‘Elections have consequences’: Lawmakers share updates during legislative breakfast

Published 4:21 pm Friday, April 8, 2022

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
Elections matter.
That’s the message U.S. Rep. Diana Harshbarger shared with more than 100 business and civic leaders during the 2022 Elizabethton-Carter County Chamber Legislative Breakfast on Friday.
“I am telling you to do your due diligence; do your homework. Look at voting records if they are already there,” Harshbarger said. “Go in and find out … if they have the integrity to do what they need to do for your own family.
“I’m telling you it matters. Elections have consequences.”
Harshbarger was one of several elected officials who spoke during the meeting.
Elizabethton Mayor Curt Alexander and Carter County Mayor Patty Woodby both gave updates.
“Elizabethton is in pretty good shape. The biggest question right now is ‘How do I get into Pal’s with the construction going on?’,” Alexander said, adding that progress is painful.
He also said the state has given Carter County the green light to turn the old Roan Mountain prison into an addiction treatment facility.
Woodby spoke about the CTE Center, the treatment facility, expanding tourism and recreation including work on the Gap Creek Park, and the importance of partnering with other sources to complete projects.
“We want to improve the quality of life in the community,” she said. “Projects are not the work of one person alone — it takes partnerships.”
House Rep. Scotty Campbell (R), state Sen. Rusty Crowe, and state Sen. Jon Lundberg spoke briefly after the mayors. Field Rep. Michael Hensley for U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R) – Tennessee and Field Rep. Nick Castle for U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty (R) – Tennessee also provided a brief recap of what was going on in Washington with their respective senators.
Campbell, the assistant floor leader in the House, told attendees of recent legislation that will affect school funding.
“Carter, Johnson, Sullivan, Washington, Hawkins, and beyond are set to receive millions of additional dollars for education for students and student achievement without a single penny of tax increase,” said Campbell. “The changes are like something that we have never seen.”
Crowe told the audience that Harshbarger had done something recently that meant a great deal to him.
“Diana has done something that has hit my heart and made me feel good and that was to honor our Vietnam veterans,” he said. “When we came home years ago from the Vietnam war, we were booed. I didn’t take the bus home, I drove a car home because I didn’t want to be in those situations.”
Lundberg shared that he had some good news and some bad news.
“I am no longer a state senator, but I am not leaving. I am going to come back because I have created relationships and I really like you all,” said Lundberg, who chose not to seek re-election.
Also, 13 candidates running for local election introduced themselves just before the session came to a close.

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