Mike Faulk, R-Church Hill.
Tennessee state Sen. Mike Faulk announced Thursday he won’t seek re-election after one term in office.
Faulk, R-Church Hill, made the announcement during a video meeting with Surgoinsville Middle School students streamed live via Skpe over the Internet. He had been non-committal about his political future during a similar meeting with students last month.
“My ailing mother and my business need me more than the Senate needs me,” Faulk, an attorney, said of his decision in a prepared release. “Most folks understand the need to care for a gravely ill parent. Being at her side is a higher priority of mine than campaigning for reelection for the next eight months."
In regard to his law practice, Faulk added: “For the past three years, having time to work in my business after first doing my Senate responsibilities has been a struggle. As a solo attorney, I need to work much, much more over the next four years to keep my business going.”
Faulk also noted his term-limits pledge was a part of his decision.
“As candidate Faulk, I told folks I’d serve a term or two. I’ll be keeping that promise by becoming citizen Faulk,” Faulk added.
“Serving in the State Senate has been the highest honor of my lifetime. Every single day I’ve learned something new about the special privilege I’ve been given. I will be eternally grateful for that privilege.”
During his first term, Faulk had risen to chair the Senate Calendar Committee which channels legislation to the Senate floor for key votes.
Faulk, a former Hawkins County commissioner, defeated independent Mike Williams of Maynardville in 2008 for a four-term term in the 4th Senatorial District seat.
Faulk is this year’s sponsor of a controversial National Rifle Association-advocated bill to allow employees to have locked up weapons in their personal vehicles on company property.
Faulk’s district includes Claiborne, Grainger, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, and Union counties.