Beth Harwell

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Beth Harwell
Beth Harwell.jpg
Tennessee House of Representatives District 56
Incumbent
In office
1988-Present
Term ends
November 7, 2016
Years in position 26
PartyRepublican
Leadership
Speaker of the House of Representatives
2011-Present
Compensation
Base salary$20,203/year
Per diem$188/legislative day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First elected1988
Term limitsN/A
Education
Bachelor'sDavid Lipscomb University, 1978
Master'sPeabody College, 1979
Ph.D.Vanderbilt University, 1982
Personal
BirthdayJuly 24, 1957
Place of birthNorristown, PA
ReligionChurch of Christ
Websites
Office website
CandidateVerification
Beth Harwell (b. July 24, 1957) is a Republican member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, representing District 56. She was first elected to the chamber in 1988. Harwell is currently serving as the first female Speaker of the House in Tennessee history.[1]

Biography

Harwell earned her B.A. from David Lipscomb University in 1978. She later received her M.S. from Peabody College in 1979. She then earned her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1982. Harwell was a research analyst for the State Board of Regents from 1981 to 1983. She then worked for the University of Tennessee Center for Labor Management as a trainer from 1983 to 1986. From 1986 to 1990, she was an Associate Professor at Belmont University.

Committee assignments

2013-2014

At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Harwell served on the following committees:

Tennessee Committee Assignments, 2013

2011-2012

In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Harwell served on these committees:

2009-2010

In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Harwell served on these committees:

Issues

2011

Budget


Harwell on Passing Budget: The Earlier the Better

When Harwell was the GOP House speaker-nominee, she indicated that she would like to end the session earlier rather than later. She also hinted that the legislative budget process will begin picking up momentum in March.

Gov.-elect Bill Haslam releases his first-ever state budget plan on March 1 and the General Assembly receives the latest tax collection estimates.

“We want to work with the revenue figures we receive in March…so we can work toward an earlier adjournment,” Harwell said. “The earlier we can balance this budget given our limited resources, the better off we are going to be.”[2]




School voucher bill skipped

Rep. Bill Dunn was discussing his school-choice bill in the House Education Subcommittee meeting on April 27 when a 10-minute recess was called. Republicans met in that recess in Speaker Harwell's office and at the end of the recess, Reps Kevin Brooks and Richard Montgomery moved to send Dunn's bill to a summer study committee.

Lawmakers often do this to put off an issue for another day without killing the legislation.

The “Equal Opportunity Scholarship Act,” or HB388, would allow low-income students in the state’s biggest cities (Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga) to be given a “scholarship” to attend a public school elsewhere in the district, a public charter school or a non-public school.

The bill passed in the Senate the week prior to this delay, 18-10.[3]

Collective bargaining

The Tennessee House and Senate approved competing plans overhauling the state’s collective bargaining laws in 2011. Both chambers’ leaders believe they’ll ultimately end up banning unions from negotiating teachers’ labor contracts.

“I think the vote today indicated that we can get it passed if it’s reasonably drawn and reasonably written. I think we have the opportunity to pass it here,” House Speaker Beth Harwell told reporters.

Harwell presided over a grueling four-hour debate on her chamber’s floor before the measure was approved.

On a 59-39 vote, majority Republicans moved to scale back teachers’ collective bargaining powers.

Opponents included all the House Democrats, one independent and five Republicans. They pitched more than two dozen alternatives to weaken or derail the bill, but only a few tinkering with technicalities passed — the rest were either tabled or later withdrawn.[4]

Presidential preference

2012

See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Beth Harwell endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [5]

Elections

2014

See also: Tennessee House of Representatives elections, 2014

Elections for 99 seats in the Tennessee House of Representatives took place in 2014. A primary election took place on August 7, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was April 3, 2014. Chris Moth was unopposed in the Democratic primary. Incumbent Beth Harwell was unopposed in the Republican primary. Harwell defeated Moth in the general election.[6][7]

Tennessee House of Representatives District 56, General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBeth Harwall Incumbent 63.3% 14,839
     Democratic Chris Moth 36.7% 8,601
Total Votes 23,440

2012

See also: Tennessee House of Representatives elections, 2012

Harwell ran in the 2012 election for Tennessee House of Representatives, District 56. Harwell ran unopposed in the August 2 primary election. She was unopposed in the general election which took place on November 6, 2012.[8][9]

2010

See also: Tennessee House of Representatives elections, 2010

Harwell ran for re-election to the 56th District seat in 2010. She was unopposed in the August 5 primary.[10] She defeated Democrat Matthew Kenigson in the general election on November 2, 2010.[11]

2008

On Nov. 4, 2008, Harwell won election to the 56th District Seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives.[12]

Harwell raised $115,300 for her campaign.[13]

Tennessee House of Representatives, District 56 (2008)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Beth Hartwell (R) 31,318

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Harwell is available dating back to 1996. Based on available campaign finance records, Harwell raised a total of $655,294 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 2, 2013.[14]

Beth Harwell's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Tennessee State House, District 56 Won $200,320
2010 Tennessee State House, District 56 Won $119,066
2008 Tennessee State House, District 56 Won $115,300
2006 Tennessee State House, District 56 Won $80,443
2004 Tennessee State House, District 56 Won $37,831
2002 Tennessee State House, District 56 Won $19,351
2000 Tennessee State House, District 56 Won $59,788
1998 Tennessee State House, District 56 Won $13,545
1996 Tennessee State House, District 56 Won $9,650
Grand Total Raised $655,294

2012

Harwell won re-election to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Harwell raised a total of $200,320.
Tennessee House of Representatives 2012 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Beth Harwell's campaign in 2012
Federal Express$14,200
Fraternal Order Of Police$10,000
Tennessee State Lodge Fraternal Order Of Police$5,000
StudentsFirst$5,000
Jones, Alan$5,000
Total Raised in 2012$200,320
Source:Follow the Money

2010

Harwell won re-election to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 2010. During that election cycle, Harwell raised a total of $119,066.

2008

Harwell won re-election to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 2008. During that election cycle, Harwell raised a total of $115,300.

2006

Harwell won re-election to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 2006. During that election cycle, Harwell raised a total of $80,443.

2004

Harwell won re-election to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 2004. During that election cycle, Harwell raised a total of $37,831.

2002

Harwell won re-election to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 2002. During that election cycle, Harwell raised a total of $19,351.

2000

Harwell won re-election to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 2000. During that election cycle, Harwell raised a total of $59,788.

1998

Harwell won re-election to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1998. During that election cycle, Harwell raised a total of $13,545.

1996

Harwell won re-election to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1996. During that election cycle, Harwell raised a total of $9,650.

Scorecards

See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Tennessee

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Tennessee scorecards, email suggestions to scorecards@ballotpedia.org.

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.

2013-2014

In 2013, the 108th Tennessee General Assembly, first year, was in session from January 8 to April 19. In 2014, the 108th Tennessee General Assembly, second year, was in session from January 14 to April 18.

  • Legislators are scored on their votes on key small business issues.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes relating to conservation and environmental issues.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on animal protection bills.

2011-2012

In 2011, the 107th Tennessee General Assembly, first year, was in session from January 11 to May 21. In 2012, the 107th Tennessee General Assembly, second year, was in session from January 10 through May 1.

  • Legislators are scored on their votes on Pro-life legislation.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes relating to conservation and environmental issues.

Personal

Harwell and her husband, Sam, have three children. They currently reside in Nashville, Tennessee.

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References

Political offices
Preceded by
-
Tennessee House of Representatives District 56
1988–present
Succeeded by
NA