Jim Bryson to Run For Governor

In 2006 Jim Bryson decided to run for governor. Bryson had been elected to the State Senate in 2002, serving in the 103rd and 104th General Assembly. At the time he was one of the Assembly's most vocal advocates of Right to Life and anti-gun control views. The state party endorsed him before the primary. Bryson won the nomination with a vote total of about 50%, approximately equal to that of all of his unknown rivals combined.
Bryson was heavily defeated in the November 7 election by the Democratic incumbent, Phil Bredesen.
In 2019 Jim Bryson was appointed deputy commissioner of Parks and Conservation by Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner David Salyers.

This was his campaign's website. We apologize that it does not look exactly like the original site.
The content below is from various pages of the site's 2006 archived content, as well as other sources.


Dear Friends,
I'm State Senator Jim Bryson and I'm running for Governor of the great state of Tennessee.

As Governor, I will work to graduate every Tennessee teenager from high school because a bright future begins with a high-school diploma.

As Governor, I will reduce the sales tax on food with a goal of eliminating it permanently.

And in a Bryson administration, there will be no state income tax. Period.

I’ll be a Governor with his eye on the Family budget as well as the state budget.

As Governor, I’ll work to remove illegal immigrants from our state – especially if they commit crimes.

And as governor, I will carry a big stick when it comes to cleaning up government corruption. I will hold every member of my administration in every department accountable for their actions.

The choice in this race for Governor will be clear.
I ask for your vote on November 7.




I somehow stumbled upon this archived content site from Jim Bryson's 2006 campaign for governor of Tennessee. He seems a poster child for the present GOP political stances. As I relax here in our vacation rental on Lake George in upper NY state, I can smell the chicken roasting that my partner has prepared from a recipe called Chicken Lady Chicken on the Nest Homeware's website under its cast iron recipes.
How did I find this website and recipe? Interesting story. First I will tell you about how we came to be eating a chicken dish. The owner of the house is a chef, so there was plenty of wonderful cooking equipment! However, my partner and I agree that the stand outs were the full set of cast iron cookware whose design made them into impressive pieces of art. We were so bowled over by not only their looks but the ease in cooking with them, that I emailed the owner asking where he had purchased them. He had been at one of the major housewares shows in Chicago and came across the Nest Homeware booth. He said that the owner of Nest Homeware also designs all its cast iron cook ware. The unique design of the handles, which really makes this cookware stand out from typical black cast iron products our mothers used, is an abstracted form of a cherry tree branch. It is ergonomically pleasing for both left and right handed cooks. My partner is right handed, but I am a south paw (left handed). In addition, the interiors of all the Nest Homeware cast iron cookware are machined smooth, which makes for an incredible cooking experience. An added plus he said, if you decide to buy a set, is that all the pans from the 4.5" egg pan, 9" cast iron skillet to the dutch oven and 12" braising pan are double seasoned with flaxseed oil and thus ready to use immediately according to the company's website. We're especially fond of these cast iron skillets. When we checked out the Nest Homeware website I was delighted to find that they had a page with some delicious cast iron recipes. We have already tried several hearty breakfast recipes. The results were delicious. I expect the chicken dish will likewise be terrific along with the farmers market vegetables and greens we picked up this morning. Dinner should be about ready so we can sit out on the deck and watch the sun setting over the lake.

I will not be discussing Jim Bryson's view on immigration or his desire to restore common sense pro-life laws in Tennessee. I would think he would find the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade that ends federal abortion a long sought outcome since it now means Tennessee can enact its near total ban on abortions. Tennessee's near-total abortion ban is a move lauded by the state's Republican leadership.

I found Jim Bryson's 2006 campaign website because I was scrolling through articles about which states had trigger laws once Wade V Roe was overturned. I wanted to see the legislative history from these various states to see how far back it went. Tennessee Republicans passed the Human Life Protection Act in 2019, a near-total abortion ban with zero rape or incest exceptions. The state is GOP conservative and red. As a Republican, Jim Bryson's stances were not exceptional even for 2006.

Tennessee's Democrats said the Supreme Court's decision was a "nightmare come true.", while the current governor applauded the Supreme Court's decision Friday as the "beginning of a hopeful chapter for our country."
"We have spent years preparing for the possibility that authority would return to the states, and Tennessee’s laws will provide the maximum possible protection for both mother and child," Lee said in a social media statement. "In the coming days we will address the full impacts of this decision for Tennessee." Well, the people of Tennessee, for the first time in 50 years, will now have a chance to weigh in on this issue through their elected representatives.


CIRCA 2006


April 4, 2006
CONTACT: Mike Hudome
(615) 306-9753

Jim Bryson to Run For Governor 
"The people of Tennessee know we can and we must do better"

(Nashville) -- State Senator Jim Bryson (R-Franklin) today announced his plans to run for Governor of Tennessee. 

