State parks an issue for Dean in governor’s race

Karl Dean (Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Karl Dean is making Tennessee state parks an issue in this year’s governor race.

The former Nashville Mayor sees it as something more than just about who runs them.

“One of my goals as governor would be to have Tennessee go back to having the best state parks in the country,” Dean recently told news 2. “(I want people) to be aware the beauty of our state is a big part of why our state works so well and why people want to live here and protect it.”

It means he would oppose any such efforts to privatize state parks which most recently came up last year in Republican Governor Bill Haslam’s Administration.

Along with state parks, medical marijuana and health care were part of the conversation with Dean.

“It’s time to move beyond partisan politics–whose right and whose wrong—let’s get something done that helps people,” added Dean about Medicaid expansion.

While Dean joins almost all of his fellow Tennessee Democrats backing some form of Medicaid expansion to cover hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans with Obamacare money, he did not dismiss Republican ideas to make able-bodied adults work if they get Medicaid.

“I have heard of a variety of ideas like that,” Dean added. “I think you put everything on the table, but obviously there are people who have disabilities, people who have pre-existing conditions, people who have health conditions that would not allow them to work.”

Like all the candidates, Dean is being asked to weigh in on medical cannabis or marijuana which promises to be a legislative battle and an issue in the governor’s race.

“My position on medical marijuana is that if it’s something that is going to provide people from relief from pain, offer them treatment and if the medical community is supportive of this, then that is something we should do,” said Dean.

News 2 is catching up with all the major candidates running for governor as they continue their campaigns.

Earlier this month there were reports on Republicans Beth Harwell and Diane Black.