State Representative Barrett Rich Announces Retirement

Wednesday, April 02, 2014
State Representative Barrett Rich (R–Somerville) announced on Wednesday he will not seek reelection to the Tennessee House of Representatives this year.

Rich said, "After much thought and discussion with family and friends, I have decided I will not seek reelection after serving three terms as state representative of House District 94.

"Without a doubt, I love the people of our community and I love serving as the voice of our district in Nashville. However, at this point, I have decided to devote the majority of my time to my little girl, Alexis. She was born two years after I began my service, and I have spent a large portion of her formative years on the road to Nashville. She now has two more years to go before entering school, and I want to be there for her in every way I possibly can.

"It has been an absolute privilege to serve as state representative, but it is not and should not be seen as a profession. Our state’s founders envisioned a legislature that would serve and then go home to live under the laws they pass, and this is a principle I fully support.

"When first elected, I promised to come to Nashville fulfill the desires of our community, and I believe these goals have been accomplished, including lowering taxes, reforming our state’s education system in a positive way, implementing tougher criminal penalties and laws, expanding Second Amendment rights, and always fighting to protect the sanctity of life and the unborn. It is my hope that my successor will continue this work to make our state an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.

"It has truly been an honor to participate in our state’s historic Republican supermajority, but it has been an even greater honor to serve the people of our district. Thank you for your confidence in me, and thank you for allowing me to serve you over the past six years."

Rep. Rich was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2008 and has held several positions of leadership within the legislature since that time. During his first term, Rep. Rich was elected as the Republican assistant floor leader and the freshman class president — a position chosen by the freshman class of legislators. During his second term, Rich was elected by the Republican Caucus as house majority whip, a role dedicated to spearheading the passage of major Republican legislative initiatives. In 2012, Rep. Rich was appointed chairman of the House Health Subcommittee by Speaker Beth Harwell.

In his role as state representative, Rep. Rich has been a strong advocate for creating an environment in the state where businesses can grow and thrive, a steadfast defender of the unborn, and resolute protector of our Second Amendment right to bear arms. In addition, Rep. Rich has championed legislation to impose stricter penalties for those who commit the most heinous of crimes, sponsored legislation to ban a statewide income tax, and helped lead the way in fighting the illegal production and distribution of methamphetamine across Tennessee. His personal legislation includes the Sexual Offender Loophole bill, which prevents sexual predators from contacting their victims. Other bills include reforming the state’s asset forfeiture laws and a rewrite of Tennessee’s criminal gang code to include such things as discharging weapons into habitations or random murders as an aggravating factor in imposition of the death penalty.

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