Four new potential candidates have picked up petitions to run for the District 20 State House Seat incumbent Rep. Joe McCord is vacating at the end of his current term. At least two of the candidates must move into district.
• Dustin Jane Tipton, 23, Republican, of 812 Royal View Drive, Maryville, TN 37801, picked up a petition to run for the seat.
“I think it’s a great opportunity. I’m ready to step up and represent the residents of the 8th District,” said Tipton.
Tipton, the daughter of former Blount County Commissioner Darrell Tipton, said that while she has her core values to guide her, she also wants to hear what constituents think on the issues. “I’m excited to be meeting the residents,” she said.
Tipton acknowledged some may question her youth, but she said it is a strength. “I think I’ll bring a new perspective and a fresh look at the issues, and I’m ready for the challenge. We have Rep. Ryan Hogan in the House, and he is younger than me,” she said.
Tipton graduated from the University of Tennessee in December with a degree in logistics and marketing. She has been working with her father Darrell Tipton at his real estate firm, Realty III, in Maryville.
Helping spur on job growth in the state is important to Tipton. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to help graduates find jobs and help those who have jobs to keep them,” she said
• Art Swann, 57, Republican, 1507 Court St., Maryville, TN 37803, was District 20 State Representative from 1985 to 1989 before leaving the House as Republican Floor leader to tend to his family business. This time Swann, brother of Maryville City councilman Joe Swann, is running in the District 8 race and said much of the section of the county he represented then now falls within District 8. He is married to Janet Swann, and they have no children. “We’re going to move into the district within the next few weeks on property we own on Wagon Wheel Road,” Swann said.
Swann said he has had a lot of people encourage him to run. “I think it’s a difficult time for the state and lots of people are looking for someone with experience and for someone who has been there before and knows the lay of the land,” he said.
• Geoff King, 42, Republican, of 108 Regal Towers, Maryville, 37804, said he lives just outside the district but plans to move into District 20.
“I have every intention, and I’m not going to let that hold me back. The Maryville High School and University of Tennessee graduate is a former Blount County Sheriff’s deputy. He currently works with the Wackenhut Corporation and a subsidiary, Armor Group North America. He is the father of two boys, Jace, 8, and Jaron, 6.
King said he is running to continue the tradition of service McCord has shown in his time in the State House. “He’s a member of several committees. His representation of the people of Blount and Sevier counties in addition to everyone in the state are far reaching,” he said. “His dedication is something I’d like to continue.”
King said it is not enough just to use core values in making decisions but a lawmaker also must be able to listen. “I think things are such now you have to have bipartisanship,” he said. “You have to be willing to listen.”
• Timothy A. Purvis, 44, Republican, 4756 Wildwood Road, Maryville, 37804, is married to Jill Purvis and has two children, 6-year-old daughter Ella and 3-year-old son Micah.
Purvis is music minister at Monte Vista Baptist Church. He was born in Oklahoma, his family moved to California and then he graduated high school in Ohio. He attended Louisiana Tech University for three years before finishing at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He earned a masters degree in church music from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Ky.
Purvis moved to South Knoxville in 1991 and served as music and youth minister at Meridian Baptist Church before he moved to the Nashville area in 1999 and served at First Baptist Church Greenbrier until 2003 when he became music minister at Monte Vista Baptist.
Purvis said he opted to pick up papers for the District 8 State House seat after watching the political climate of late. “I look at what is happening in our political climate today and the direction it is going, and I believe we need to get back to our constitutional foundation of liberty, self reliance and a celebration free capitalism,” he said.
• Scott A. Hughes, Republican, 1403 Foxfire Circle, Seymour, TN 37865 picked up a petition but could not be reached for comment Wednesday morning.