NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- WMOT is spending the summer talking with the 2018 candidates for statewide office. Today we speak with former Democratic Mayor of Nashville Karl Dean, now running for Governor.
Our conversation began with health care. Mr. Dean says Tennessee’s Republican dominated legislature made a mistake when it failed to expand Medicaid.
He says as a result state residents lost access to some $4 billion in federal funding. He also notes that ten mostly rural hospital have closed statewide in the years since.
While talking about health care, Mr. Dean mentioned the opioid epedemic. He praised Gov. Bill Haslam for allocating additional funds to combat the crisis, but insists more needs to be done.
“There’s plenty of examples of situations in Tennessee where the problems with opioids have been exacerbated here because of lack of access to treatment. We just don’t have the beds available.”
On education Mr. Dean says he’ll continue the push by the past two governors to get more Tennesseans a college degree. But he also wants to put more emphasis on helping students who simply want to learn a trade.
Mr. Dean applauds legislative efforts to get more trained police officers into Tennessee schools, but that support has its limits.
‘I’m not in favor of arming teachers, but I do think we need to do more to make our schools more secure.”
You can learn more about Mr. Dean by visiting KarlDean.com.
WMOT has invited every candidate for statewide office to talk with us. You'll find links to the conversations we've had so far included below.