Mike Faulk for Tennessee SenateRarely do I write endorsements of candidates because most of my readers know where I stand on the issues and can often surmise which candidates that I support. The times when I make an exception to the rule usually involve a candidate that I believe in so deeply that perhaps my endorsement may make some small difference for them in a close race-my outspoken endorsement and campaign posts for my friend Stacey Campfield in his race against Schree Pettigrew are an example of that-but it doesn't happen too often.
There is a 2008 candidate that I know will be in a close race, and possibly even a dirty one, and I feel the need to give him a very public endorsement and all the help that my meager abilities and resources can muster. This is a candidate that I believe is a person of decency and integrity, someone who will not only represent us well, but represent us fairly and honestly. Perhaps most importantly, this is a person who I believe has a heart for service: When he tells you his motivation is nothing more than a desire to serve others, I believe him wholeheartedly. Some may say this kind of statement is a rather gullible thing to say. The behavior of our elected leaders at both the State and federal level have caused many Tennesseans and Americans to become cynical about the political process-so few believe that people enter public service for the right reasons anymore.
I believe Mike Faulk is running for the Tennessee Senate for all the right reasons. I haven't merely shaken Mike's hand in meeting him a few times (and we have certainly had our share of meetings), I've sat with the man and I have broke bread with him. I do not for one second believe that Mike Faulk's political ambitions outweigh his deep commitment to serving others. He admits he has had "the political bug" for a long time. He has run political campaigns before-he played a key role in Lamar Alexander's 1974 Gubernatorial campaign as a College Republican, and ran the show in District 91 as a law student in Memphis four years later. He has run for State Party Chairman, and he has never been a man to completely give up on politics.
I can't say that I blame Faulk for this, as I would venture to say that I enjoy politics almost as much as he does, but I know that his campaign is based in a desire to serve and not on raw ambition because I know from personal experience that there is a great chasm between working for the campaigns of others and running one of your own. Making the decision to interrupt your life and enter the public arena is one of the most difficult decisions that anyone can make. You can tell who is in politics for the right reasons by how difficult that decision is or is not for them-and I know from knowing Mike how difficult that choice has been for him.
I am not endorsing Mike Faulk because we see eye-to-eye on everything-I haven't probed every single issue known to man with Mike, but I do know that while we agree on the things that are most important, we don't always approach things the same way-and I will be the first to admit that this might be because Mike Faulk has years of experience that I do not yet enjoy. I am endorsing Mike Faulk for the Tennessee Senate because Mike Faulk sees public service as I do-as a way to make your voice heard, to make an impact on society for the better-and then be able to step aside for the next person to do the same when the time is right.
I hope Mike doesn't mind my saying that I hope his public career doesn't end with the Fourth District Senate seat, though I believe if it did we would be better for it. In Mike Faulk, we will have a friend, a helper, and an advocate who will not merely serve his constituents for the sake of re-election. He will serve us because he loves doing it. I have never placed a call to Mike Faulk that wasn't returned, even about the most insignificant matter. I believe he will treat the people of the Fourth District in much the same manner.
There are candidates you endorse because you believe that they are a better choice than the opposition, and then there are candidates you endorse because are truly proud to be associated in any way with them or with their campaign. Mike Faulk falls into the latter category for me, as a man who I am proud to be associated with even in a minor way, and I would be proud to have Mike represent me in the Tennessee Senate.
My endorsement is rather paltry compared to the likes of former Congressman Bill Jenkins, but I am convinced that as the months go by, the people of the 4th District will join me in supporting the country lawyer from Church Hill for the Tennessee Senate.