For Immediate Release

(COLLIERVILLE, TN), April 5, 2012 — State Senator Mark Norris (R-Collierville) today announced his bid for re-election to the State Senate representing Senate District 32. Norris filed his qualifying petition prior to today’s deadline for the August 2, 2012 Republican Primary. The district contains Tipton County and suburban Shelby County, including Collierville, Arlington, Lakeland, and Bartlett.

Elected by his peers as Senate Majority Leader, Norris has served as the prime sponsor of Governor Haslam’s legislation since 2011, including passage of a balanced budget each year.

“Better schools, safer streets and a sound economy are critical to our continued success,” said Leader Norris. “We’ve come a long way in Tennessee. We’ve made too much progress to turn back now. I appreciate the opportunity to serve the citizens of the 32nd District in the State Senate and hope they will see fit that I continue to serve as their voice in Nashville.”

Norris led the successful effort governing the transition of schools in Shelby County last year. He also fought for citizens’ rights to vote on whether they support smaller, neighborhood schools in the legislative session currently in progress.

Known for his tough stand on crime, Leader Norris successfully passed a series of criminal justice reforms strengthening sentences against ‘crooks with guns’ and combating gang violence. Those new laws focus state resources on keeping the most dangerous criminals who use guns in commission of a crime behind bars longer and giving law enforcement authorities stronger tools to curb violence in Tennessee.

“The safety of our citizens should be a priority of state government,” added Norris. “We must get hardened criminals who use guns in the commission of a crime off our streets. I am very pleased we have been successful in passing these public safety reforms.”

In 2004, Norris led a major tax relief effort successfully amending Tennessee’s Constitution to provide property tax relief for senior citizens. Since then, thousands of citizens have benefitted from his efforts. This year, Senator Norris is continuing his effort to provide relief for Tennesseans by sponsoring legislation to eliminate the death tax and reduce the sales tax on food.

“Tennessee’s death tax hurts farmers and small business owners who have scrimped, sacrificed and saved their entire lives to build up a family business,” Norris said. “It is also a factor for senior citizens moving to other states that have a higher exemption level which hurts Tennessee’s economy. I look forward to passage of this bill before our General Assembly adjourns and know that it will provide significant tax relief to our citizens.”

Norris was elected Senate Majority Leader in 2007 and unanimously re-elected to the top Republican Caucus leadership position twice. He has been named Legislator of the Year numerous times by various professional and civic associations including the Chiefs of Police, District Attorneys Conference, Tennessee School Boards Association, Tennessee Medical Association, and Tennessee Development Districts.

“We have tackled some of the most difficult budget years in Tennessee history over the past four years by cutting our budget and holding the line on government spending,” Norris continued. “At the same time, we have provided tax relief for many citizens and have worked hard to create a pro-growth climate in our state.”

Norris said Tennessee had a very productive year with 28,500 jobs announced earlier this year, the highest mark since the recession began in 2007. “Our state is moving in the right direction and I want to continue the pro-growth work we have begun as we turn our economy around.”

“Although much has been accomplished, there’s still more still to do,” added Norris. “I will continue to work to make our streets safer, stop wasteful government spending, make our schools better and create more opportunities for our citizens over the next four years.”

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