Don Sundquist

Tennessean of the Year
Year Honored:


Don Sundquist, Tennessee’s forty-seventh governor, believes a vast majority of Tennesseans share a common philosophy about government – that it works best when it responds to and involves the people. He is dedicated to fundamentally changing the way state government operates, increasing efficiency and responsiveness to the needs of Tennesseans. His road to the governor’s mansion began in 1982 when he defied the odds and won the Seventh District Congressional seat. Sundquist was reelected five times through support of republicans, democrats, and independents. During his time in Washington, he fought against higher taxes and inefficient government. After a self-imposed twelve-year limit, he returned home to seek the governorship of Tennessee, winning a hard-fought election. Sundquist is working to streamline state government, reducing waste, and increasing responsiveness to taxpayers. “In other words, we want to get government out of people’s business, and people into the business of government,” the governor says. “I want Tennessee to be the state with the fewest regulations, the least amount of paperwork, the lowest taxes and the most opportunity for everyone.” He has long been an advocate of strong law enforcement and presented a comprehensive crime bill that when passed focused on tougher sentences, capital case reform, domestic violence, and victims’ rights. As the “bicentennial governor,” Sundquist will continue his efforts to streamline government. And that will be Tennessee’s legacy for years to come.

Credit 1:
Photographic Services - State of Tennessee

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