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Stout, Carriger should be our voices in Nashville

Johnson City Press • Jul 21, 2014 at 8:54 AM

Before officially beginning their duties as a member of the Tennessee General Assembly, state representatives are asked to recite the following oath:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that as a member of this General Assembly, I will, in all appointments, vote without favor, affection, partiality, or prejudice; and that I will not propose or assent to any bill, vote or resolution, which shall appear to me injurious to the people, or consent to any act or thing, whatever, that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge their rights and privileges, as declared by the Constitution of this state.”

It’s important to note that this oath requires state lawmakers to serve all their constituents without favor, affection or partiality to any one political party, ideology or religion.

In short, Tennessee lawmakers are expected to serve all their constituents --— without prejudice -— regardless of whether they voted for them or not.

Voters in two state House districts here in Washington County will begin casting votes today in the Aug. 7 Republican Primary. There is much at stake in these races, and the winners of the contests for the 6th and 7th districts will face no opponents in the Nov. 4 general election.

We cannot, in good conscience, voice support for the incumbents in these races. Both have demonstrated a degree of arrogance and partiality that makes that impossible.

What we can do without reservation, however, is endorse Clayton Stout in the 6th District and support Phil Carriger in the 7th District.

Throughout this election season, both men have demonstrated the high level of professionalism, honesty and integrity that we expect from our representatives in Nashville. We believe Stout and Carriger will work hard for their districts if elected to the General Assembly, and not just for their personal political agendas.

Stout is a conservative businessman who is serving his first term on the Johnson City Commission, where he has proven to be a frugal and cautious overseer of city tax dollars. He believes in limited, but effective, government --— a concept sorely needed at the state level.

Likewise, Carriger --— who served one distinguished term on the City Commission -— is also prudent when it comes to managing the taxpayers’ dollars. The retired banker was known among his colleagues as the man to be heard from when they debated the city’s budget.

Both Stout and Carriger understand what tremendous economic drivers the city of Johnson City and the town of Jonesborough are to our community, and the two men would work hard to see that all of Washington County is represented in the General Assembly.

It is for this reason, and so many more, that we endorse Stout in the 6th District and Carriger in the 7th District.

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