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May 2019
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Rose Reaffirms the President’s Authority to Build the Wall

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Rose voted again today to support President Trump’s efforts to build a wall. Rose’s support of the President’s authority came as he voted against House Democrats’ efforts to override the President’s veto of a bill intended to block the President’s emergency declaration to secure the border.

“In order to protect the funding for the border wall that President Trump secured by declaring a national emergency at our southern border, I voted against Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s latest attempt to terminate President Trump’s ability to declare such an emergency. I support the President’s authority to declare a national emergency to resolve the crisis at our nation’s border.  This emergency declaration is fully within the President’s lawful powers, and I stand with the people of Tennessee’s Sixth Congressional District in our shared desire to fully secure our border.”

The President, following recommendations by national security officials, requested $5.7 billion to secure our southern border. Democrats refused to meet the President’s funding requests, allocating only $1.3 billion. Following this, the President declared a national emergency on February 15 invoking powers granted to the President under federal statute.

The House Democratic Majority responded by bringing legislation to the House Floor on February 26 to terminate the President’s emergency declaration, which Congressman Rose voted against. The bill passed the House over Congressman Rose’s opposition and then passed the Senate, but was vetoed by President Trump on March 15.

Today, Congressman Rose’s vote against Speaker Pelosi’s failed attempt to override the President’s veto (requiring a two-thirds majority vote) reaffirmed his support for President Trump and the emergency funding for a wall to secure our southern border.

Congressman John Rose represents Tennessee’s Sixth Congressional District and resides in Cookeville with his wife, Chelsea, and their son, Guy. The Sixth District includes Cannon, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Robertson, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, White, and Wilson counties as well as portions of Cheatham and Van Buren counties.

Carthage City Council appoints new city attorney during special-called meeting

The Carthage City Council appointed Todd Moore, an attorney from Brentwood, Tennessee, to replace outgoing city attorney David Bass.

The Carthage City Council selected a new city attorney during a special-called meeting on the evening of Thursday, March 21, 2019.

The need to appoint a new city attorney arose after current city attorney David Bass announced his resignation during the March meeting of the council. Bass has served as the Carthage City Attorney for over 20 years.

Bass will continue acting as city attorney until April 1, 2019.

During the special-called meeting, three candidates—all from outside of Smith County—interviewed for the city attorney position.

Mr. Jim Judkins, Mr. Todd Moore, and Mr. Tom Walsh all addressed the council and then fielded questions from council members and the mayor. 

After the interviews were conducted, the council voted 4:1 to appoint Todd Moore as the new city attorney.

Todd Moore has spent over 25 years counseling individuals, businesses and local governments and trying cases involving land use, zoning, eminent domain, corporate formation and dissolution, contracts, risk management, asset protection, wills, trusts, and estate planning matters.

Todd has several clients that he has advised for many years including the municipalities of Thompson’s Station, Chapel Hill, and Brentwood, Tennessee, each of which he has represented for over a decade. Todd has also worked with dozens of local businesses and hundreds of individuals and families since founding his private practice in Williamson County in 2000.

Todd grew up in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, and is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis (B.A. History, 1989), and the University of Tennessee College of Law (J.D., 1992). He lives in Brentwood with his wife Christie and their two children, Jim and Mollie.

Mr. Moore requested that Mr. Bass stay on until the end of the month so that the two attorneys could work together to help Mr. Moore familiarize himself with the working of the city and the issues it is dealing with.

Mr. Moore will take over for Mr. Bass on April 1, 2019. 

During the meeting, the council also voted 4:1 to allow Mr. Les Fisher to purchase a new utility truck for the city Public Works department.

The council also voted to opt-in to Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) for retired employees after determining that no liability or cost would fall to the city and the council could opt-out at a later date if they so desired.

You can watch the full special-called meeting of the Carthage City Council below.

Smith County Democratic Party to hold Biennial Reorganization Convention to elect leaders on April 6, 2019

The Smith County Democratic Party will hold a Biennial Reorganization Convention to elect leaders on Saturday, April 6, 2019. 

