Crowe announces run for seventh term; no opposition yet

Gary B. Gray • Dec 31, 2013 at 10:23 AM

State Sen. Rusty Crowe, R-Johnson City, announced Monday he will run for a seventh term in November in an effort to represent the 3rd Senate District, now made up of Carter, Unicoi and Washington counties.

“My family and I have been very proud to serve the people of the third senate district for all these years,” Crowe said by telephone. “Should the people I serve choose to re-elect me for another term in the Senate, I will continue to work very hard with a sense of urgency to help pull us through these very difficult times.”

First elected in 1990 when he was chosen as a write-in candidate, Crowe has now served 24 years and has become Washington County’s longest-serving senator.

“I have considered it a great privilege to serve the people of the 3rd senate district for all these years and I am very proud of what we have been able to accomplish together for Upper East Tennessee,” he said. “I’m pleased that Unicoi County is now in the district.”

For many years, Crowe has been a member of a State Senate comprised mainly of leaders from the middle and western parts of the state. But seniority and a lot of hard work have landed him as chairman of the Senate Health and Welfare committee, and he plans to concentrate squarely on Upper East Tennessee.

“For many years we had a situation where Upper East Tennessee didn’t get the things we needed, because of the representation,” he said. “We now have more focus here, which gives us an opportunity to make gains on issues of an urgent nature, such as education and economic development.”

He said his focus for the upcoming session will center around the debate regarding improving education for Tennessee’s students and developing a fair and accurate evaluation system for Tennessee’s teachers. He also said he wants to generate economic development and jobs for the 3rd Senate District and create an effective balanced health care process for Tennessee’s hospitals, health care providers and patients.

He has sponsored or co-sponsored much of Tennessee’s landmark legislation like Home and Community Based Care for the elderly; legislation requiring the state to save part of its annual budget in case of unexpected fiscal deficits also known as the “Rainy Day Fund”; and laws fostering the state’s economic development, such as Tax Increment Financing.

He currently serves as a member of the Governor’s Council on Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs and has sponsored and passed legislation creating several state nursing homes for veterans and their families. He has been chosen legislator of the year numerous times by groups such as the Tennessee Human Resource Agency, the Tennessee Christian Coalition, the Tennessee School Boards Association and the National Alliance of Mentally Ill.

As of Monday, no other candidate had picked up nominating petitions to challenge Crowe, the Washington County Election Commission said.

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