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Hawkins mayoral race: Markhams' top priorities: budget, schools, jobs and war on drugs

Jeff Bobo • Jul 20, 2018 at 1:58 PM

ROGERSVILLE  — There are six candidates on the ballot for the Aug. 2 Hawkins County mayoral election as well as one official write-in candidate, and each has been profiled by the Times News individually this past week.

On July 9, all seven candidates were asked the same five questions and asked to return their answers by the end of last week.

The Times-News ran those responses in the order they were received: John Neubert-I; David Bailey-D; Dennis Deal-I; Danny Breeding-I; Jim Lee-R; Roy Spears-I. The series concludes today with Republican Kelly Markham, who lost his primary race in May but has qualified as an official write-in candidate.

Kelly Markham: Why are you running for Hawkins County mayor?

God has blessed Linda and me with 5 children and 8 grandchildren. Our desire is for them to work and raise their families in our beautiful county. I want the privilege to serve the people of Hawkins County. My leadership, management, and budget experience, my educational background, and my passion for our county are just some of the credentials that will guide me in making the right decision for our county. I will strive to earn the respect of each of you by listening to your concerns, evaluating the facts, and providing honest fact-based feedback. My skills, willingness to work hard, and love for Hawkins County will make a positive difference.

Please list your past employment experience, educational background, past political experience if any, and any other special skills that will serve you well as Hawkins County mayor.

Associate Degree in Industrial Engineering, Walter State. BS in Organizational Management, Tusculum College. 35 years managing four manufacturing support departments (this includes budgets, projects, salary and hourly employees and contractor.) Business Owner. IIKA Board member. Superintendent at Tunnel Hill Baptist Church.

What are your top priorities, and/or the main goals you hope to achieve if elected?

Strong Leadership — As mayor I will be a confident leader that involves all team partners in the decision making process. Budget — I will work as a team player to eliminate waste, spend smart, and work to reduce the tax burden on Hawkins County citizens. Schools — As mayor, I would work to maintain and improve the quality of education in our county. We are working on safety and security, but I think we all have to get involved in protecting our kids. Jobs — As Mayor, I would work with the Industrial Development Board to promote and sale our county to all newcomers. I would meet with small businesses and industry leaders to know and understand their need to grow. War on drugs — The sheriff department is working hard and making a difference. As mayor I would be a part of prayer circles and work to educate our community on fighting the war on drugs.

What can the mayor do to attract more industry, jobs and commercial development to Hawkins County?

If elected mayor, I would support the Hawkins County Industrial Board and be a part of new industrial development. Industrial growth is the key to reducing the tax burden on our citizens. I think the mayor’s responsibility is to promote and sell our beautiful county to all new comers. I would visit the small businesses owners and plant managers to understand what the county needs to do to help them grow. I have ideals that I will share with the board that I think will help. The industrial board has good leadership that is headed in the right direction. Our President has paved the way for industrial growth and we should work hard to get our share. I am willing to do what it takes to help the county grow.

Why are you the best person for this job?

I think that I am the best person for this job because I have a work history and education that have prepared me for the job. I have proven myself to be hardworking and trustworthy in my dealings with my family, friends, coworkers, and fellow Hawkins County residents and can be trusted to do my best with integrity. I have been blessed to live and work in Hawkins County my whole life. I have lots of family and friends who live here and I want Hawkins County to be successful. I want my 8 grandkids to grow up in our county with quality schools, good paying jobs and a drug free environment. I would be honored to serve as Hawkins County Mayor to work with my friends and family to keep our county great and take advantage of opportunities to improve.

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