Sherrell's Listening Tour stops in Lewisburg

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

By Ivory Riner and Karen Hall

Staff Writer

While Republican candidates Jim Tracy and Scott DesJarlais talked to "election lawyers" and waited for the final results of last week's primary, Democratic candidate Lenda Sherrell launched a "Lenda Listens" tour to make contact with voters all over the district. Her first stop, on Monday afternoon, was Biggers Market on 5th Avenue North in Lewisburg.

Sherrell, who is making her first bid for elected office, was the only Democratic primary candidate for the 4th Congressional District seat now held by DesJarlais, and thus won the right to be on the ballot in November.

During the meeting at Biggers Market, Sherrell proclaimed that people like owner Meechie Biggers have the answers to our economic downfall. The market was built in 1982 and was a very popular spot for breakfast and a hang-out spot for many.

"I always stopped at Biggers to get homemade fried peach pies. Normally you'd have to ask if they had any left because they were so popular," said former Lewisburg Mayor Barbara Woods.

After Heil Quaker, Marshall County's largest employer, closed in 2003, Biggers and her husband struggled to keep the business running. Finally, in 2011, Biggers Market closed its doors.

"For many in the community, Biggers Market served as gathering place for people to share meals, listen, and visit with friends and neighbors, it was how each found out what was going on. This family-owned business was forced to close its doors after almost 30 years because of the downturn in the economy after Heil Quaker left. I have chosen this site for my listening tour because I want to listen to the people who call Marshall County home; they are the people who hold the key to turning Lewisburg's economy around," wrote Sherrell in an email.

One of the reasons behind Sherrell's tour is to find solutions that will fix our economy as a whole. During the meeting, people were asked to give insight on what their solutions would be.

Tuesday afternoon, Sherrell was at the Community Clinic in Shelbyville, discussing access to healthcare in rural Middle Tennessee.

"This nonprofit clinic is an example of what happens when people come together to help others," Sherrell wrote in an email. "It does not charge patients and is funded through donations, grants, and fundraisers. For low-income and uninsured populations, this clinic is a lifesaver."

In July Sherrell deplored the "gutter politics" the Republican candidates used as they struggled for victory in the primary. She said the personal attacks Tracy and DesJarlais were making in their campaign advertisements were diverting attention from issues that concern Middle Tennessee voters, and one of the reasons for her "Lenda Listens" tour is to make direct contact with voters get their input.

Sherrell is a retired CPA from Monteagle. She and her husband, a retired physician, have two children and four grandchildren.