Rep. Glen Casada represents Tennessee District 63 in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Last week, Republican state Rep. Glen Casada came out victorious on Election Day against his two opponents; Democratic candidate Elizabeth Madeira and Independent candidate Brad Fiscus.

Casada will begin to serve his tenth term representing eastern Williamson County in the Tennessee General Assembly in 2021, and outlined to the Home Page what his legislative goals will be for the next two years. 

They include things like expanding broadband access and increasing transparency in the reporting of COVID-19 data.

Joined by hundreds of other Williamson County Republicans on election night at the Marriott hotel in Franklin, Casada saw the results pour in at around 10 p.m., results that showed him scoring just shy of 60% of the vote.

That same night, Casada told the Home Page that it was "an honor and a privilege for [60%] of the voters to send me back to Nashville," and that he would begin his work on expanding broadband to rural areas of the county immediately.

"The 30,000-foot view is to continue to have success at bringing broadband to the rural parts of the county, and I want to continue on that trek," Casada said.

"Today, broadband is what the interstate was 50 years ago - you had to have an interstate to conduct commerce. Today, with people working out of their home, it's a necessity that you conduct your business in what's become our new offices - our homes - and that requires broadband."

Casada said that over the past two years, he and his Republican colleagues had been successful in securing grant money towards the expansion of broadband in rural areas, with a $1 million grant being secured this September.

Casada also said he had his sights set on improving the state's infrastructure, with the widening of Highway 96 having just begun this week.

"We've got to address transportation needs because even though Williamson County has a lot of headquarters, still a lot of our citizens drive to Nashville for their job, so we want to make sure that we continue the advancement we've made on expanding transportation needs," Casada said.

In regards to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Casada said he had two main legislative goals for the immediate future; limiting the power of the governor's executive orders, and increasing COVID-19 data transparency.

"When the governor declares emergency powers, it's unlimited - that just shouldn't be, we cannot have any one body of government have that kind of authority," Casada said.

"So I'm working on a bill [where] once he declares emergency powers - which he has his constitutional right to do - after 30 days, he has to get approval from the [Tennessee] General Assembly to continue the emergency powers."

In terms of COVID-19 data transparency, Casada said that he would like the state health department to provide more data to the public when it came to positive COVID-19 cases, and was currently working on a bill to require as such.

"Another one is I'm [pushing for is having] specifics that the health department must report; they must report symptomatic cases, asymptomatic cases, and how they determine their diagnosis," Casada said.

"It sounds simple in scope, but I think it would put a lot of people's mind at ease. Transparency always gives a peace of mind, and I think that's what we're lacking on this COVID-19 thing. We hear these numbers about people who have tested positive, but how many of those are actually sick? We don't know, they don't report that."

Casada's opponents respond to his victory

On election night, Casada's Democratic challenger, Madeira, was joined by Democratic Congressional candidate Kiran Sreepada and Democratic Tennessee state House candidate Jenn Foley at an election night watch party in Franklin.

As the results started to pour in late Tuesday night, it soon became apparent that Casada would return to the state capitol for at least another two years.

In terms of what she may have done differently with her campaign, Madeira told the Home Page that she had no regrets, and that her only disappointment lied in how her opponent conducted himself while campaigning.

"I feel grateful that I do not have any regrets or wish we had done anything differently," Madeira said. "Maybe if I would have had stronger attack ads or something I could have gotten a greater share of the votes, but I really wanted to run an honest, values driven campaign that was focused on the issues - that's what we did, and so I don't regret that at all."

Madeira pointed to a particular claim of Casada's campaign that she felt particularly "disappointed" with.

"I'm disappointed that there were lies told about me circulated through the community where I live and where my kids are," Madeira said.

"That feels disappointing and frustrating, but at the end of the day, I can only be in control of myself and my campaign. So I'm proud of myself and my campaign and that we didn't stoop to lies, misinformation or fear tactics to win votes."

Glen mailer

A piece of literature from Glen Casada's 2020 campaign that falsely accuses his opponents as having supported defunding police departments, as well as mislabels Brad Fiscus as being a Democratic candidate.

Despite her grievances with how Casada ran his campaign, Madeira called Casada to concede the election Tuesday night. After receiving a voicemail, she left a message, relaying that she would keep him in her prayers as he readies to serve his 10th term in office.

"I let him know that I'm praying for him as our leader, and I just hope and pray that he makes decisions for the good of the people; both in Williamson County and all the people of Tennessee," Madeira said.

Fiscus, who received approximately 8% of the vote, said that the results were disappointing, but commended his Democratic opponent Madeira on running a "great race."

"We knew it was going to be a tough road, but we felt like we had the possibility of having more than the 4,000 votes that we got," Fiscus said. "I think Elizabeth ran a great race, and Glen did what he usually does - which is [to say] he didn't really do much, he wouldn't debate us."

Fiscus spent election night with friends and family at the Millview Community Center near Arrington, and much like Madeira, realized Casada would come out victorious as the results started to pour in.

As far as if he would have done anything differently, Fiscus said that the coronavirus pandemic "hurt" his campaigning abilities, and that the loss of his father in September also took him off the campaign trail for a few weeks, but that ultimately, he was proud of his efforts.

"We stayed true to who we are; we ran a race that was good," Fiscus said.