WHAT: Running for Sullivan County Commission for one of three District 11 seats.
WHY: At 29, Hunter Locke, of Kingsport, has been involved in community service for nearly half of his life. Locke, son of the late Mike Locke — a former state representative and well-known businessman — became a member of the Warrior’s Path Volunteer Fire Department when he was 15. After graduating from Dobyns-Bennett in 2006, he studied emergency management at Northeast State and began working for Sullivan County EMS in 2007 and remained an employee there until 2011. In addition, he’s a longtime volunteer (started at 18 while still in high school) and past board member with the Kingsport Life Saving Crew, where he’s a recovery diver on the dive team. He’s also a deputy Sullivan County coroner and has served on the advisory board for the Kingsport Salvation Army.
“I’ve always has passion for helping other people,” Locke, an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician, told the Times News in an interview last week. “I credit that with what I learned from my superiors, the older generation, including my dad and my uncle (Dr.Bill Locke, former president of Northeast State). I’ve always been a forward-thinking guy. So was my dad and so was my uncle. I feel what they taught me, I can put to use for the people of Sullivan County.”
This is Hunter’s first try at elected office. We asked why he picked county commission, rather than, say, a city alderman seat.
“My history of service so far has been with a broader area than just the city,” Locke said. “My work has been more about service to people throughout the county. I understand how county government works. There already are some younger faces in city government. I’d like to help bring a fresh perspective to county government.”
For the past eight years, Locke has worked at Rick Hill Imports.
WHEN: Locke is a Republican and has picked up a petition seeking a spot on the GOP ballot for the party’s primary which is in May (as is the Democratic Party Primary). Most county offices are on the ballot for the party primaries, including all 24 seats on the Sullivan County Commission. The deadline to file is Feb. 15. Winners of the party primaries will advance to the General Election which is in August, where they will face off with each other, as well as any candidates who file to run as independents. For more information about the upcoming elections, visit www.scelect.org.