage in Congress, leading many candidates to back the Justice Department’s crackdown on the gang.
Embattled northern Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock, for example, has pressed for a tougher handling of MS-13, winning support for her legislation. And she also has spoken out against illegal drugs crossing the border. In August, she is participating in an event for Loudoun County, Va., Sheriff Mike Chapman with the two DEA agents who caught druglord Pablo Escobar and are featured in the Netflix series "Narcos."
Few non-border candidates, however, have done what Corlew has in traveling to the border to meet with agents and witness the impact of crossings. His new ad was shot in Texas and New Mexico across from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
“I wanted to listen those living and working along the border to see what needs to be done to secure the border. I had the privilege to meet with border patrol agents, law enforcement officials and small business owners New Mexico and Texas. I walked along the current border wall that is between Texas, New Mexico and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and saw how our border patrol and law enforcement bravely protect and serve our country while being ostracized by the liberal left,” Corlew said
In his ad, he promised to back Trump’s effort to end illegal immigration and the importation of drugs and gang violence associated with it.
Jessica M. Vaughan, policy director for the Center for Immigration Studies, said it is smart for campaigns to hit illegal immigration.
"Border security is important to every community in America, because what comes across the border doesn’t stay in the border region – most of it is headed for other parts of the country. Most of the illegal drugs come over the border, and criminal smuggling operations bring in at least a thousand people a day, including criminals and gang members. Illegal immigration imposes a huge burden on taxpayers all over the country, and reducing it will bring economic and public safety benefits," she said.
"Judge Corlew says he will be a reliable vote for the Trump immigration agenda in Congress, and that will be helpful, because the executive branch can only do so much on its own. Congress needs to act on sanctuaries, asylum reform, and more funding for the border and interior enforcement. Not only that, being pro-border security is a winning political position, not only in the GOP primaries, but also in the general election, as the default Democratic position is anti-enforcement, pro-sanctuaries and pro-amnesty. He is smart to stake out a strong position now," added Vaughan.
Corlew in the ad also raised the issue of job losses to illegals.
“To protect the border, the border patrol and law enforcement need more resources to do their jobs. I will also work to stop drug traffickers from bringing dangerous illegal counterfeit drugs like those laced with fentanyl across the border. And because open borders cost Tennessee jobs, I will fight unfair trade deals to bring back jobs across the border so Tennesseans can keep their jobs in Tennessee,” he said.
Corlew is running for the seat held by Rep. Diane Black who is running for governor of Tennessee.
Judge Bob Corlew highlights visit to U.S.-Mexico border in latest campaign ad
MOUNT JULIET, TN – Today, the campaign of Judge Bob Corlew released “Border,” the fourth television ad of the Bob Corlew for Congress campaign.
“Border” was shot on location in Texas and New Mexico across from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and highlights Judge Corlew’s commitment to securing our country’s future by securing the border. That commitment includes keeping illegal criminal aliens and members of the MS-13 gang from entering our country, keeping illegal counterfeit drugs out of our communities, and fighting unfair trade deals so we can bring jobs back across the border.”
Watch “Border” here, full link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIma2hlbDgI
Judge Bob Corlew released the following statement: “If we don’t secure our border, we can’t secure our nation’s future. But simply talking about securing our border is not enough as it has delivered little positive action in Congress.
When I get to Congress, I want to help President Trump finish the wall and stop illegal immigration. I believe actions speak louder than words, so I visited the U.S-Mexico border last week to understand what are the real problems at the border and what I can do in Congress to solve them. Along the border, I had the privilege to meet with border patrol agents, law enforcement officials and small business owners, and walk along the current wall that is between our country and Mexico. I witnessed our border patrol and law enforcement bravely protecting and serving our country despite constant criticism from the liberal left and those in media.
