News Channel 11 distributed questionnaires to all congressional and state candidates who will appear on ballots in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia in the November election.

Below is the response we received from Cameron Parsons, who is running for Tennessee’s 1st Congressional District seat.

Early voting in Tennessee runs from Oct. 19 to Nov. 3. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Biographical information

Name: Cameron Parsons

Office running for: Tennessee’s 1st Congressional District

Age on election day: 33

Town/city: Kingsport

Party affiliation (if applicable): Democratic Party

Education: BS in biology, BA in history from UVA-Wise in 2013

Job history: I am currently a feedstock coordinator at Eastman Chemical Company (started at Eastman in 2013). I have previously worked as a lifeguard, cashier, and an editor for my college newspaper.

Political, community, or other relevant experience: I have no political experience, and I have never ran for any other office. I volunteer with United Way. I have volunteered to do water testing and other environmental projects previously.

Family (married? children?): Married in 2013 to Rachel Parsons. We have two daughters, Addison (age 6) and Kendall (age 2).

Candidacy questions:

Why are you running for this office?

I am running for office because I want to ensure that future generations of Americans are able to enjoy all the same freedoms and benefits that we have now. I want our government to work for the people of this country regardless of what political party is in power. I want to see politicians held accountable to the law and the people that they represent

What makes you qualified to hold this office?

I am not a politician, I am an American citizen that wants what is best for our country. I am able to balance a budget, which is more than most politicians. I will work with Democrats and Republicans to make sure that the people of our district have our voices heard. I know how government is supposed to work, and I will help those that seem to have forgotten that. I will be the hardest working official in Congress, and I will be working for you.

Why should voters elect or re-elect you over your opponent(s)? What sets you apart from your opponent(s)? (Specify if unopposed)

The biggest difference between me and my opponent is that I am not running to trade stocks with inside knowledge, play golf, be a career politician, or be a lobbyist later in life. I am running to represent the people of this district. I support saving Social Security, making safer and stronger election laws, better healthcare for veterans, limits on political donations, term limits for politicians, lower taxes for working Americans, ensuring that we have a strong military, and promoting American businesses and technologies. We can fight illegal immigration by targeting human traffickers and employers that illegally employ and exploit these immigrants. We can prevent abortions by providing family planning services, adoption assistance, and better healthcare for pregnant women and children. We can do so much better as a country if we focus on common sense legislation. Not every issue needs to be a fight, and we can make key compromises before small problems become disasters. I am ready and willing to help. I will do my best to help the people that live in this district.

If elected or re-elected, what would be your top two or three priorities during your new term and what is your plan of action for each?

Hopefully, Congress will pass legislation to save Social Security, ensure that every legal voter is able to have their vote counted in an election, established term limits, and passed a balanced budget before I am elected. I will work with any member of Congress, regardless of political affiliation. I will work as long as it takes to ensure we have well-crafted legislation that does what is supposed to do, without hidden clauses or hundreds of pages that no one will read. I will work on committees to make sure we have all the best available information for these laws.

Is there anything else you would like voters to know?

I am just like you all. I don’t have a mountain of money, secret political insiders helping me, or anything like that. I am a husband, a father, an American, and I want to represent our district in Congress. I will work harder than any elected official to make sure we the people are in charge of our government, and to hold our officials accountable.

Fun question: What is your favorite thing about Northeast Tennessee?

I have always been an outdoor person, and we have some of the most beautiful outdoor spaces in this country. Mountains, water, farms, forests, trails. Anytime I travel out of the area, I am always happy to see the mountains again.

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