Jonesborough Mayor Chuck Vest is local boy who moved away and then came home. He is a father of four, with one son and three daughters. Vest enjoys fitness and spent two decades in the industry before becoming mayor.
One can see Vest at events in Jonesborough and around town. He looks like the dad of whom one would believe the kid who says, ‘my dad can beat up your dad.’ Vest is very approachable though and always open to discuss “Tennessee’s Oldest Town,” the place he calls home.
Cats or dogs: I have a cat but love dogs as well.
Favorite Food: Pizza by far.
Favorite genre of music: Rock or alt rock and splash in some country.
Current book: “Escape to God,” by Jim Hohnberger
Current TV series: I have to watch “The Voice” every week.
Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I am from Jonesborough and went to David Crockett High School and local Jonesborough schools. That is why discussions about schools in Jonesborough are important to me. I went there and my kids all go there. I have had four go through the school system there. I grew up in Jonesborough, did move away for about 20 years pursuing a career in sporting goods. I have lived in Atlanta, Tampa and Charlotte, but there is no place like coming back to Jonesborough.
Were you always interested in politics or did that come later in life?
It probably came later in life. I think growing up playing sports you always have some type of leadership in you and when you play sports, a little bit of competitiveness. I think my father kind of got me involved. He was involved in Parks and Recreation in Jonesborough with youth Little Leagues and keeping those sports going in Jonesborough. I kind of got involved with him and through the Parks and Rec in Jonesborough. Really, I remember growing up watching the election of Ronald Reagan, and kind of got involved in that campaign; saw how politics work and seeing people serve. That kind of got me interested in doing something of that nature.
What has been your expectation vs. reality of political life?
Actually, it has probably been more enjoyable. Sometimes people say, ‘oh politics,’ but I guess if you watch too much TV and you see politics on there, it is kind of backbiting and such, but here locally we get a chance to serve our friends and neighbors and problem solve, which is something that I enjoy doing. It has really been a blessing.
What do you do when you are not carrying out the duties of your office?
I have four kids so they keep me busy, feeding them and keeping the cars on the road. Other than that I love fitness. I have always been involved in sports, athletics and going to the gym trying to stay in shape and stay moving, so fitness is probably it. Otherwise doing things around the house.
What is your vision or plan for the future?
I think I will still be here in Jonesborough. I am hoping to do something in the fitness industry for the most part and getting more involved with my kids’ careers in life. That is kind of my hopes, but really start slowing down here in about four to five years and concentrating more on my family time than I am currently doing.