Sen. Crowe announces he will seek fourth term

By Bob Robinson

Star Staff

   State Sen. Rusty Crowe announced yesterday he is seeking a fourth term, representing Carter and Washington counties, in the Tennessee General Assembly.
   "I am afraid I may be losing Johnson County in my senatorial district due to population growth in the district," Sen. Crowe told the Elizabethton Star at a reception held for him last night in Johnson City.
   Why does he wish to be re-elected to the State Senate?
   "I am proud to have worked for my constituents in Washington, Carter and Johnson counties over the years. I am also proud to have worked with State Rep. Ralph Cole of Elizabethton, Representatives David Davis and Bob Patton of Johnson City and Jason Mumpower of Johnson County. Together, we have been able to accomplish great things for the people of East Tennessee.
   "When I was first elected, I made a promise that East Tennessee would not be forgotten. The late Sen. Herman Robinson of Elizabethton, your dad, did a great job of not letting East Tennessee be forgotten.
   "Ralph (Cole) and I have as well. We have accomplished a great deal and brought home millions of dollars in projects to the district which probably would not have been brought home with a team effort.
   "I am proud to throw my hat into the political ring for a fourth term. As you may know, this will be my second time as a Republican. The first two times as a Democrat.
   "As we move into the 21st century, from a budget and revenue perspective, it is critical. We must find a way to fix education and economic development in East Tennessee. We have seen too many jobs leaving due to NAFTA and other legislation enacted by Congress.
   "Business is being taken away from East Tennessee and we must find a way to get us back on track. The bottom line, we must find a way to stop all the negativism we are hearing from our leaders in Nashville. Consumers are withdrawing from the economy because they are scared. Yet, there are so many positives.
   "At the state level, we need to manage better, manage differently and fix and reform those programs that need to be fixed. We must find ways to bring in new money, a fair balance, in a constitutional way.
   "I am listening to my constituents and represent them the way they desire. I am keeping my promises to them and trying to bring about change...moving us into 21st century by listening to them and taking the path I think is right."
   Has your position changed on a State Income Tax?
   "I promised I wouldn't support it and my position has not changed. I sincerely believe it (state income tax) is not constitutional. One should not violate the State Constitution in a system of government.
   "We can achieve tax reform if we allow the people to be a part of a constitutional approach. That's the only way to move forward with a State Income Tax, if people are allowed to vote on it themselves," Sen. Crowe said.
   A native of Washington County, Sen. Crowe attended Washington College Academy and University School in Johnson City. He received his B.S. degree from East Tennessee State University and earned his law degree while working for the FBI.
   A veteran of the Vietnam War, Sen. Crowe worked in higher education for 21 years and served as assistant commissioner for the Department of Corrections under former Gov. Ned McWherter.
   Crowe and his wife, Sarah, have two children, Katie and John. He was first elected to the State Senate in 1990.