Just a Thought — John Tanner has left lasting mark on northwest Tennessee

Just a Thought — John Tanner has left lasting mark on northwest Tennessee

Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 9:01 pm
By: David Critchlow Jr.

Just a Thought — John Tanner has left lasting mark on northwest Tennessee | Just a Thought — John Tanner has left lasting mark on northwest Tennessee
Thank you, John.
That’s John, as in Tan-ner.
He has represented Obion County for more than 30 years, first as a Tennessee state representative and then as our congressman.
For 22 years, he held the same congressional seat  Davy Crockett occupied.
While Crockett’s exploits are legendary as a frontiersman of the 1800s, Tanner’s legacy is service to the people of the 8th Congressional District.
He’s left his mark all over northwest Tennessee with many projects that will continue to come to fruition years after he’s left office.
• A new spillway that has been decades in the works is under construction and could very well save one of our most recognizable natural resources — Reelfoot Lake.
• The Cates Landing River Port, which is also under construction and is expected to be completed in 18 months, has the potential to bring in thousands of jobs — and the timing could not have been much better with the announced closing of the Union City Goodyear plant.
• Interstate 69, which will come through Obion County and include a proposed nine local interchanges, has the potential to attract additional industries looking for convenient interstate access.
Tanner has been a driving force behind all of these major projects.
There are countless other projects he has been behind and countless individuals he and his staff have helped through the years. He will be missed; they will be missed.
Does this mean I have agreed with every vote he’s cast or legislation he has supported? No.
But then again, I don’t know of any lawmaker whose votes I’ve agreed with 100 percent of the time — Republican, Democrat or Independent and that’s on the local, state and national levels.
I’ve supported members of both parties through the years.
As long as they are making a concerted effort to do what’s best for our county, region, state and country, then they have my support.
John has put forth that concerted effort and his overall record is one of a fiscally conservative lawmaker whose loyalties lie with his home district.
That’s not to say he has not earned the respect of others outside the district, as well as outside of the Democratic Party.
A few years ago, I was  getting out of my truck in a parking lot in Nashville when a gentleman noticed my Obion County license plate.
He asked me, “So you’re from John Tanner country?”
“Yes, I am,” I responded proudly.
He proceeded to tell me how he tried to get the congressman defeated in an election a few years earlier by backing a Republican candidate.
“Well, of course I ended up being on the wrong side of that one,” the Republican said with a laugh. “And then later on, I needed some help on something. I didn’t like my chances, but I called John anyway.
“He couldn’t have been nicer. He was able to put party politics aside and help me out and I respect him tremendously for that because that’s not always easy to do.”
Similar stories about Tanner from both sides of the political fence are commonplace and, in this day and time of selfish political rancor, we need more of that.
From his serving as president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly to helping secure major projects in the 8th Congressional District to assisting constituents throughout the district with their individual needs, he has represented us well.
His body of work is to be commended. John Tanner is to be commended.
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Editor David Critchlow Jr. may be contacted by e-mail at dgc@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 3.30.11

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