Speaking at the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, Bryson declared, "I’m State Senator Jim Bryson and I’m running for Governor of the great state of Tennessee." 

Bryson continued, "The people of Tennessee deserve a clear choice for Governor. I will be a Governor who is ready to fight for Tennessee values. I will be a Governor who will focus on improving education and creating jobs for hard working Tennesseans. I will be a Governor who will enforce the constitutional cap on state spending." 

"And make no mistake about it," said Bryson, "There will be no state income tax in my Administration." 

"The people of Tennessee know we can, and we must, do better," Bryson declared. 

Joining Bryson at the announcement was his wife Carol and their four children, Maria, Nadia, Nick and Alex. A small businessman, Bryson is the founder of 20/20 Research, a marketing research firm in Nashville that today employs 50 people. 

Bryson, 44, was elected to the State Senate in 2002. He is a graduate of Baylor University and holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University. The Brysons live in Franklin, Williamson County. 


Commercial Appeal By Richard Locker May 20, 2006

GOP faithful high on Bryson
Rookie senator may face Bredesen

NASHVILLE -- Jim Bryson isn't a household name in Memphis yet: He's running to become the third consecutive governor born elsewhere who moved to Tennessee as a young man to launch a business career.

Bryson, 44, a Republican state senator from Franklin, is set to make his first public campaign appearance in Memphis tonight at the Shelby County GOP's "Tennessee Homecoming" event, at the Al Chymia Shrine Center.

He'll share the stage with actress Dixie Carter and Winfield Dunn, the Memphis dentist whose 1970 run for governor was seen as being as uphill as Bryson's is today. Dunn won, becoming Tennessee's first Republican governor in 50 years. Although Bryson faces two GOP opponents, he's the party's consensus candidate to challenge well-financed Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen, who is seeking a second term.

Bryson is completing a four-year state Senate term, his first public office, representing GOP-stronghold Williamson County and southern Davidson County.

Bryson is a conservative with the verve for headline-making moves like his failed attempt in January to block two senators under federal indictment from voting on ethics reform.

"Jim Bryson is an affable fellow who appears to be sincere in what he says, although he does have a penchant for the dramatic," Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis said.

Bryson's entry in the race two days before last month's qualifying deadline came after several better-known Republicans opted not to run.

His campaign themes include health care, jobs, governmental ethics and a proposed state constitutional amendment to limit increases in state spending.

Bryson was born in Fayetteville, Ark., when his parents were students at the University of Arkansas. His mother became a teacher and his father a career Army officer, which caused the family to move around the country. When his parents divorced, his mother moved home to Russellville, Ark., with her three children. Jim, the oldest, was 13.

After graduating from high school there and Baylor University, Bryson moved to Tennessee in 1983 for graduate business school at Vanderbilt University. He's been here since then. After Vanderbilt, he worked for a year at a Nashville research consulting firm before he and a partner founded 20/20 Research Inc. here in 1986.

The firm provides facilities for focus groups and market research services in Nashville, Miami and Charlotte, N.C. Bryson remains its board chairman and has separate consulting clients.

He married Carol Ratcliff, whom he met at Nashville's First Baptist Church, in 1991. They adopted three young children from Russia in 1994 before their birth son was born in 1997.

Bryson was active in the Williamson County GOP but not widely known when he won an upset victory over the former county executive for the Senate seat in 2002. "I felt like it was ... quite frankly, kind of what God had for me to do in my life -- to run for that Senate seat. Nobody thought I could win at the time. I wasn't sure I could."

Former state Sen. Keith Jordan of Franklin, a Republican who once held the same seat, said Bryson "will surprise people. He's a very attractive candidate, very bright, and he has a good work ethic. He knows how to stay on message. He's genuinely conservative; it's not a political pose."

Bryson said he decided to give up the safe Senate seat to run for governor after more prayer and family discussion.

"I think we can do a lot of good things for the state. I've run my business for 20 years. I'm very fortunate. It's not a business that's made me a multimillionaire by any stretch but it's made enough money to feed my kids."

In the Senate, Bryson has proposed a state constitutional amendment to require two-thirds of the legislature to approve any spending increases faster than the state's economy. It has not passed. It grew from an unsuccessful proposal called the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, modeled after a Colorado law that even Colorado Republicans have criticized as too restrictive on that state's ability to fund education.

Bryson won passage in 2005 of a bill helping disabled people on public assistance move into jobs with private employers.

Bryson said he's most proud of his Senate work on improving others' legislation.

But he failed in a major push Wednesday to attach a medical-liability provision sought by the Tennessee Medical Association to Bredesen's "Cover Tennessee" health initiative. His amendment would have enacted a $250,000 ceiling on damage awards for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases. It failed despite the GOP's 18-14 Senate majority, after Democrats argued there is no evidence of runaway jury awards in Tennessee and when five Republicans abandoned the effort.

