Want to have your voice heard? Send a Letter to the Forum. Authors must sign their letters and include addresses and phone numbers for verification. Letters may be no longer than 300 words and will be edited for grammar, style and length. Send your submission to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717 or mailbag@johnsoncitypress.com.

Darden has helped Johnson City

At last count, there are over a dozen primary candidates eligible to run for the 1st Congressional District seat being vacated by Dr. Phil Roe.

I have done my research and can unequivocally support Steve Darden as the clear best choice for the office. We do not need career politicians in Washington, we need level-headed legislators who can step in and lead a reconciliation effort between the congressional factions as this nation moves forward after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Steve Darden is such a man. During his tenure as a city commissioner, vice mayor, and mayor, Steve demonstrated first-rate problem-solving skills and innovative thinking for the future of Johnson City and its surrounds. His leadership in the effort to obtain the property and construct the Johnson City/Washington County Veterans Memorial is but one example of his ability to get things done.

Steve Darden has the unique blend of a successful career, small business ownership, and superb leadership in public office. These qualities will serve him well as our next 1st District congressman!

R. GEORGE HEATON

Johnson City

House candidates rundown

It is too early for voters to choose a successor for Dr. Phil Roe. Before they do, let me offer a few points.

Diana Harshbarger has done nothing for the community, politically or for the Republican Party. She is viewed as the front runner, and I guess so since she has bought her way there like Michael Bloomberg. Then there is this thing about her husband/business partner who spent time in prison for shady business practices.

Rusty Crowe is just ... RUSTY! He needs to stay in Nashville where he knows his way around.

Early-stage career politician Timmy Hill got into ethics trouble while working for David Davis before he was beaten by Roe.

David Hawk had his own brush with the law. He is the poster boy for the "Peter Principle."

John Clark, according to my Kingsport sources, would have been lost had he run for re-election.

Then there is Gapp who doesn't even live in the district.

A good choice is former Mayor Steve Darden. Steve served with distinction as commissioner and other roles. He would be a good congressman. He has the skills, smarts and integrity to serve. Send Steve Darden to Congress, a proven leader!

STEPHEN L. MERONEY

Johnson City

What's so great?

I’m writing this in response to Micah Van Huss’s Election 2020 article in the July 6 edition. He says that the United States, “remains the greatest nation in the world.” I would like to know what metrics he’s using to determine that.

What makes the U.S. the greatest nation on the Earth? There are more than 40 countries that have a better infant mortality rate than the U.S. There are several countries ahead of the U.S. on childhood poverty. There are nearly 30 countries ahead of the U.S. in healthcare and education.

I’m not bashing the U.S. I’m a veteran and I love where I live. However, nearly every U.S. politician, when asked what’s the greatest country in the world will say it’s the U.S.

OK. Tell me why. And tell me what you’re going to do to address the items in which we aren’t the best.

In the past 30 years, the U.S. has gone from sixth to 27th in the world for education. Tennessee is ranked in the bottom third of the nation for education.

We have the largest GDP in the world and our GDP per capita is in the top 10. However, compare minimum wage to inflation and people now are making less than in the 1950s.

Saying it doesn’t make you patriotic just as denying it doesn’t make you unpatriotic. Holding your government and its representatives accountable, that’s patriotic.

So, Mr. Van Huss, my question to you is, on what do you base your statement that the U.S. is the greatest country in the world, or do you just say it because it sounds good? And, if you have nothing to back up your statement, stop saying it.

JAY JARMAN

Jonesborough

Want to have your voice heard? Send a Letter to the Forum. Authors must sign their letters and include addresses and phone numbers for verification. Letters may be no longer than 300 words and will be edited for grammar, style and length. Send your submission to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717 or mailbag@johnsoncitypress.com.