Now, Stout will bid farewell once again, this time to Johnson City and the residents he served over the last 5 1/2 years in public office.
Stout confirmed to the Johnson City Press on Monday that he is moving to Charleston, S.C., and taking a job as a senior sales representative at an elevator company.
It won’t be Stout’s first time living in Charleston. He attended college at The Citadel, where he earned a degree in business administration.
The one-time 6th House District Republican candidate previously served in an executive role at his family’s Johnson City-based elevator company, Vertical Solutions, Inc.
“Sometimes in life you just decide to start a new chapter and go on a new adventure, which is kind of what my family and I are doing,” said Stout, who started his new job Monday, but is still working to move his wife, three children and dog to South Carolina.
While discussing his future, Stout reiterated his affection for the people of Johnson City, leaving open the possibility of a future return to the city where he graduated high school and lived for 15-plus years.
“I love Johnson City and I love the people in town. It’s been nothing but great to me. Johnson City has a lot of potential and I’m excited to see what Johnson City is becoming as far as the work we did on the City Commission. I think a lot of that work is paying off,” Stout said.
“The people there are some of the best people in the world, and there may be a time when I come back. But right now, this is just a decision me and my family have made. We have friends and family down here, and Charleston is probably one of the most desirable places to live in America right now, so you really can’t go wrong.”
Leaving some family and friendships behind, Stout is admittedly carrying some mixed emotions about the move, but said he was excited for the opportunity to take a step forward in the business world.
“It was a hard decision to make, but at the end of the day, me and my wife prayed about it a lot and decided this is where God wanted us to go,” Stout said.
With his parents still living in Johnson City, Stout said he would be back from time to time to visit, especially when the East Tennessee State University football team hosts The Citadel at its new stadium on Sept. 16.
In the Nov. 8 general election, Stout finished fourth behind Commissioners Joe Wise, Ralph Van Brocklin and Todd Fowler in a campaign to seat three members of the city’s governing board.
After David Tomita resigned from the Washington County Commission shortly after being elected Johnson City’s new mayor, Stout expressed some interest filling his 4th District seat, but ultimately lost interest.
Stout ran for Rep. Micah Van Huss’ 6th House District seat in 2014, but lost by nearly 1,000 votes.
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