Blount County residents care about state government and that motivates him to work that much harder at his job as a state lawmaker, State Rep. Bob Ramsey said during a reception at the Blount County Public Library.
“The citizens of Blount County are deeply interested in state government and their expectations are very high,” Ramsey said. “It’s a challenge to meet those expectations.”
Ramsey kicked off his campaign on Oct. 26.
Ramsey was appointed by the Blount County commission to fill the unexpired term of State Rep. Doug Overbey after Overbey won a seat in the State Senate during the 2008 general election.
Ramsey said he is learning to appreciate the knowledge of lawmakers in Nashville, in particular his colleagues in the Blount delegation, Overbey and State. Rep. Joe McCord. “I’m finding the majority of state legislators to be very dedicated people,” he said. “I admire the legislators who have been there. They are skilled at taking care of the public.”
The job hasn’t been without a learning curve, he said. “The biggest challenge is understanding the dynamics of stage government because of the influence of the party system, which is different from local government,” Ramsey said. “I’m beginning to understand the process. To be effective demands cooperation, and there is a lot more of that cooperation than the public sees.”
Former Blount County Republican Party chair Dave Bennett said Ramsey means a lot to him as a legislator because the former county commission chair speaks with a conservative voice.
“Bob Ramsey is exactly the kind of citizen legislator we need. We need more people like him,” Bennett said. “Bob is a quiet, gifted person. He’s a great friend, and he takes all those views to Nashville with him.”
Jerome Moon of Blount County said leadership in the state House and Senate appreciate Ramsey. “All the state lawmakers are impressed with his depth of knowledge and how well he has picked up the fast pace of state legislature.”
Bill Campbell of Blount County said all he has seen and heard about Ramsey in the state legislature has been positive. “He was a good resolver of problems (on county commission),and he seems to have adjusted well to taking on this responsibility in the state house,” Campbell said.
Bob Ivens of Maryville said he has full confidence in Ramsey in part because the former commission chair has the same conservative message, whether he’s in Maryville or Nashville. “To me Bob Ramsey is a breath of fresh air in Nashville,” he said. “Bob says the same thing here as he says in Nashville,” he said.