Memphis Councilmember and gubernatorial candidate JB Smiley, Jr., at a recent debate. (Photo: JB Smiley)
On Friday, Memphis City Council member J.B. Smiley, Jr., laid out his policy platform in the Democratic contest for governor.
“It’s time we do more than simply identify the issues, but put a plan in place to address them moving forward. With your help, we can create a better Tennessee, together,” said Smiley in a press release.
Smiley plans to focus his campaign on education, women’s rights, healthcare, economic development and transportation. He has been outspoken against Gov. Bill Lee’s school voucher program–which allows parents to use public funds toward private school tuitions– and called the policy an attempt to privatize public education.
Most recently, Smiley tweeted his support for decriminalizing marijuana, expanding its medicinal use, and expunging the records of individuals charged with possession of marijuana.
In 2019, he was elected to the Memphis City Council after previously serving as the policy advisory to the Shelby County Clerk. He currently chairs the Public Works, Transportation and General Services Committee and is the council liaison for the Urban Art Commission.
Smiley has been endorsed by Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris.
Smiley faces Carnita Atwater, a Memphis community activist, and Dr. Jason Martin from Nashville. Following the August 4 primary, the winner will face incumbent Gov. Bill Lee in the November general election.
Smiley’s full policy platform can be found online.
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