Independent Tennessee Gubernatorial Candidate Wants to Be a ‘Voice’ on HIV/AIDS
Independent Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Ed Sanders, a Nashville minister, said he wants to be a "voice from within the faith community" on HIV/AIDS and minorities and would continue to focus on the issue if elected governor, the Associated Press reports in a profile of the candidate. Sanders, who is African American, heads the 700-member Metropolitan Interdenominational Church in Nashville and serves as executive director of the church's First Response Center, which conducts educational outreach and counseling for people affected by HIV/AIDS. He is also a former member of the CDC's advisory committee on HIV and sexually transmitted diseases and was appointed by President Bush in March to serve on the President's Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS. Sanders said he began his work with HIV/AIDS after the AIDS-related death of a parishioner and would continue to focus on the disease and how it affects minorities and the poor if elected. "I understand how you bring people together to get them beyond fragmentation on the basis of race, of gender, of class, of intellectual level. That's what we need in this state right now, and that's what I think I'm going to be able to do -- that no other candidate in this race is capable of doing," he said. Sanders, a "longtime Republican," said he is running as an independent because he does not want to "stifle his vision for the state" due to financial obligations to donors or parties. African Americans have traditionally supported Democrats in Tennessee but could support Sanders, according to political analyst Ed Cromer, who noted that the race between the Democrat and Republican candidates could be close. Tennesseans have never elected an African-American governor or senator (McDowell, Associated Press, 4/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.