Lt. Gov. Ramsey Leaves Senate with Legacy for Supporting Small Business

Date: April 20, 2016 Last Edit: April 21, 2016

Ramsey is Tennessee's only four-time Guardian of Small Business winner.

Last month, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (Blountville) announced his plans not to seek re-election for the seat in Senate District 4.

Ramsey, who has been the Senate Speaker since 2007 and is arguably the most powerful legislator of our time, said it’s simply time to spend more time with his children and grandchildren. On the day of his announcement on the Senate floor, Ron and his wife, Sindy, welcomed their fourth grandchild, their first girl.

Saying “life is flying by” and he couldn’t obligate himself to another four years, Ramsey gave a tearful speech from the well in the floor.

“I’m living the dream,” he said. “It has been the honor of my life to serve here.” (Read his complete remarks here.)

Legislative leaders praised Ramsey for his civil approach, treating every legislator with dignity and respect. Strong praise came not only from his side of the aisle, but also from Senate Democrats.

“Lieutenant Governor Ramsey has been an outstanding leader for Tennessee, and I will truly miss working with him on a daily basis,” Gov. Bill Haslam said. “Ron is smart and effective, and he has been passionate about serving Tennessee and his district.”

“Ron Ramsey is a true statesman and, really, a role model on authenticity in public life,” Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris said. “He demonstrated that again today in how he announced his retirement. He set out a list of priorities, and we would be lucky to be as smart, self-aware, authentic, and courageous enough to be able to do the same someday. We would all also be lucky to have even a portion of the blessings that Ramsey has had. He deserves a long round of congratulations.”

“During my time in the Legislature, we’ve had a strong and open relationship,” Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Jeff Yarbro said. “Even when we’ve disagreed, we’ve done so as colleagues and as friends. And while it might surprise some folks to hear it, I’m going to miss him.”

An NFIB member since 1995 and an auctioneer, Ramsey was the first Republican in 140 years to serve as the Senate’s top leader.

Ramsey is also NFIB’s only four-time Guardian of Small Business award winner, earning his final award after his spirited statewide Red Tape Tour that identified opportunities to help small business, like badly needed unemployment reform. As a result of those efforts, NFIB nominated Ramsey in 2014 for the national UWC Unemployment Insurance Integrity award, which he deservedly won.

Farewell, good friend. NFIB wishes you, Sindy and your family the very best in the golden years ahead.

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