Voters decide races for General Assembly

Robert Houk • Nov 4, 2018 at 2:22 PM

In addition to the midterm elections for Congress and a race for governor, Tennesseans will go to the polls Tuesday to decide local contests for the state General Assembly.

While most of the region’s seats in the state Senate and state House of Representatives are uncontested, two Republican incumbents who represent Washington County will face opponents.

The 6th District race sees state Rep. Micah Van Huss, R-Jonesborough, challenged by independent candidate Murphey Johnson. The 6th District covers the northern and western parts of Washington County.

Van Huss is a web programmer with a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Pensacola Christian College. The former Marine, who served two tours of duty in Iraq, is seeking his fourth two-year term in the General Assembly.

The incumbent believes good-paying jobs, putting Americans first and the opioid epidemic are at the top of the list of issues concerning residents of the district.

“I will continue to vote against in-state tuition for illegal aliens and ensure that Tennesseans are put first,” Van Huss said.

Johnson is an engineer and former U.S. Navy pilot with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He told the Press the “biggest single issue facing District 6 voters is that they are not being adequately represented.” He said residents in the district “deserve to have an elected representative who seeks their input and fights for their infrastructure and other funding needs.”

In the 7th District race, state Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, is facing Democratic challenger Nathan Farnor on Tuesday. Hill is vying for his eighth two-year term in the General Assembly.

Hill said while he believes Tennessee “must improve access to and the quality of care for patients. Medicaid expansion is not the answer.”

He told the Press, “Liberals want to redefine health care as having health insurance, which now, covers less and less. As they call for more access, understand their solution is to have taxpayers pay more for insurance that covers less.”

Farnor, who works for East Tennessee State University, has made Medicaid expansion in Tennessee one of his top priorities. He told a forum for candidates last month there are “300,000 people in the state who live without health insurance, and 14,000 of those people, keep in mind, live right here in our community.”

Farnor also told the Press, “Because our current elected officials refuse to expand Medicaid, Tennesseans are losing nearly $3.4 billion of their own tax money every year. “

Other local races for the General Assembly include the 3rd House District, where incumbent state Rep. Timothy Hill, R-Blountville, is unopposed for the seat that covers all of Johnson County and parts of Carter and Sullivan counties. State Rep. John B. Holsclaw, R-Elizabethton, is also unopposed in the 4th House District, which represents all of Unicoi County and a part of Carter County.

In the state’s 3rd Senate District race, incumbent Rusty Crowe, R-Johnson City, is unopposed for the seat that represents a part of Carter County, and all of Washington and Unicoi counties. He is seeking his eighth four-year term to the Tennessee General Assembly.

Crowe is the longest-serving member of Northeast Tennessee’s legislative delegation.

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