Fall Creek Falls gets taste of politics

Posted By | July 28, 2018 9:05 am

By Tony Mitchell

July 13 was the time for a political “Meet and Greet” at Fall Creek Falls Community Center.

Everyone had an invitation to “Meet Your Candidate” hosted by the Fall Creek Falls Community Action Group. The rules were simple – each candidate had three minutes to illustrate his or her position and qualifications. The community center served a pulled pork plate for a $6 donation to help offset the operating cost. Mark Blankenship opened the celebration with a quick prayer and an appeal for one of the speakers to come forward.

There is a hot race brewing for Van Buren County sheriff between the incumbent, Eddie Carter, and a former deputy, Mark Evans. Carter approached this reporter ready to answer any question. He noted the 500-plus drug arrests during his term and a recent seizure of over 20 grams of methamphetamine. Carter expressed his pride in his team for successfully moving to the new jail, on July 12. They moved 43 prisoners without incident to the new 86-bed jail. Evans was not available after the presentation for questions.

Anne Quillen, who is making a push to take over the House seat for District 25, was there expounding on the necessity of deterrents for the opioid epidemic, in Tennessee. She also raised concern over the lack of communication in the state legislature.

“I am all about what is best for the people,” she said.

Additionally, Quillen said it seems the state has abandoned Bledsoe and Van Buren counties, otherwise, in her opinion, there would still be an inn at Fall Creek Falls State Park.

Dean Sparks, candidate for House District 31 (which includes Bledsoe, Rhea and Sequatchie counties), also expressed concern over the existing legislature. He voiced his apprehension by saying, “There is a particular agenda that our legislature is working on, and it’s not for the people here.”

All of the congressional candidates who spoke expressed a grave need for expanded Medicaid and deterrents to the opioid addiction crisis in the state. Angela Hedgecough, candidate for state senate seat District 15, explained that Tennessee is losing $1.4 million a day by not having expanded Medicaid.

Hedgecough said, “If you can’t get help from your representative, call me. I’ll help you, whether I’m in your district or not.”

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