WTF Press Conference

Nashville, Tenn. (April 5, 2016)—23 women announced their candidacies for the Tennessee state legislature in a press conference today, citing their frustration with a state government that refuses to address the state’s priorities, including a vote on Insure TN.

WTF Candidates April 2016Bonnie Dow, Co-founder and Treasurer of Women for Tennessee’s Future, a political action committee dedicated to the election of progressive women, hosted the event.

Said Dow, “The women here today care about the priorities of most Tennesseans: Good health coverage, good schools, good roads and transit options, and good jobs. Common sense measures that will improve the lives of Tennessee families. Our legislators play games rather than addressing the concerns of Tennessee’s citizens. They neglect genuine need, wasting time on matters that only seek to advance their own narrow political agendas. If they aren’t going to do the job of the people, they should get out of the way.”

Candidates for the legislature have until noon on Thursday to file their petitions to get on the fall ballot.

The candidates are running as challengers to Republican incumbents who have refused to support Insure TN, a plan developed by Republican Governor Bill Haslam that would expand Medicaid in Tennessee.

“Over 200,000 Tennesseans are uninsured, but they could be insured if our legislature acted. Most of these people are working and striving – in our restaurants, in our construction jobs, including those who have served in our military. The Governor has a conservative, fiscally responsible plan, but the Tennessee House won’t even bring it up for a vote,” said Dow.

The record number of women candidates announced at a building in downtown Nashville that also once served the community as a YWCA.

“On this spot, in this historic building, women once came for recreation and fellowship. And, as you know, we are also just two blocks from the Tennessee State Capitol. Just two blocks from our seat of government, where, it seems, leadership has gone to die,” said Dow.

Dow noted that the Tennessee legislature is barely 17% women and is one of the most male-dominated legislatures in the country.

“We want change, not the status quo. People want action from their state’s leaders. Revered Tennessee philanthropist Martha Ingram recently criticized the legislature for their inaction on Insure TN, saying ‘I don’t know how they sleep at night.’ We couldn’t agree more.”

Contact: Bonnie Dow,, 706-207-1629