Bryson did win a separate amendment requiring private insurers -- not state taxpayers -- to bear the financial risks of Cover Tennessee's health insurance plans. The House modified it and the issue must be resolved next week.

Just before announcing his candidacy last month, he voted against a bill to enact a state-level minimum wage at $6.15 an hour, a dollar above the federal minimum wage last raised in 1997. He said it would cost people jobs, raise prices or both.

Bryson says he knows he'll have to fight the Nashville-area image of Williamson County as a suburban enclave of McMansions and gated communities. He lives in a middle-class subdivision built three decades ago, before the county's explosive growth in affluence.

"Because I live in Williamson County I'm going to be painted as some rich guy who doesn't care about people. I'm not a multimillionaire. I'm trying to make ends meet like everybody else is."


CONTACT: Lance Frizzell
(615) 727-0941 x15
October 23, 2006

Bryson Campaign Unveils New Television Ad
Ad highlights Bredesen’s opposition to state illegal immigration laws

(NASHVILLE, TN) – State Senator Jim Bryson (R-Franklin) today unveiled the latest ad of his campaign for Governor. The 30-second spot features Heather Steffek recounting the deaths of her mother and step-father at the hands of an illegal immigrant who had been arrested 16 times prior to driving his car head-on into her parents’ auto. Governor Bredesen maintains illegal immigration is a federal issue and has publicly fought legislation to tackle the problem at the state level.

“Heather is just one of many Tennesseans who have been hurt by illegal immigration,” Sen. Bryson said. “My vision for Tennessee is a state that illegal immigrants avoid and legal immigrants seek. Phil Bredesen publicly fought legislation requiring state law enforcement to work with federal authorities in apprehending and deporting illegal immigrants who commit crime. There is a crystal clear choice on the issue of illegal immigration in this election.”


October 11, 2006

Tennessee Right to Life Endorses Bryson

(NASHVILLE, TN) - Tennessee Right to Life, the state's largest pro-life organization, today endorsed state Senator Jim Bryson (R-Franklin) for Governor.

"I am honored to have the endorsement of Tennessee Right to Life," Sen. Bryson said. "The sanctity of life is a fundamental part of Tennessee values, and as Governor, I will continue to fight for the protection of innocent life at all stages."

In the Senate, Sen. Bryson sponsored legislation to create the Choose Life license plate, whose proceeds go to a fund dedicated to helping women facing an unexpected or difficult pregnancy. Governor Bredesen refused to sign that legislation and stalled the production of the plates until a US Supreme Court ruling said the plates were constitutional.

Sen. Bryson also co-sponsored Senate Joint Resolution 127, a resolution which would allow a public vote to restore common sense pro-life laws in Tennessee. All restrictions were thrown out by the state Supreme Court in 2000 so Tennessee's constitution now grants a greater right to abortion than the U.S. Constitution.

Tennessee Right to Life Chairman Brian Harris said:
"There could not be a more stark distinction between Phil Bredesen and Jim Bryson than that which exists on the matter of human life. Phil Bredesen is pro-abortion, opposed SJR 127 and refused to sign the Choose Life plate into law. In contrast, Jim Bryson is passionately pro-life, an adoptive father and sponsor of both SJR 127 and the Choose Life plate.

That's why the 45 active chapters of Tennessee Right to Life are so deeply grateful for the leadership and vision of Jim Bryson. We strongly support him because he has been there for pro-life Tennesseans - and for unborn children. We look forward to working hard in the days ahead to carry his message of hope, compassion and respect for human life into every county across the great state of Tennessee."

Sen. Bryson and his wife are the parents of three adopted children as well as one birth-child


Dear Friends, 

I'm State Senator Jim Bryson and I'm running for Governor of the great state of Tennessee. 

In the coming months, this website will serve as a virtual campaign headquarters. Come here for the latest news, photos, videos, press releases, and other campaign materials. 

I hope you'll come back often, and that you'll tell your friends about our campaign. I look forward to seeing you on the campaign trail. 

Thank you for your support. 




Jim Bryson was elected in 2002 to represent the 23rd Senatorial District that includes Williamson and Davidson Counties. During his first two years, he was named Republican Freshman of the Year by the Tennessee Journal, Legislator of the Year by the ARC of Tennessee and a "Top Five" Legislator by Business Tennessee Magazine.

During his first term, Jim was elected by his Senate colleagues to the position of Senate Majority Whip. In addition, serves on Commerce, Labor and Agriculture, Fiscal Review and Government Operations committees. In 2004 Senator Bryson was also named to the Education and TennCare Oversight committees.

