Mayoral Candidate Debbie Matthews Describes the Race for Mayor of Columbia

Oct 13, 2022

Live from Music Row, Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Columbia, Tennessee mayoral candidate Debbie Matthews in-studio to describe the race for mayor of the 40,000-person town.

Leahy: In the studio, our guest, our good friend from Maury County, a candidate for mayor of the city of Columbia, Debbie Matthews. Good morning, Debbie.

Matthews: Good morning, everybody. So good to be here.

Leahy: We’re delighted to have you here. Well, the clock is ticking.

Matthews: One week from yesterday, early voting starts and Republicans have got to get out. There will be no division in the ranks. Republicans have to show up.

Leahy: So it is now three weeks and five days until Election Day.

Matthews: That’s right.

Leahy: November 8th. And tell us a little bit about the race for mayor. You are one of two candidates.

Matthews: I’m one of two candidates. Columbia – I call it our little jewel box – it’s a 40,000-person town that is a very, very conservative city.

Leahy: Very conservative city. It’s the home, of course, of James Polk. James Polk, the 10th President of the United States of America.

Matthews: That’s correct. The 11th.

Leahy: Eleventh.

Matthews: Eleventh. My brain snapped.

Leahy: I stand corrected.

Matthews: I think it is the 11th. But he said, I’m going to serve one term, I’m going to do everything I promise to do, and then I’m out. And that’s the greatest thing I think any politician can do, is don’t overstay your welcome. So we love James Polk. But Columbia, Tennessee, I do call it our little jewel box.

If you have not been to Columbia, you have to come. It is one of the most special places on earth. And we do currently have a mayor’s race going on. And, you know, like most municipalities, you know, there’s a charter that they have to be nonpartisan races.

Leahy: Yes, in the charter of the city. Now, that is a little bizarre …

Matthews: So in 2018, the Republicans – which I’m the chair of the Maury County Republican Party, now – but in 2018, as a member, we said we have to have some sort of touchstone that we know where people are sort of starting.

And so we said we’re making our county executive a partisan race, which is the county mayor, and we’re going to move to get our county commissioners, move them into partisan races. And we did that.

And then this last year, of course, we were like, we have got to have our school board members run partisan, because right now everything coming out of the school board situation, you have to be able to see who you’re dealing with and where their thoughts are. So we got that through.

Leahy: And that’s in for the county, for Maury County. But there are 12 members of the Maury County board.

Matthews: It is.

Leahy: And by the way, just for our listeners, just a reminder, that the 2020 National Constitution Bee champion … [Jackson Carter] is now a member of the Maury County Board of Education. He’s a sophomore at the University of Alabama.

Matthews: He’s a freshman. And we wanted Jackson Carter. He’s just the most terrific kid who is the president of our Young Republicans, and he’s doing a fantastic job. But, you know, we looked at our state reps, and our meetings, and we said, this year we want our partisan school board races to take it to the legislature and get this done.

That started in Maury County. We have to have partisan school board races because all the craziness that everyone’s trying to push. We know that liberals, or progressive socialists, whatever you want to call them, basically had a full-court press.

They said we’re going to take everything over at local levels. We are seeping into every area. And, you know, Republicans were asleep on that, just thinking …

Leahy: Well, that’s happened around the country. Thank you, George Soros, for that. That is happening in Maury County and the city of Columbia.

Matthews: Everywhere. And so you go, why is this person running for DA?

Leahy: And that is a daunting thought.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Debbie Matthews” by Debbie Matthews. Background Photo “Columbia, Tennessee” by Matt Locke. CC BY-SA 4.0.