Nashvillian Ted Welch, one of the country's most active men in politics, has never run for public office and has no desire to.
Welch is a self-made millionaire, commercial real estate developer, magazine owner, former restaurant owner, father, grandfather and husband. For a man who has spent the last 26 years of his life volunteering to raise money for various candidates in the Republican Party -- candidates like Bush (both George W. and George Sr.), Ronald Reagan, Fred Thompson and Lamar Alexander -- it's apparent what really drives him.
But surprise, the staunch Republican is more politically moderate than many might believe.
"I'm very conservative on fiscal affairs and very progressive on social issues," declared Welch, who is pro-choice and pro-lottery and supports a state income tax.
"[A state income tax] means a tax that is less regressive and one that is more progressive. Nobody has come up with anything other than the income tax that accomplishes that. I believe the poor in Tennessee are burdened much too much."
Welch is for capital punishment and is very pro-business. In 1999, Welch was tapped the Senior Fellow for Public Policy and Politics for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and helped raise funds for pro-business Republicans in targeted House of Representatives and Senate races...
In a 1995 New York Times magazine article, former Senate majority leader Howard Baker said, "Ted is the No. 1 political fundraiser in all history."
In 1971, Welch was appointed commissioner of Finance Administration under Governor Winfield Dunn, the first Republican governor to take office in Tennessee in five decades. He followed that role in 1977 with an appointment as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee. In 1979, Welch served as Howard Baker's national finance chair in his first presidential effort; Baker lost to Ronald Reagan...
He was raised in the Church of Christ, which he said has impact on his overall outlook. He was also raised in very Democratic Decatur County, which resembles the old Democratic South.