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 Tim Hicks, who is running for re-election to the Tennessee House District 6 seat.

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

Biographical information

Name: Tim Hicks

Office running for (including district): State Representative District 6

Age on election day: 59 years old

Town/city: Gray/Johnson City

Party affiliation (if applicable): Republican

Education: Graduated from Daniel Boone H.S.

Job history:

Owner, Hicks Construction

112th General Assembly, Education, Transportation, and Health Committees

Family (married? children?) Married to Keri; son, Kyle; daughter-in-law, Gretchen; grandson, Keegan; and granddaughter Libby

Candidacy questions

Why are you running for office?

I’m running for re-election for the same reasons I first ran two years ago. For me, it’s about building hope for the mental health, addiction, and workforce challenges that impact almost every issue we face in Washington County, and building the right relationships in Nashville to be able to make a difference on those issues statewide.

What makes you qualified to hold this office?

I understand the people of Washington County because I’m one of them. I’ve always worked for myself, with my own hands, and signed both the back and front sides of the paycheck. I understand the importance of faith, hard work, honesty, integrity, and treating people like I want to be treated, and those same values are how you get things done in Nashville. More personally, I understand what it is to build hope through faith-based addiction recovery paired with the dignity of a job. That’s a path that I’ve followed by God’s grace, and I’ve been blessed to help lead many others along that path.

Why should voters elect or re-elect you over your opponent? What sets you apart from your opponent?

Two years ago, you elected me to represent you with hard work and common sense. That started with building relationships and earning the respect of my colleagues in Nashville. By doing that, I have managed to pass meaningful legislation.

First, we have created new opportunities for our students to be work-ready from graduation day by making sure vocational opportunities start in the seventh grade (HB 1446) and creating opportunities for students in their freshman year of high school to be able to dual enroll in our TCAT trade and technical schools (HB 2152).

Second, I was blessed to step in to something that was already being worked on by our local mayors and judges, the Northeast Tennessee Recovery Center, and I was able to work with Governor Lee to secure the Carter County Work Camp that closed in 2020 for a location. Addiction is an ongoing epidemic in our region, and this will program will provide an alternative to jail for those struggling with substance abuse disorder.

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?

You can’t really plan economic growth, but you can prepare for it. We are experiencing a lot of inbound population growth here in Washington County, and our infrastructure isn’t ready for it. Washington County has done an excellent job keeping our roads up, but we haven’t built many new roads in some time. I believe we, as a state, will need to come up with new funding for road projects, and I want to make sure we in Washington County, get our fair share of new projects. Sewer, water, and broadband will also be critical moving forward.

I believe the decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, which I totally support, will create more issues with adoption here in Tennessee. We have to make it easier for qualified parents to adopt children. I have also heard estimates that NAS (neonatal abstinence syndrome) babies could double or triple in Tennessee. With 10% of our babies in Northeast Tennessee being born addicted to drugs, this could become a huge issue. Opening up adoption will help build hope.

I want to continue to protect the constitutional rights of Tennesseans, and sometimes that means the State of Tennessee has to tell Washington it is overstepping its bounds. There’s nothing as important as our freedom and our liberties. We have to start educating our students about the importance of this instead of teaching them to tear it down.

Is there anything else you would like the voters to know?

Tennessee has some of the lowest debt and taxes, is the most financially stable, and has the fastest-growing economy anywhere in America. I’m committed to the same conservative principles that have gotten us to this point.

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

Sometimes we may take it for granted, but we are blessed on so many fronts. We really have lots of fun things to do here. If you like biking, fishing, hiking, or bluegrass, we have it! Northeast Tennessee is becoming a great place for tourism. We are not set on one or two big entities making or breaking us. We have a lot of variety in the workforce. We have lots of job openings. We have people from all walks of life, and we have always seemed to get along here. By God’s grace, I believe our best days are still ahead of us.

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