Jackson seeks 6th District commission seat

From Staff Reports

   Ernest K. Jackson is announcing his candidacy for Carter County Commissioner for the 6th District, representing the Elk Mills, Little Milligan, Hampton and Valley Forge communities.
   Jackson said that after talking with people in his district, "I have heard so many say, 'We just don't have a choice' for county commissioner. My answer to that statement is you now have a 'choice.'
   "Our county is heading in a wrong direction. 'We the people' need to take back our communities from the 'political bosses' and 'poli-tricksters' who only seek to serve themselves," Jackson said.
   "I am not a politician and I have no desire to be one. I want to be known as a man for the people, not the politicians. I will be a commissioner who will not only look out for the people in the 6th District, but for the entire county," he said. "Government decisions must be brought about with good judgment and common sense."
   Jackson is active in his church, having served more than 15 years as the sound reinforcement director at Pleasant Beach Baptist Church.
   "We need more true Christian people to seek public office, not only in our county, but all across our land. If the Christian people do not take a stand, who will?" he said.
   "For too long, Christians have set around just waiting for some other Christian to do the job or to take a stand on the issues. The time is now! We are living in a different world since the 9/11 attack. We need to pull together, strengthen and pray for our country so that we can face this uncertain future which lies ahead."
   Jackson said he has a simple platform:
   * Jobs, jobs, jobs for Carter County with aggressive recruiting for new jobs and continued support for existing companies.
   * Lower taxes or no new taxes. "We need to work with what we have before adding additional tax burdens on the citizens."
   * An extensive review of each county job in order to determine if that job is obsolete, can be combined with another position and/or cross-trained.
   * Responsible spending practices. "We need government accountability to the citizens. Governments have the authority to pass new taxes; let's not abuse that authority."
   * Upgrading and maintaining our schools to 21st century standards. "Technology is here to stay and our children need to learn with technology, using the latest computer systems. In addition, they need to learn the basics combined with the latest technology and teaching methods."
   Jackson, the son of Eugene and Ella Mae Jackson of Valley Forge, is a lifelong resident of Carter County. He and his wife Cathy and son Robbie also live in Valley Forge. The couple have been proud foster parents just over a month.
   Jackson is a 1984 graduate of Hampton High School and attended East Tennessee State University. He is employed at WEMT-TV as a computer technician/programming assistant. Prior to his employment at WEMT, he served for 12 years at WJHL-TV as a master control room operator, beginning his broadcasting career at WBEJ radio as a weekend announcer, then serving as the station news director.
   Jackson serves on the executive board of directors of the Carter County Chapter of the American Red Cross. He is a Skywarn Spotter for the National Weather Service's Morristown office and has been an amateur radio operator since 1990. He was past volunteer public information officer for the Elizabethton-Carter County Civil Defense Agency from 1987 to January 1993.
   "The right men, not the right laws, are the keys to good government," Jackson said, quoting Proverbs 29:2: "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.
   "If you are tired of mourning and groaning, rejoice; you have a choice on Aug. 1," he said.