Vince Dean is out. Marc Gravitt is in. That’s the nut of a pair of campaign announcements in the past week.
Dean will run for the Republican nomination in Hamilton County’s Criminal Court clerk race. As a result, he will leave behind an eight-year career as a legislator in Tennessee’s General Assembly at the end of the 2014 session.
Dean made the announcement while flanked by family and Republican officeholders on the steps of the county courthouse Thursday. The former city councilman cited his experience as a police officer and nodded to his political upbringing.
“I came out of East Ridge politics unscathed. That in and of itself is a feat,” he said.
If East Ridge politics was a crucible for Dean prior to holding state office, then who better to run in his stead than another councilman who has passed the same test?
Enter Gravitt. On Veterans Day at the Pachyderm Club, he was joined by his wife and Dean when he announced a run for the GOP nomination in the state House of Representatives 30th District. The Red Bank-raised military veteran pointed to his business experience and religious upbringing to prepare him for higher office.
These experiences “helped shape and mold many of the conservative values I have, and they are the drivers on why I’m making this announcement,” he said in prepared remarks.
Republicans have held the seat since at least 1990, election records show. Consisting of East Ridge, Apison, Collegedale and parts of Brainerd, 30th District voters favored Mitt Romney over Barack Obama almost 2-to-1 in 2012, precinct results show.
Gravitt is the first candidate to announce a run for the 30th District seat.