KINGSPORT — Tennessee 2nd House District GOP challenger Bud Hulsey named three co-chairmen Wednesday to serve in the place of campaign chairman Mike Locke. Locke was killed June 23 by an alleged hit-and-run drunk driver while Locke was placing campaign signs next to Fort Henry Drive.
Hulsey, a retired Kingsport police officer, faces incumbent Republican Tony Shipley in the Aug. 7 GOP primary.
Hulsey tabbed Locke's son, Hunter, plus Locke's brother William, who is the former Northeast State Community College president, and former Kingsport Alderman Hoyt Denton as campaign co-chairmen.
"I thank you so much for the prayers and support for the Locke family, for this campaign and for me, too." Hulsey said in a statement at his Market Street headquarters. "I get asked many, many times in the last week 'How are you going to replace Mike Locke?' I want you to know that I cannot replace him. This community cannot replace him."
Locke will remain as "chairman in memorial," Hulsey noted.
"People wondered if we would go on (with the campaign)," Hulsey added. "I want you to understand that Mike believed in me. He died believing in me. ... What we have to do to be successful is do what's necessary. That's exactly what we're going to do."
Locke had served the remainder of the late Keith Westmoreland's 2nd House District term in 2002.
The three newly appointed campaign co-chairs, said Hulsey, will help out with day-to-day activities previously handled by Locke.
"I don't know all the mechanisms of the legislature yet," Hulsey said. "We're picking up steam and getting our feet under us again."
Shipley was first elected in 2008.
The primary winner will face independent candidate J.R. Enfield in the November state election.
Early voting in the August GOP primary begins July 18 and ends Aug. 2.
The 2nd House District includes part of Kingsport, Colonial Heights, Indian Springs and Sullivan Gardens.comments powered by Disqus