Doors open for registration at 1:00 p.m. Convention start time is 2:00 p.m. at the Smith County Chamber of Commerce, located at 939 Upper Ferry Road in Carthage, Tennessee.

Local Democrats will elect a Chairperson, Vice Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer, and the Executive Committee for a two-year term. 

All Democratic residents eligible to vote in Smith County are urged to attend to discuss the party’s agenda and events for 2019-20. 

Attendees will evaluate the effectiveness of the county party bylaws and leadership, determining our needs, electing leaders and enacting reforms to build a stronger grassroots organization.

The convention is open to all Smith County Democrats. Attendees should arrive early to complete credentialing forms and be admitted to the convention prior to 2 p.m. when the meeting will begin. Please bring voter registration card.

For more information, please email SmithCountyDemocrats@gmail.com or Tweet @DemsSmith.

Ad paid for by Smith County Democratic Party.

Rose Supports the Rights of States and Right to Life

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Rose (TN-06) released the following statement after joining Americans United for Life’s amicus brief in support of the State of Texas:

“Today, I joined my pro-life colleagues on an amicus brief in support of one of the Sixth District‘s most treasured Tennessee values: the right to life,” said Rose. “I will not succumb to the liberals’ lie that this is a complicated issue. States have the right to determine the qualifications of Medicaid providers within their borders. If a state deems Planned Parenthood unqualified, its decision must be honored.”

Following the discovery of baby body part sales by Planned Parenthood, the State of Texas investigated and deemed Planned Parenthood incapable of responsibly providing medical services. Consequently, Texas disqualified Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider. The amicus brief was filed by Americans United for Life and supports the right of the State of Texas to determine eligibility of the state’s Medicaid providers. An amicus brief is a document filed with the court by an interested third party to an appellate case to provide the court with additional information. Congressman Rose signed-on with 63 other pro-life Members of Congress.

“Planned Parenthood continues to demand that their interests supersede the rights of states,” said Rose. “Their unconstitutional fight to require government-funded abortions through Medicaid nationwide must be stopped. I proudly join my colleagues in recognizing not only the rights of states, but the right to life.”

Recap: March 2019 Meeting of the Carthage City Council

The Carthage City Council met at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, 2019.

During the March meeting, the City Council reviewed the status of several grants the city has applied for, discussed the duties of the city council and the city attorney as outlined in the city charter, received reports from various city departments, and heard from Carthage citizens about city issues.

Carthage residents brought forth issues concerning an increasing buzzard population inside the city limits, as well a safety issue with parking on Fisher Avenue, particularly during church times. The council agreed to attempt to address both issues. 

Notably, City Attorney David Bass announced his resignation, effective April 1, 2019. Bass has served as the City Attorney of Carthage for over 20 years.

The Carthage City Council will hold a special-called meeting on Thursday, March 21, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. to discuss appointing a new city attorney, as well as review bids for a service vehicle for the city. 

The next regularly-scheduled meeting of the council will take place on Thursday, April 4, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. at the James A. Clay Municipal Building in Carthage.

Watch the full video of the March 2019 meeting below.

Smith County Insider’s livestream of this meeting was sponsored by Smith County Animal Clinic. 

Subscribe to Smith County Insider’s YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on meeting coverage, business spotlights, video features, and more!

Rose Backs President Trump in Funding the Wall

John Rose

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Rose (R-TN6) released the following statement after voting to support the President in fully funding the wall along our nation’s unsecured southern border:

“I stand with the President’s decision to declare a national emergency to end the threats coming into our country through the open border,” said Congressman Rose. “This decision is within the President’s lawful purview and past presidents freely exercised this authority.”

The President alone has authority to declare a national emergency at his discretion. Prior to President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to address the crisis at our southern border, there were 31 national emergencies in effect. Of those still in effect, ten were declared by President Obama.

“Sadly, Democrats have continued political stunts and recklessly neglected the crisis at our southern border. Democrats only now call foul on a president’s use of emergency declaration power, apparently putting their hostility toward President Trump above the needs of the American people,” Rose continued. “Every day the Democrats delay construction of the wall is another day American lives are at risk.”

