With the retirement of Senator Alexander, a race is on to become Tennessee’s next senator.
It’s up to sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts to let candidates know that the great outdoors is an important voting issue. So, Tennessee Wildlife Federation asked every candidate to share their views on conservation, and below are the responses we received.
Below are the views of candidate Jon Henry. All answers, information, and images are unedited and appear as they were provided by the campaign.
Primary voting ends August 6. Find your polling location here.
About Jon Henry
I am a strong conservative running for US Senate for the state of Tennessee. I have never run for political office, I am a true political outsider with my number one priority being the welfare of Tennessee. I have been married for 30 years to my wife Renee. I was raised in the small farming community of Riddleton, Tennessee. We learned hard work on the farm growing tobacco, raising feeder pigs, and hauling hay in the summer . I am proud of my upbringing based on hard work and it was to my advantage when I joined the Marine Corps at 19 years old. I served in the Marine Corps for 27 years. During my years as an enlisted Marine, I was an adult learner taking college classes at night and on weekends. I earned an Associates, Bachelors, and two Graduate degrees.
I am running for Senate because I believe I bring a wealth of knowledge to the campaign based on my common sense upbringing, desire to learn, military experience, worldwide service and tireless work ethic. I feel I represent a true Tennessean who loves his country, has served his country and will bring honor if I am able to serve Tennessee as a US Senator. Tennessee needs a veteran in the US Senate.
Federation: Do you have a favorite public land in Tennessee? What do you enjoy doing there?
Henry: Cordell Hull lake near my home. The lake provides great fishing for our family. My grandson and I enjoy the great beaches, sand and play areas around the lake. Also the Cumberland river below our home provides fishing in the Spring and a beautiful landscape year around.
Federation: There are a lot of issues facing our natural resources and the Tennesseans who depend on them for recreation and their livelihood. Please rank these issues in the order they are most important to you and please explain the reason for your number one pick.
- Strategic public lands growth and access for conservation and recreation.
This is number one to ensure lands are accessible to hunters and make sure public lands are accessible for recreation and not just conservation projects restricting usage.
- Support for private land management for wildlife
- Fund adequate responses to non-native invasive species like the Asian Carp.
- Invest in wildlife management to prevent endangered and threatened species
- Implement high-impact aquatic habitat projects to improve our waters
- Federal funding and other support to combat chronic Wasting disease in deer
Federation: Last fall, a Tennessee Wildlife Federation-led effort successfully secured $25 million of federal funding to fight Asian carp. It is a one-time appropriation that is split among several states. If you are elected, how would you support similar efforts? What you would do differently?
Henry: I would support efforts to fight Asian carp. I would look for annual funding, not just a one time funding project.
Federation: As a senator, what would you do for our natural resources, from public lands to wildlife and water, that are held in the public trust—that are collectively owned by all Americans?
Henry: I have lived most of my life hunting and fishing as a pastime. It is important to me that we continue to harvest properly with the current guidelines regulations, from dove limits to deer limits to name just a few. Animals that destroy property such as the wild boar must be looked at and possibly increase limits if needed.
Federation: Tennessee Wildlife Federation operates a number of programs to improve the great outdoors and Tennesseans’ lives, including habitat restoration work, Hunters for the Hungry, and even creating new sportsmen through Hunting and Fishing Academy. What support would you look to provide as a senator?
Henry: Hunters for hunger has been a great asset to Tennessee and other states that feed the poor. It is important that the folks experienced in this be the main advocates/advisors for these programs and not those who do not hunt and are not active outdoor enthusiasts. Rules and regulations made by those who do not hunt should be used as a last resort to any program. The mass amount of people fed by hunters must be preserved and expanded if possible.
Federation: A significant number of Tennessee streams, rivers, and lakes are unable to support healthy aquatic life. What would you do as Senator to heal this backbone of our environment and many local economies in the state?
Henry: I would research the areas that “are unable to sustain aquatic life”. It is important to look at these areas. There are small stagnant ponds that provide life to animals other than fish and should be considered important. I will be an advocate as a hunter and a fisher to address waters that support healthy aquatic life and economies in Tennessee.
Federation: What did we not ask you today that you’d tell Tennessee’s outdoor enthusiasts?
Henry: Our natural resources are very important but there are a number of areas that need to be managed to keep property safe from animals such as the overpopulation of deer that graze soybeans and wild boar who destroy property because of overpopulation. For the most part the hunting regulations are adequate in my experience but it is something that must be revisited and sportsmen and farmers must be advisors in this endeavour.