“What I heard at the border should not be surprising. To secure the border and stop illegal criminal aliens from entering our country, we must finish the wall, end chain migration and be vigilant in the pursuit of dangerous criminals like the notorious MS-13 gang who have engulfed families and neighborhoods. To protect the border, the border patrol and law enforcement need more resources to do their jobs. I will also work to stop drug traffickers from bringing dangerous illegal counterfeit drugs like those laced with fentanyl across the border. And because open borders cost Tennessee jobs, I will fight unfair trade deals to bring back jobs across the border so Tennesseans can work in Tennessee.”
"As a resident of Wilson County, I am well-aware of the traffic and congestion problems facing those in and around Nashville. The proposal in front of Davidson County voters does little to ease traffic and congestion, and is nothing more than a blank check for a half-baked plan that reminds me of Nancy Pelosi's 'we have to pass the bill to know what is in it.'
What we do know is that the proposal costs too much, ignores the needs of our region, and proposes use of an expensive and antiquated system to meet modern needs to ease traffic and congestion. The tax increases to pay for the proposal will burden workers and those on fixed incomes, and will stunt our region's continued explosive growth.
The residents of Davidson County and the residents of middle Tennessee should demand more from their leaders. There is no doubt that we should be investing to ease movement on highways, on roads, on rails, and in the air, but this proposal is low on concrete plans despite its high promises and high costs.
For these reasons, I urge Davidson County residents to vote ‘no’ on the transit referendum."
A retired judge who has thrown his hat into the ring to replace U.S. Congressman Diane Black, who is trying to become Tennessee's next governor, spent much of Monday in Cookeville.
Retired judge Bob Corlew of Mt. Juliet started the day having breakfast with voters in Sumner County before heading to a fast food restaurant in Cookeville, having coffee at a local coffee shop, meeting Cookeville officials at city hall and ending the day speaking to members of Tennessee Tech's Student Government Association.
"To be very fair, I've always had an interest in government," Corlew said Monday afternoon. "In high school, I worked a year as a page in Congress. That whetted my appetite."
After spending 30 years as a judge and 15 years teaching law classes, Corlew traveled to various countries as international president of the Lions Club before announcing in January to become a Republican candidate for Tennessee's 6th congressional district in the U.S. House.
Corlew said he's concerned about the country's morals and wants to restore Christian values to government. He's also concerned about bringing more jobs to the 6th District, which includes Putnam as well as Macon, Cannon, Smith, Clay, Overton, Sumner, DeKalb, Trousdale, Jackson, Robertson, Wilson, Fentress, Cumberland, Coffee, Pickett and White counties.
He's also worried about the national debt.
"I'm frustrated with the bills continuing through Congress," he said. "The government seems to spend money like there's no tomorrow. We need to balance the budget and reduce the national debt."
Other Republican candidates in the 6th Congressional District include Judd Matheny of Tullahoma, Christopher Brian Monday of Cookeville, John Rose of Cookeville and Lavern "Uturn LaVern" Vivio of Springfield. Democratic candidates for that seat are Dawn Barlow of Rickman, Christopher Martin Finley of Nashville, Peter Heffernan of Gallatin and Merrilee Wineinger of Hendersonville. Independent candidates are Lloyd Dunn of Portland and David Ross of White House.
Today is Tax Day, the annual reminder to American taxpayers that we send too much of our hard-earned money to the federal government. In return, taxpayers get less than stellar service and an out-of-control national debt.
Throughout the course of this campaign, the voters of the 6th Congressional District have told me they want their next Congressman to vote to keep their taxes low and to balance the budget. Under President Trump, things are getting better but far too many families and individuals are stretching every dollar at home and are left with tough spending decisions related to basic necessities. Tennesseans are gathering around their kitchen tables balancing household budgets and Washington should be expected to do the same.
While my two opponents have supported tax and fee increases that would hurt the average Tennessean, I will reject voting for tax increases when I am in Congress. I was honored to sign the Americans for Tax Reform “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” and their pledge to repeal the estate tax. Additionally, I support the balanced budget amendment to the Constitution because the career politicians in Washington have refused to get serious about balancing the budget and reducing the debt. In Congress, I will stand with President Trump and conservatives in Congress to keep our taxes low and balance the budget to ensure Tennesseans keep more of their hard-earned paycheck.
