Tim Hicks has launched his campaign for Washington County’s District Six seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives.
A recovered addict himself, Hick said his campaign is centered around the theme of a “fresh start.”
“Decades ago I struggled with drugs and alcohol, and my life had gotten really badly off track, but thankfully, God changed me and my priorities. The addiction epidemic is the challenge of our generation,” Hicks said, noting that 36 out of 1,000 babies are born addicted in Northeast Tennessee, an area that has “the second highest concentration of Suboxone clinics in the state.”
Hicks said he understands “personally what it takes for people to get a fresh start and recover from a life of addiction.” Hicks volunteers as a Celebrate Recovery Bible study leader, and his custom homebuilding business provides jobs for addicts in recovery.
Hicks believes there is an overlap between addiction issues and education and workforce development, and his campaign card draws links between “building hope” and “building homes” and “building workforce.”
“First, we need a fresh start for our schools,” Hicks said, calling for higher teacher pay. “Did you know that only 36 percent of third-graders are reading on or above their grade level? Tennessee teacher’s salaries are $6,500 less than the national average, and half of our border states pay more.”
“Right now we have far too many students who graduate with no path to a good job,” Hicks added. “The goal of Tennessee’s public education system should be job ready from graduation day.”
“If you learn a trade, you’ll always have a job” was a favorite saying of Hicks’s father.
“A job-ready workforce begins in high school,” Hicks said, and that requires “a fresh start for vocational, agricultural, and technical education.”
On more hot-button political issues, Hicks checks off all the usual boxes for a conservative Republican.
“I’m 100 percent pro-life, period,” he said. “I am pro-second amendment, no exceptions. I think we need to make government as limited and as local as possible, and sometimes that will mean Tennessee needs to stand up to the federal overreach. I believe the Constitution says what it says and doesn’t say what it doesn’t say, and I enthusiastically support our President, Donald J. Trump.”
Hicks serves on the Washington County Planning Commission and is active in the Tennessee Homebuilders Association. Accountant Charles Steagall will serve as the campaign’s treasurer.