Gibbons Makes It Official, Announcing for Governor 

As expected, District Attorney General Bill Gibbons, reacting to weekend disclosures that former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist will not run for governor in 2010, has announced his own candidacy for the office in a statement released on Sunday. Gibbons, emphasizing the issues of "crime and schools," will run in the Republican primary.

Here is the Flyer's original story about the Frist non-candidacy.: http://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/Content?oid=oid%3A53787

Below is the Gibbons statement:

Shelby County's Bill Gibbons Begins Tennessee Gubernatorial Campaign

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The following statement is issued today by Bill Gibbons, Shelby County District Attorney General:

"I am a candidate for governor and will seek the Republican nomination in the August 2010 primary.

"As governor, I will place priority on two issues - crime and schools - that pose big challenges to our state and that we must address if we are to achieve a better future for Tennessee.

"Through safer communities and better schools, Tennessee will be positioned as a state where people want to live, raise their families, work and retire. And we will be a state where existing businesses want to remain and expand and new businesses want to locate.

"The very first sentence of the very first section of our state constitution notes that state government exists to provide for the peace and safety of the people. As our next governor, I will take the leading in making changes to fix Tennessee's criminal justice system because I believe we must not surrender a single street, neighborhood or community to crime.

"Tennessee has the second highest violent crime rate in the nation, and it is a statewide problem. Over the past ten years, we have not shared in the national downward trend in violent crime. Law enforcement throughout Tennessee is doing a good job with the tools we have, but Tennessee's criminal justice system has deep flaws. As district attorney in our state's largest jurisdiction, I see those flaws up close, every day. We must change the system.

We must do a better job of holding serious offenders accountable by keeping them off our streets and in prison where they belong. At the same time we must address the underlying problem of drug addiction that drives so much of our crime. We must address behavior among juveniles such as truancy that too often results in even more serious consequences. And we must make sure that our state law enforcement agencies, such as the Highway Patrol, develop and maintain a level of professionalism their employees and the citizens of Tennessee deserve.

"The other major challenge facing our next governor is our schools. In 2010, we will move to more rigorous standardized testing of our public school students. It will be a wake-up call for our state. We must make sure our young people have the skills and values necessary to compete in a global economy. We cannot simply pour more money into doing the same thing and expect significantly different results.

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