Blount’s state legislators hang tough
By Joel Davis | (email@example.com)
All three of Blount County incumbent state legislators have been re-elected.
State Sen. Doug Overbey and state Reps. Robert Ramsey and Art Swann all defeated challengers during Thursday’s state primary and county general election.
“I’m very grateful to the voters of Blount and Sevier Counties,” Overbey said. “They were very attentive to the issues and thought through a lot of the smoke and mirrors that were being used against me and decided that through the years that I have endeavored to make a positive difference each and every day for them. I am very grateful for their votes and their choosing me to continue to represent them in the Tennessee General Assembly.”The unofficial Blount County results:
2nd District State Senate
• Scott Hughes: 4,285
• Doug Overbey: 7,042
8th State House District
• Grady E. Caskey: 1,322
• Art Swann: 4,173
20th State Representative District
• Tona Monroe: 1,569
• Bob Ramsey: 3,747
Projected to also win in the Sevier County portion of the district Thursday night, Overbey defeated Seymour resident Scott Hughes to retain his 2nd State Senatorial District seat. Overbey faces no Democratic opposition in the general election. The 2nd District State Senate seat includes all of Blount and most of Sevier County. It formerly was the 8th Senate District.
Hughes called Overbey to congratulate him on the win. Afterward, he spoke to The Daily Times by telephone.
“I’m very happy with the campaign we ran,” Hughes said. “I’m very honored to have had so many volunteers and donors here in Blount County that joined with us in this campaign. I congratulate Doug Overbey. ... I gave it a shot, and we came pretty close without roughly 40 percent of the vote. I’m very proud of what we did and how we ran. I wish Sen. Overbey a good four years ahead.”
First elected to the state House of Representatives in 2000, Overbey claimed the state Senate seat in 2008 by beating independent candidate Ira Lapides in the general election after winning a heated primary campaign against then-incumbent state Sen. Raymond Finney.
Swann was opposed for the Republican nomination for the 8th District seat by Blount County Education Association President Grady Caskey. He also faces no Democratic opposition in the general election.
“The most important thing I want to say is thank you to all the supporters I had out there and even to those that I didn’t,” Swann said. “I’m still going to be their representative and my door is still open. I’ll help anybody who needs help.
“I found out something in this campaign that is very important to me. That is the footprints of my mother and my father over so many years in this community still exist out there. I met a lot of people that acknowledge that to me and who told me how much they appreciated all they had done in their lives. It’s been a wonderful experience and very, very gratifying to me.”
As a member of the 107th General Assembly, Swann served on the House Commerce Committee, House Conservation and Environment Committee, and as secretary of the House Children and Family Affairs Committee. Swann was also a Blount County commissioner from 1978-1982.
Ramsey retains seat
Ramsey, incumbent 20th District state representative, defeated challenger Tona Monroe of Greenback and has been elected to a third term. He faces no Democratic opposition. He could not be reached for comment.
Ramsey served on the County Commission for 18 years, representing the 5th District, which includes portions of Maryville. He served as interim county executive in 1992 and as acting county mayor in 2006. He is a dentist.
As a member of the state House of Representatives, Ramsey has served as chair of House State and Local Government Committee and as a member of the House Health and Human Resources Committee, House Ethics Committee and House Calendar and Rules Committee.
Corker handily wins
On the federal level, incumbent U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Chattanooga, handily won the Republican nomination for his seat against several challengers. He will face the Democratic nominee in November.
In statements released after his victor, Corker said, “I want to thank the thousands of Tennesseans who went to the polls in the last few weeks and cast a vote for my re-election to the United States Senate. Elizabeth and I deeply appreciate all the supporters who gave their time and hard work to ensure this victory tonight. Serving you and your family in the Senate is a great honor and a challenging responsibility. I am focused on our country’s most urgent problems — getting our economy growing again and getting our government’s fiscal house in order. It’s time to come together around some common sense goals that we all share.”