Becky Massey Has Been A Great Leader In The State Senate

By John J. Duncan Jr.


I want to tell you about an amazing woman – State Senator Becky Duncan Massey.

As most people know, Becky is my sister, so I admit I am biased. But it also means that I know her better than almost anyone other than her immediate family and very close friends.

I have known almost everyone who has been in elective office in Knox County over the last 60 years and many others throughout this state and nation.

Most have been very good people, but I have never known any official who has worked harder or tried to meet with and listen to more people than Becky has.

Her energy amazes me. She goes to everything, is accessible to everybody, and seems to work about 80 or 90 hours a week in what was designed by the founders of our state to be a part-time job.

Our parents emphasized two things: education and hard work. No one slept late at our house. In kind, loving ways, no matter how good we did, we were always pushed to do more and to work harder.

I don’t believe we could ever elect a state senator who would work harder or do more to help people than Becky has.

And she doesn’t just go to public meetings and events. She has been a very effective legislator.

The Tennessee Faith and Freedom Foundation named her the Legislator of the Year for getting her bill passed to keep anyone under the age of 18 from accessing pornography on computers.

She helped lead the fight to not allow sexually-suggestive drag queen shows in public buildings and places where children were present.

When I was in Congress, among many other things, I chaired the Highways and Transit Subcommittee for six years. During that time, we were able to get more highway money than almost any other district to fix “malfunction junction” and expand our interstate lanes.

Most highway money comes from the federal government, but where it is spent is largely up to the state. Becky has followed my work by becoming chairman of the Transportation Committee.

We really need her in this position because of all the growth in and around Knoxville. She led the passage of the largest transportation bill in our state’s history and has been responsible for most of the road work that has gone on here in the 13 years she has been in the Senate.

In the last session, she was able to pass 31 bills and, almost unheard of, all but one passed unanimously. Several were minor, but all were requested by her constituents or a local organization.

Becky has been one of the most consistent conservatives in the state Senate her entire time in office and not just at election time.

She is very anti-abortion except in the most extreme situations, as are the overwhelming majority of the people.

She headed the Sertoma Center for mentally challenged children and adults for 25 years and co-chairs a national legislative committee on mental health, and has worked to get more and better mental health facilities in Tennessee.

She has also fought very hard to keep the state from being flooded with illegal immigrants.

I was often described as the most conservative member of the Tennessee Congressional Delegation. Becky is just as conservative as I am, and thankfully, hers is a kind and respectful conservatism.

She is not a hateful extremist, always on the attack but never getting anything done. She reminds me of Ronald Reagan, who was a smiling, friendly conservative.

Reagan used to say if you found someone you agreed with 80% of the time, that was about as good as it gets. I would say that most of the people in East Tennessee would agree with Becky about 95% of the time.

Becky has cast over 7,000 votes since she has been in the Senate. Her opponent has cherry-picked less than 10 of those votes to criticize her about. Every bill in the legislature and in Congress is given a motherhood, apple pie title that sounds good on the surface. But a lot of very bad legislation is buried in the body of bills that sound good at first.

Also, some bills are weak at first, and Becky has voted against very few that sound good and then has voted for them after they have been amended and improved.

Becky has worked in Republican campaigns both locally and across the state since she was a teenager. Her opponent, as far as most people know, has not been active in any Republican campaigns, but now, all of a sudden expects the Republican Party to give her its nomination for the state’s third-highest office.

If you want a state senator who is honest, kind, intelligent, and extremely hard-working, that is what you get with Becky Massey. If you want a state senator who is a proven conservative, both fiscally and socially, that is also what you get with Becky Massey.

I am very proud of her and the way she has represented us in Nashville, and I hope and believe her hard work will lead to a very big victory on August 1.