Congressional candidate Banyas visits DEFM

Published 5:42 pm Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A political dream has become a reality for Mickie Banyas.

Banyas, a Northeast Tennessee native, is running on the Republican Party ticket for the Thursday, Aug. 2, primary election for the U.S. Congressional First District house seat and stopped by the Downtown Elizabethton Farmers Market Tuesday for a last-minute stop in the community leading up to the election.

Banyas is among four Republicans — incumbent Dr. Phil Roe, James Todd McKinley and James Brooks — vying for the party’s nomination for November’s general election. For the Aug. 2 Democratic Party ticket, Dr. Marty Olsen is running unopposed.

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According to Banyas, an eight-year member with the Navy, the opportunity to run for office this year was hard to pass up and part of a dream she’s had. Along with her military background, Banyas also served as a pediatric nurse and indicated she has spent time firsthand working with children that have been addicted to drugs — which has been a popular topic of discussion during this year’s campaign cycle in regards to opioid abuse in Northeast Tennessee.

“I’ve been a nurse for 30 years, primarily a pediatric nurse,” Banyas said. “I went to law school because I always wanted a chance to run for office. The first campaign I worked for was Jimmy Carter’s back in 1978. I always wanted to run for office. I’m 58 years old and I decided to not wait any longer. That medical, legal and military experience, I believe, can help me understand people’s problems.”

Banyas added it’s always a joy visiting Carter County, indicating that she’s a supporter of the arts and has enjoyed visiting different areas, including the farmer’s market.

From all spectrums of the political world, Banyas added she wants to be accessible to all parties for ideas and encourage more women to run for office.

“I like to think outside the box and receive everyone’s opinion,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a democrat, republican, libertarian … I’m very accessible. Only around 20 percent of women are in Congress. We need better representation. I want to encourage more women to run for office. It takes guts being out on the campaign trail.”

Banyas added she’s pro-life, pro second amendment and for term limits for members of Congress.

Banyas added another goal will be to help ease the opioid epidemic in the region, which, she said, in turn will lead to the potential manufacturers wanting to relocate to the region.

“We have to prove we have solutions for these industries,” Banyas said.

Visit to learn more about the candidate.