President Trump’s Tennessee State Director and Campaign Pollster join experienced Corlew campaign team.
Today, Bob Corlew, the conservative Republican candidate for Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District, announced his campaign team.
“When I made the decision to run for Congress, I set out to put together a marquee team of conservative professionals who have a record of winning elections in Tennessee and across the country. This team more than fits that bill,” said Bob Corlew, the conservative Republican for Congress. “I feel confident that we are in a great position to be successful so that the people of Tennessee's 6th Congressional District will have a Congressman who will work with President Trump and bring Christian Conservative Tennessee values to Congress."
Bob Corlew for Congress Campaign Team
Pollster: Tony Fabrizio
Tony Fabrizio, a partner in Fabrizio, Lee & Associates, is widely recognized as an expert in public opinion and politics and one of the nation’s leading GOP pollsters and strategists. Fabrizio has served as the Chief Pollster on four Presidential campaigns, most notably and recently Donald Trump’s successful 2016 upset victory.
Senior Advisor: Darren Morris
Darren Morris served as President Trump’s 2016 State Director for Tennessee and as Chief of Staff for the state of Florida. Morris is a seasoned professional with over two decades of experience in successful political management and grassroots organization efforts across the United States.
Senior Advisor: Gregory Gleaves
Gregory Gleaves is the president of Direct Edge Campaigns and is the former Executive Director of the Tennessee Republican Party. Under his leadership at the TNGOP, the Governor’s office was flipped, the Congressional delegation changed from 5-4 Democrats to 7 -2 Republicans, and there was a 14-seat pick-up in the state house.
Senior Advisor: Penny Judd
Penny Judd brings almost two decades of leadership serving in roles at the federal, state, and local levels with appointments to The White House, Office of Management and Budget, and U.S. Department of Labor and most recently, led Community Relations at TVA. Judd graduated from Tennessee Tech University and also completed TVA’s Leadership Management Program from Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management.
Campaign Manager: George Wass
George Wass brings extensive organizing and grassroots experience to the Corlew campaign as he served as State Operations Manager and Field Director for Americans for Prosperity in North Carolina.
General Consultant: Mark Braden
Mark Braden is a seasoned political operative with extensive experience in Tennessee politics who has served as the campaign manager for three U.S. Senators and worked in other senior-level positions with elected officials and leaders.
Media: Jonathan Poe
Jonathan Poe is a partner at Rising Tide Media Group and was named one of the country’s top 10 political operatives by POLITICO and was recognized by Charlie Cook as “one of the most talented operatives ever to work at a House or Senate Committee.”
There are 450,000 veterans in Tennessee and the 6th Congressional District is home to some of the most veteran-heavy counties in the state.
We have a responsibility to care for veterans and their families, especially those veterans who were injured or disabled while in the line of duty. Over the years, there have been well-intentioned efforts to reform the VA, but we still find veterans are still waiting too long for health care and too much of the care they do receive is sub-standard.
Additionally, military families are the backbone of our military and supporting military families is so important to protect our country’s national security. Military families face significant fiscal strain and uncertainty due to of frequent moves and having single incomes. According to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, military spouses face unemployment rates four times higher than the national average.
To support veterans and military families, Congress must enact substantial and long-term reforms that prioritize the veteran and their families. I will fight for veterans and military families to:
- Offer veterans the choice of private health care with funds from the VA, and further reform health insurance for future veterans.
- Put forward reforms to increase the transparency of the Veterans Health Administration
- Put forward policies to retain top talent in the military and focusing on supporting their support-network
- Provide more transition assistance and make it available to spouses.
- Work to promote business ownership programs for military veterans and their families as entrepreneurship could be more attractive with their changing schedules.
- Find public and private partnerships to ensure veterans and military families who become addicted to opioids get the treatment they need and deserve.
- Provide more child care for military families
- Update and modernize our family health centers, online and offline
- Partner with non-profit organizations to provide military veterans and their families with family and marriage counseling
- Promote greater integration for military families in their local communities through private-public partnerships