Public Affairs Roundtable
Office of Community, Neighborhood, and Government Relations
7th District of Tennessee
As a small business woman, author, mother, grandmother, and Member of Congress, Marsha Blackburn has dedicated her service to making America a more prosperous place to live.
No stranger to adversity and hard work, Marsha went to college on a 4-H scholarship and worked her way through school selling books for the Southwestern Company. She was one of their first female sales associates and one of their first female sales managers, assisting the company in establishing a division focused on women. Marsha moved to the corporate world as Director of Retail Fashion and Special Events for the Castner Knott Company. She later founded Marketing Strategies, focused on the retail marketplace and expanded her work to electronic and print media with consumer segments and articles.
Congressman Blackburn began her elected service career in 1998 as a Tennessee State Senator. Blackburn’s Senate career was marked by her commitment to fiscal common sense and government accountability. She became known to Tennesseans for holding “Budget Schools” both in her district and across the state; identifying waste, proposing realistic spending cuts, and offering solutions for a state in a budget crunch.
While serving in the Tennessee Senate, Blackburn led a statewide grassroots campaign to defeat a proposed state income tax. While defeating the tax, she earned the reputation as a champion of anti-tax and government accountability issues, taking to the airwaves to make the case that government wrongly believes it never gets enough of the taxpayer’s paycheck. She earned the attention of publications like the Wall Street Journal and groups such as Americans for Tax Reform. In November 2014, the people of Tennessee passed an amendment to the state constitution to ‘expressly prohibit a state income tax’ – what a fitting cap to a 14 year battle. Her long time goal of permanently restoring the ability to deduct state and local sales taxes Tennesseans pay each year from their federal income tax filing was realized with the passage of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015.
Blackburn’s reputation for focusing on freedom, free people and free markets boosted her from the Tennessee Senate to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 to represent Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District. She continued the fight for accountable government, becoming a leader in Congress and a leading voice advocating for a small, efficient federal government that is accountable to its citizens. She became the first woman in the state to win a Congressional seat in her own right.
Congressman Blackburn is often selected by her colleagues to lead the charge for common sense reform. In February 2010 she was selected to represent conservative views on health care reform at the President’s Blair House Summit. In 2012, she co-chaired the platform for the Republican Convention. She has served as a Republican whip every Congress, holds a seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee serving as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.
Marsha has earned a special reputation as a bi-partisan leader and policy expert on telecommunications issues and intellectual property rights. She has strong ties with Tennessee’s recording industry and the songwriters and performers who make it great. In 2003 Blackburn founded and continues to serve as Chairman of the Congressional Songwriters Caucus to give the nation’s creative community a voice on Capitol Hill.
Blackburn is a member of the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board and continues her involvement in numerous charitable organizations and her church, Christ Presbyterian.
Marsha and her husband Chuck live in Williamson County, Tennessee. They have two children, Mary Morgan (Paul) Ketchel and Chad (Hillary) Blackburn; and two grandsons. Blackburn is a native of Laurel, Mississippi and graduate of Mississippi State University.
About Public Affairs Roundtable
Public Affairs Roundtable is a monthly community forum featuring elected officials centered on the issues being discussed in the Tennessee Legislature and in Williamson County. Representatives are given a platform to discuss the issues in greater depth with their constituents. The one-hour program is aired on Comcast Channel 3, the county's public information channel, and rebroadcast on Williamson County Television's YouTube Channel. Learn more at www.williamsonchamber.com.