Wins Handily In
The 5th District;
Faison Wins Easily
BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
Republican incumbent state Rep. David Hawk will return to the 5th District seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives after winning re-election to a sixth term by a comfortable margin on Tuesday.
Unofficial tallies by the Greene County Election Commission office indicate that Hawk defeated Democrat Eddie Yokley with 58 percent of the vote to Yokley's 42 percent.
All of the 5th District is in Greene County, including Greeneville itself.
Republican incumbent state Rep. Jeremy Faison, of Cosby, won the local vote for the 11th District seat, with 72 percent of the vote over Democratic opponent Marjorie Ramsey, of Newport, who received 28 percent.
This will be Faison's second term in office.
Most of the population in the 11th District is in other counties, especially Cocke County, and Faison won both there and district-wide by wide margins.
HAWK: 57.9% OF VOTE
Hawk received 11,559 votes, or 57.96 percent of the total vote.
Yokley received 8,281 votes, or 41.53 percent.
There were also 102 write-in votes, for a total of 19,942 who cast their ballot in the race.
Hawk, a former Greeneville businessman, has held the 5th District seat since 2002.
'HUMBLED AND HONORED'
"I'm so humbled and honored to receive such a tremendous vote from Greene County," Hawk said in an interview following a warm greeting by Greene County Republicans at their headquarters late Tuesday night.
"I've run the campaign talking about the good works that we've been able to accomplish over the last 10 years. I think that voters responded to the campaign.
"I'm looking forward to continuing my service and working to help Greene County in even greater ways in the future."
Hawk emphasized jobs as he looks to once again head into office, sharing his desire to aid industrial, retail and dining establishments that may be interested in locating in Greene County.
"I pledge to provide whatever resources I can as a state legislator to match the right administrative departments with the industries we're looking to recruit to make sure we've got the infrastructure that we need," Hawk pledged.
Looking back over the campaign and recent months, Hawk noted that the percentage of votes he received in this race brought him almost full-circle back to his first contested race.
"This race really gets me back to grassroots," he said. "The first contested race I ran, when I was victorious, I got 55 percent of the vote.
"This takes me back to my political starting point and brought me back to my roots of getting into communities and talking to people. I love grassroots politicking; it was truly an enjoyable campaign."
Although enjoyable, he admitted that it was also "rough" and "not pretty" at times.
His high-profile matchup with Yokley, a former state Representative in the 11th District, had been the most watched local race on the ballot.
Tensions were often high during the race, with both the Tennessee Republican Party and, to a much lesser extent, the Tennessee Democratic Party sending out "negative" mailers attacking the opposing party's candidate.
While most of the Republican Party's mailers related to Yokley's voting record during his terms in the 11th District, those against Hawk focused on a recent domestic assault charge.
The domestic assault charge is in connection with an incident in March involving Hawk and his wife.
Hawk pleaded not guilty to that charge in March and has continued to maintain his innocence against the allegations made by his wife, attorney Crystal Goan Hawk.
The Greene County Criminal Court Grand Jury is scheduled to consider the case later this month or in December.
In a separate matter, U.S. Magistrate Judge William B. Mitchell Carter ruled July 19 in a civil case in federal court that Crystal Hawk violated both the federal Wiretap Act and the Tennessee Wiretap Act by installing spyware on the computers of her former husband, J. Roy Klumb, without his knowledge, for the purpose of intercepting his e-mail.
The ruling was based on evidence presented by the opposing parties in a December 2011 bench trial. The civil case grew out of a civil lawsuit filed by Klumb, a former Greeneville businessman, against his former wife.
In his sometimes very critical 46-page judgment in the matter, Judge Carter also found that Crystal Hawk had falsified documents including a prenuptial agreement she had signed with Klumb before they were married in 2006
On Oct. 8, Crystal Hawk filed an appeal of the judge's ruling with the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.
HAWK: MOVING FORWARD
On Tuesday, both Hawk and Yokley disavowed the mailers, saying that they set a tone to the campaign that neither intended.
They pointed to their respective parties as the source of the negative messages.
Hawk noted that he is moving forward with confidence that the domestic assault charge will not interfere with his role in the legislature, as he continues to maintain his innocence.
"I want to congratulate Mr. Yokley on working so hard, and congratulate all his volunteers on being very competitive. They were passionate about their candidate," he concluded.
"I think it was good for the local process to see that."
Yokley served the 11th District from 2002-2010 but now lives in the 5th District following redistricting by the Tennessee General Assembly that followed the 2010 U.S. Census.
He said that this may be his last election, as he is now ready to turn his attention to working for himself on his farm, serving as an auctioneer, and spending more time with his family.
"I've enjoyed it," he said. "I want to thank everyone that has helped me. I've enjoyed over 20 years of positive experience in politics."
Yokley said he called and left Hawk a message of congratulations on his victory.
Had he taken office in this election, Yokley said he would have focused on changes to laws surrounding campaign materials that might prevent any information in support of a candidate that has not been formally approved by that candidate.
He added that he would have also liked to have addressed campaign finances, making them more open to public understanding and addressing the so-called "super PACs."
Now, he said, he will look to Hawk to address those issues as his state Representative.
Although he may not run another campaign, Yokley did express interest in staying active in local politics.
"I think I owe that to my community to be active and to inform them of what's being done," he said. "We need to make things more easy for everybody to understand on any type of legislation that's being passed.
"Looking back again, I've just got to thank people. I've had a great experience in politics, being a public servant.
"I don't regret it."
FAISON: 72.3% OF VOTE
In Greene County, Faison received 72.3 percent of the vote in his six precincts in this county, for a total of 1,667 local votes in his favor.
Ramsey received 635 Greene County votes for 27.5 percent of the vote.
In addition, there were four write-in votes, for a total of 2,306 votes cast in the 11th District election in this county.
As noted above, most of the population in the 11th District is in other counties.
Faison carried Cocke County 7,006 to 3,156, and carried Jefferson County 3,796 to 1,488.
Thus, the district totals for the two candidates totaled: Faison, 12,469; Ramsey, 5,279.
Faison was celebrating his victory in a few precincts along the western Greene and Cocke County border.
"Thank you very much," he said. "It's a true honor to be able to represent the 11th District in Nashville."
He promised to move forward with a focus on stopping so-called pill mills, fostering business and promoting education.
"My first term, I made some mistakes, and I know I've made some mistakes," he said. "I'm human, and I want to do everything I can to be a better ear here at home and a better voice in Nashville."
He emphasized that he can be reached with concerns from citizens at 615-741-6871.
RAMSEY STAYS UPBEAT
Democratic opponent Marjorie Ramsey also had high spirits during her interview with The Greeneville Sun on Tuesday night.
"I am doing great," she said. "I am ready to fight tomorrow."
She also excitedly noted the electoral college vote that was still strengthening at the time for President Barack Obama's re-election.
"I'll be fighting tomorrow," she added. "I'm not a person that lays down. I'll stand for the right thing and I'll work toward the right thing."
Complete precinct-by-precinct voting totals for Greene County are on Page A-8 and online at http://www.greenevillesun.com