Senator Bryson is married to Carol Ratcliff of Greeneville, Tennessee. They have four children, Maria, Nadia, Nick and Alex. The Bryson’s reside in Franklin.

Jim grew up in Russellville, Arkansas, the son of an Army officer and a public school teacher. He has a sister, Leslie Wheeler, living in Franklin and teaching third grade at Grassland Elementary. He also has a brother, John, a restaurant manager in Seattle. Jim's mother, Mary Lou Bryson, is a retired school teacher living in Franklin. His father, Ed Bryson, lives on the family farm in Prescott, Arkansas.

After graduating with academic honors and athletic letters in track and football from Russellville High School, Jim entered Baylor University. Jim graduated from Baylor University in 1983 and moved to Nashville where he graduated from the Vanderbilt University Owen School of Management in 1985 with a Masters in Business Administration. Jim paid much of his college education with various work-study programs and worked throughout graduate school as Assistant Director of the Baptist Student Union.

In 1991, Jim married Carol Ratcliff of Greeneville, Tennessee. Jim and Carol soon discovered that they could not have children. Therefore, in 1994, they adopted Maria (7), Nadia (3) and Nicholas (2) from Pechora, Russia. Two and a half years later, the family was blessed by the birth of Alex to make the family complete. The Brysons also consider their dog April and their cat Spunky to be dearly loved members of the family. The Bryson family resides in the Cottonwood subdivision in Franklin.

In 1986, Jim founded 20/20 Research, Inc. a market research firm based in Nashville. 20/20 Research serves clients throughout the United States. In 1999, the company opened an office in Charlotte, North Carolina. Soon thereafter, the company was one of the first in the industry to develop online qualitative research software and services. The company has recently expanded with a new office located in Miami, Florida. More recently, Jim helped a friend start a hugely successful service in the Big Apple that won a consumer service award - affordable carpet cleaning NYC from carpetcleaningnyc.com. The award acknowledges businesses that regularly receive high recommendations and positive reviews from its customers, compared to their competitors.

Jim has been very active in the business community for many years. He is a member of several Chambers of Commerce and has been active in the Nashville Chapter of the American Marketing Association. Jim has chaired several committees for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Jim has long been considered a leader in the national research industry. In addition to chairing committees and serving on the Board of the Qualitative Research Consultant’s Association (QRCA), Jim was elected to three consecutive terms as President. Among many other initiatives, as President, he implemented a new branding campaign, extended the association newsletter to a full-color magazine and instituted a world-wide research conference in Paris.

The Bryson’s attend First Baptist Church in Nashville. Jim currently serves on the church’s Strategic Planning Council and serves as co-director of his Sunday School Department with his wife Carol.

Jim has been an active member of the Republican Party for several years. Prior to his election, he served as Chair of the Public Policy Committee of the Williamson County Republican Party. The Committee regularly published articles in the Review Appeal stating Republican positions. In 1999, as Committee Chair, Jim co-authored the first County Resolution against a state income tax. That resolution was passed by the County Executive Committee and sent directly to the Governor. The Resolution was also used as a model for resolutions from other Tennessee counties.

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Ending Tennessee’s status as a magnet for illegal immigration

Tennessee has become a magnet for illegal immigration. One of Jim Bryson’s top priorities as our governor will be to stop illegal immigration in Tennessee. He will work to require proof of citizenship before an individual can receive public benefits. He will support English only driver’s license testing and permanently abolish the Driver’s Certificate program. He will require law enforcement to work with the federal government to deport illegal aliens.

Making our schools the best

Jim Bryson is a father of four who believes a good education is the key to our children’s success. As governor, Jim Bryson will focus on raising graduation rates statewide. And he’ll work to give parents a choice in where their child is educated, as well as a greater say in school decisions.

Dedicated to low taxes and less spending

Jim Bryson is a fiscal conservative who believes the best way to ensure Tennessee’s long term prosperity is to keep taxes low. As governor, he will give back to families by reducing the tax on food, and he will strongly oppose any attempt to impose a state income tax. Jim Bryson will tighten the state government’s belt, and ensure tax dollars are spent efficiently and effectively.

Demanding ethical leadership

As a state senator, Jim Bryson has led ethically and honestly. As our governor, he will carry a big stick to clean up corruption in the governor’s office, and will hire based on experience and ability, not politics and campaign contributions. Every department will be lead by a commissioner who has not used public office for personal gain. No one will even be considered who has used a previous office for personal gain.

Supporting a culture of life

As the father of three adopted children, Jim knows that every child is precious. Tennessee has some of the most liberal abortion laws in the nation and that must change.

By sponsoring and passing legislation authorizing the Choose Life license plate, Jim Bryson created a dedicated, voluntary fund for women facing an unexpected pregnancy. That is the type of free market, pro-life solution Jim will bring to the Governor's office.