News Channel 11 distributed questionnaires to all congressional and state candidates who will appear on ballots in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia in the November election.

Below is the response we received from Deborah Rouse, who is running for Tennessee governor.

Early voting in Tennessee runs from Oct. 19 to Nov. 3. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Biographical information

Name: Deborah Rouse

Office running for: Governor of Tennessee

Age on election day: 62

Town/city: I live in Athens, TN

Party affiliation (if applicable): N/A (Independent)

Education: Graduate of Cleveland State Community College: Business Accounting. UT Knoxville: Certification program in Hazmat. 

Job history: I have worked in Tennessee for over 45 years.

Political, community, or other relevant experience: I have been active in the community, in helping others. You could say that jobs are political, regarding employee fairness. 

Family: Widow (married 41 years), 2 children.

Candidacy questions

Why are you running for this office?

Politicians have forgotten about the people and politics only benefit a segregated few. My goal is to bring people back into politics and be the change that everybody wants to see.

What makes you qualified to hold this office?

I have never taken on a new job that I didn’t have to train for. And I am sure this will be no different. My qualifications are my love and compassion for our people, and love for Jesus Christ, and the strength and honesty to carry out what needs to be done.

Why should voters elect or re-elect you over your opponent(s)? What sets you apart from your opponent(s)? (Specify if unopposed)

Voters should elect me because it’s time for a change, we need to get back to people not politicians. I am someone that follows through. And what sets me apart from my opponents is I am not an ear tickler, I will not give you enticing words, or non-truths.

If elected or re-elected, what would be your top two or three priorities during your new term and what is your plan of action for each?

I have four years as governor to do the most good, and the following I believe will benefit all the people of Tennessee:

A. To remove federal and state tax from fuel, gas, diesel, propane, etc. Possibly saving up to 40 cents a gallon.

Action plan: I have three plans in mind to make this a reality, which would not afflict the Tennessee people. I do not wish to release my action plan until elected governor.

B. To remove state and local tax from food/groceries. A family of four would save up to $1,000 a year, which in turn would go back into the economy.

Action plan: I have three plans in mind to make this a reality, which would not afflict the Tennessee people. I do not wish to release my action plan until elected governor.

Is there anything else you would like voters to know?

I have lived in Tennessee all of my life. And I will do my best and beyond to serve. In order to be a good leader, you have to be a good servant.

What is your favorite thing about Tennessee?

My favorite thing is, no matter where you are in Tennessee, it feels like home. Whether in a restaurant, gas station, or while shopping, you can always find a smile. I guess the Cherokee Indians interpreted it best, Tennessee means gathering place.

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