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By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

Trousdale County Democrats gathered Tuesday evening at the Community Center to hear Dr. Dawn Barlow, who is seeking election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Around 40 people were on hand to hear Barlow, who is from Overton County and making her first run at political office. She faces Republican John Rose in the Nov. 6 general election to represent Tennessee’s Sixth District in Congress.

Barlow, a practicing physician, argued strongly for the need to improve health care access in Tennessee.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette

“We have way too many working families who cannot afford to get sick,” she said. “We live in the wealthiest nation on earth and there’s no way we should see this level of neglect.”

Barlow called for fixing what she called “the broken-down health system,” adding, “We have hospitals setting up GoFundMe accounts to keep their doors open. That should tell you how broken our system is. Congress will have to fix this problem.

“I don’t want to practice medicine in society where we do a wallet check before I care for them.”

Barlow also called for expanding background checks on gun purchases, while noting that her husband, Chris, is a veteran of the Iraq War and that both of them enjoy hunting on a regular basis.

“My husband is a veteran and a hunter. When he buys a gun, he has a background check. Why shouldn’t everyone else?” she said.

Barlow also spoke on her support for public education, calling for more federal dollars to be spent.

“We have to change the way we fund our public education… If your kid lives in (a poor) county or lives in Nashville, they should expect the same education.”

Barlow also called for a gradual increase in the minimum wage over time, saying that Tennessee leads the nation in the number of people working at minimum wage.

“It’s time we expect our friends and family to get paid for the work they do,” she said. “An LPN (licensed practical nurse) I work with, taking care of people in the hospital, makes less than people at Amazon.”

Barlow also called out her opponent Rose for refusing to debate with her thus far.

“Tennessee Tech and Cumberland have agreed to host… He has not responded to us. We want people to know that we’re willing to stand up and defend what we believe in.”

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.