East Ridge Commissioner Marc Gravitt is the first to announce to run for the House District 30 seat being vacated by Rep. Vince Dean.
Commissioner Gravitt made his announcement at a meeting of the Pachyderm Club on Monday.
He was introduced by Rep. Dean, who is running for Criminal Court clerk.
Commissioner Gravitt, 47, is the owner of Gravitt Auction.
He told the club members, "For those of you who do not know me, my name is Marc Gravitt. As I look out in this room today, I see a room full of passionate conservatives, many of whom are here today to support me as I make an announcement about my future in politics.
"As many of you know, I’m a longtime small business owner that currently serves on the East Ridge City Council. What you probably don’t know is that I come from a family of entrepreneurs. Some of you may remember the TerrDon restaurant on Rossville Boulevard. it was owned by my great -grandmother and great-aunt in the 1970’s, and my father, Ken, started his small business – Gravitt Realty and Auction – in 1976.
"This entrepreneurial spirit continues today as I have operated my own successful small business for almost 20 years – a business that has blessed me with ample opportunities to give back to this community and serve others in ways I never dreamed of.
"Today is also Veteran’s Day. This day is a special to me as I served our country in the U.S Army for six years. If you know a veteran or see one today, I hope you will take a moment and thank them for their service to our country.
"While my family has its roots in the East Lake and East Ridge area, I actually lived in East Brainerd prior to moving to East Ridge. As a member of Christ United Methodist Church, I had the honor of serving on the church council for three years where I was also blessed to meet and eventually marry my wife Cleo. Today, Cleo continues to teach at Notre Dame High School, while my son, Jason, lives in Knoxville, and my daughter, Kensley, attends UTC.
"I mentioned all of these experiences because they helped shape and mold many of the conservative values I have, and they are the drivers on why I’m making this announcement. Next to me is my beautiful wife, Cleo, and I’m honored to have her by my side as I officially announce my candidacy for the District 30 seat to the Tennessee House of Representative.
"Some in this room have asked why I’m running for this state office. First, I believe we need a strong, passionate conservative voice to continue the work State Representative Vince Dean has started in Nashville for the citizens of District 30. As a small business owner, I understand that government does not create jobs; businesses do as they are the backbone of our local and state economies. My experiences as a small business owner have shown me how to make a payroll, manage complex budgets and negotiate contracts to get the most for less. This perspective is something I believe is important when advocating common sense, conservative solutions to the issues facing our state and community.
"While I will bring my own personal, conservative values to District 30, my campaign will focus on four primary areas:
· Smaller, More Effective Government
· Jobs and Economic Development
· Education Reforms
· Tax Reforms
"I look forward to speaking on these and other important issues in the coming weeks and months as I visit with residents and businesses throughout the District. One thing is clear… we are losing a strong, conservative voice as Rep. Vince Dean begins his next campaign. It’s a challenge to fill his shoes, but it’s a challenge that I’m willing to undertake. This election does matter and by electing another strong, conservative voice in District 30, we can ensure that the work started by Rep. Dean, House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick and others in the GOP delegation will continue into the future."
While the primary for this seat isn’t until August 2014, I am here today to ask for your prayers and support as I embark on this journey to serve the people of District 30. I’m Marc Gravitt, and I’m running for District 30 State Representative.
Marc Gravitt makes announcement at Pachyderm
- Photo2 by John Shackleford