State Representative 71st Congressional District Kip Capley visited Wayne County last week, holding a Meet & Greet at Wayne Provision in Waynesboro. Rep. Capley said that he is eager to meet his constituents in Wayne County, and began by introducing himself.
Rep. Capley told the audience that he still lives in Summertown, TN, where he has lived for most of his life. His father was in the military, so the family did move around quite a bit when Capley was younger, but his family and home base are back in Summertown. Prior to running for office himself, Rep. Capley worked as a political advisor on several campaigns, including Donald Trump’s run for the presidency.
Rep. Capley said that he is a Christian and tries to live his life in a Christian manner. “When I say that I am a Christian, I don’t say that for any type of political gain,” said Capley. “I’m real uncomfortable for people using the Lord’s name for any type of political gain.”
“The metro and urban areas are sucking up all the funds from our state government,” continued Rep. Capley. “We need rural development and managed growth.” Capley went on to say that he and several of his peers in the State Legislature are looking at ways to help distressed and rural counties receive some of the surplus funds the state currently holds in their coffers.
According to Rep. Capley, the first bill to be discussed in both the State House and State Senator in this session will be the bill concerning gender transition surgery. “Vanderbilt Medical Center has been investigated and found to be performing gender transition surgeries,” said Capley. “Some of these surgeries were performed on young people without proper permission from guardians, and all of them were simply about making money for the hospital.” Rep. Capley said that he is totally against these surgeries and will vote to abolish them in the House of Representatives.
Another bill to come before the State Legislature this session concerns funding for the TN Department of Children’s Services. “DCS has always had their problems, with keeping employees being a large one,” Rep. Capley said.
Mrs. Diana Griggs was the first in the audience to respond when Rep. Capley opened the floor for questions. Mrs. Griggs went over the recent water issue at Boyd Cottages Assisted Living, saying that on Christmas weekend when the temperatures fell below freezing, the residents at the facility lost both hot and cold water when pipes froze and burst. The water was restored over a period of days, with the hot water not being fixed until Friday, December 30th. Mrs. Griggs expressed her sincere appreciation to Rep. Capley and Sen. Page Walley for stepping in to find out the details of the situation and for doing all they could to get the water restored.
Rep. Capley next took the opportunity to talk about the Heartbeat Bill, which was passed in the Tennessee Legislature in 2020. The Heartbeat Bill states that no abortions are to be performed in the state, regardless of the circumstances. When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, all legislation concerning abortions was turned back over to the states. Rep. Capley said that he is aware that a bill will probably be introduced soon in the Legislature that would allow abortions to be performed under certain circumstances, such as rape, incest, and the life of the mother. Rep. Capley said that he would not vote in favor of any legislature such as this.
Emma McWilliams from The Wayne County News asked Rep. Capley what his goals are for the future of Wayne County, and what he thinks is most important here. “Rural development is my biggest thing in all four of my counties,” said Capley. “As I touched on earlier, the urban areas have soaked up so much of the governor’s budget that counties like Wayne County have suffered. There is a lack of opportunity, and a lack of resources.”
Rep. Capley went on to say that he believes bringing industry into Wayne County in a managed way is the best way to move forward for the county. He said that the infrastructure in Wayne County, including the roads, needs to be drastically improved in order to draw businesses here.
County Executive Mangubat expressed his sincere thanks to Representative Capley for all he has already done to help the county and said that he believes Capley will be a great representative for Wayne County.
Rep. Capley ended the talk by saying, “Right is right, and wrong is wrong. In my opinion, there is just not a lot of gray area.” He went on to say, “If it’s wrong, I’m not going to support it. If it’s right, I’m going to dig my teeth in and fight for it.”