NASHVILLE, TN (WMC) - Heading into the August primary election for Tennessee state senate, incumbent Republican Senator Dolores Gresham will face challenger Bob Shutt.
Shutt, Savannah mayor from Hardin County, said he is challenging the senator in the primary because he wants to bring rural development to the counties in District 26.
"I would like to see every rural county have the opportunity for more rural development," Shutt said.
As mayor of Savannah, Shutt said he worked to bring rural development to Savannah and the entire county. He said he would like to do the same for the counties in West Tennessee.
"I've changed the mindset of people. I've presented tourism as an industry and some people thought I was crazy for the idea," Shutt said.
Shutt also boasts of the many new parks and recreation created in Savannah, including the new Veterans Memorial Park.
Shutt said the most important reason he is running for senate is to fill a need in the district he does not believe is currently there.
"You've got to listen to the people," Shutt said.
Shutt also gained some attention after sending a letter to then-Memphis Mayor A C Wharton in July 2015 telling Wharton if Memphis removed the statue of Civil War General Nathan Bedford Forrest, then the city of Savannah would accept the statue.
Shutt is challenging long term legislator Dolores Gresham. Gresham served three terms in the Tennessee House of Representatives after being elected in 2002. She vacated her seat in 2008 to run for John Wilder's seat in the senate after his retirement and won that seat. She has remained in the senate since that victory.
The District 26 senate seat covers Chester, Decature, Fayette, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson and McNairy.
Voters will go to the polls on August 4 for the primary elections.