Brad Thompson, a longtime community advocate for Northwest Tennessee, formally announced his candidacy for State Senate District 24 Friday citing his career of strengthening the area’s infrastructure and growing the local economy.
The district includes Benton, Carroll, Gibson, Henry, Obion and Weakley counties.
A civic leader, farmer, educator and Bible class teacher, Thompson said he will focus on results for working families, and he’ll work across party lines to ensure that each county in the district has the best opportunity for jobs growth.
“People have seen enough partisan bickering,” Thompson said. “I’ll put politics aside to make progress on what really matters – getting people back to work and making sure our children can get a high-quality education so they can compete for the jobs of the future.”
Thompson says he will consider a good idea from anyone “because good ideas are just that – good ideas – and they don’t come with a party label.”
Thompson also emphasized the importance of effective government with a high priority on personal service for citizens.
“I’m not a politician, I’m an advocate,” Thompson said. “For my entire career, I have been focused on results, and I have worked with people – Republicans and Democrats – in all of these counties to solve problems and to improve our communities. It is important to me to be that kind of public servant.”
A native of Obion County, Thompson served for many years as a top aide to Congressman John Tanner. During this time, he worked extensively on every major economic development project in Northwest Tennessee in recent years, including Interstate 69, the Port at Cates Landing, the Everett Stewart Regional Airport, the Spillway Project, Highway 79 from Paris to Dover/Clarksville, and Highway 79 from McKenzie to Milan.
Additionally, Thompson worked on a Rural Broadband Initiative with the Rural Utility Service for portions of Gibson and Carroll counties.
Thompson was instrumental in securing water and sewer line projects in the district during his tenure with Congressman Tanner, including a project in the Springville Community of Henry County that expanded access to clean water.
Thompson also has worked on tourism projects with Reelfoot Lake, Kentucky Lake, and the Carroll Lake project which all generate millions of dollars in tourism revenues to the region.
“I have been fortunate to work on so many great projects that lay the groundwork for future jobs in our counties,” Thompson said.
“In the State Senate, I will always be looking for opportunities to improve the lives for our people, and that starts with putting Tennessean back to work. I want to lead the effort to make sure that state contracts go to Tennessee companies first — to create jobs locally, not in China, India or Canada.”
Thompson serves as director of Community Development for the City of Martin. The Federal co-chair of the Delta Regional Authority, appointed Thompson to the Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy sponsored by the Delta Regional Authority, of which Governor Haslam is the Board Member for Tennessee.
The Delta Leadership Institute prepares emerging leaders across the Delta Region to meet the growing economic development challenges of the 21st century.
A member of the Funding Committee for the Discovery Park of America, Martin Rotary Club, and board member for Masquerade Theatre, he is also a former president of the Union City Jaycees, former President of the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Tennessee, a Leadership Obion County graduate, and is a WestStar Leadership program graduate.
A member of the NRA, Thompson is a graduate of the Union City Police Academy, and a member of the Drug Court Steering Committee for the 27th Judicial District.
Thompson resides in the Midway Community, between Union City and Martin, where he and his family have been long-time residents. He is a song leader and Bible teacher at Bishop Street Church of Christ in Union City. He has also taught devotionals and led singing at an area nursing home on a regular basis for many years. He also has been a leader of the United Way of Obion County and Chimes for Charity Drive, a local program to help children and the elderly in need at Christmas.
An adjunct professor at Bethel College teaching business courses with the Success program, Thompson earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business from UT-Martin and his Master of Public Administration, with an emphasis in Organizational Communication, from Murray State University.
Campaign headquarters will be opening in Historic Downtown Martin in June 2012, with planned satellite offices throughout the district in each of the other counties.