Traffickers and violent criminals invade our southern border daily. The President, following recommendations by national security officials, requested $5.7 billion to secure our southern border. Democrats refused to meet the President’s funding requests, allocating only $1.3 billion.

“I voted against the Democrats’ legislation that would terminate the President’s declaration and I call on Speaker Pelosi to stop political games,” stated Rose. “We must build the wall.”

2019 Reagan Dinner to be held on Friday, March 8, 2019 with featured speaker Pastor Mark Burns

The Smith County GOP will be hosting their annual Reagan Dinner on Friday, March 8, 2019.

The Reagan Dinner will begin with a meet-and-greet at 6:00 p.m. at the Smith County Ag Center, located at 159 Ag Center Lane in Carthage, Tennessee.

Dinner will be served at 7:00 p.m. and is provided by Grade-A Catering. 

The cost to attend is $40 per ticket. To purchase tickets, please contact 615-489-5594 or 615-418-6098. 

The featured speaker at this year’s Raegan Dinner is Pastor Mark Burns, who will deliver a motivational and inspiring message of faith and patriotism.

Pastor Burns is a renowned motivational speaker who has energized audiences across the country, just like his “All Lives Matter” speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention, which has inspired the entire world. 

Pastor Burns has been labeled by Time Magazine as “Donald Trump’s Top Pastor,” and he was named one of the “16 People Who Shaped the 2016 Presidential Election.” 

To learn more about Pastor Mark Burns and his accomplishments, visit his website: https://www.markburns.org.

Newly-elected John Rose appointed to top-tier committee

Washington, D.C. – John Rose, Representative for Tennessee’s Sixth Congressional District, has been appointed to the prestigious Financial Services Committee. While other new members await their assignments, Rose is among the first to be named to one of only a few “A” committees in the House’s “A, B, and C” committee system.

“It is a great honor to give Tennesseans a voice on the Financial Services Committee,” said Rose. “On this committee, I will work vigorously to roll back burdensome regulations that plague our banking system, especially those impacting small-town banks and the average-Tennessean. It is time to stand up for job-creators, empower community banks, and create lasting reform that will decrease the federal government’s involvement in our daily personal and business lives.”

Rose, a first-time office-holder, campaigned on “Tennessee Values,” which he cited as those conservative measures taken on the state level to make Tennessee one of the top states in the nation to own a business, raise a family and retire. A seat on the powerful Financial Services Committee will give him the chance to be actively involved in some of the most meaningful debate and work in Washington.

“I am absolutely thrilled John will be joining Financial Services. His leadership comes at a critical time for our country’s prosperity,” said Tommy Whittaker, President of The Farmers Bank, which serves Sumner and Robertson counties. “John’s a strong fiscal conservative, pragmatic businessman, and well-versed in the challenges community banks face. He will bring Tennessee’s common sense approach to solving these challenges. John understands small business owners because he is one and he understands the financial decisions Americans make when raising a family because he has a young family of his own. I am proud the Sixth District will be well-represented on such a powerful committee.”

The ranking Republican on Financial Services, Congressman Patrick McHenry (R – NC), applauded Congressman Rose’s appointment, saying, “As a former Commissioner of Agriculture as well as a business owner and director of a national bank, John will provide critical input and diverse expertise to the Financial Services Committee. I’m glad to see him, and his fellow freshman members, recommended to join so we can continue to build on the gains we’ve already achieved for hardworking taxpayers. I look forward to working alongside him in the 116th Congress.”

The 6th District includes 19 counties that stretch from parts of Cheatham County and all of Robertson County down to Coffee County and across the Cumberland Plateau. John Rose is the eighth generation in his family to call the 6th District home. He is a conservative small business owner and farmer who lives with his wife Chelsea and their son Guy in Cookeville.

Congressman-Elect John Rose taps former Congressman Van Hilleary as Chief of Staff

Former Congressman Van Hilleary (left) has been tapped as chief of staff for Tennessee’s 6th District Congressman-Elect John Rose (right).

COOKEVILLE, TN – Congressman-Elect John Rose (TN-6) has tapped former Congressman Van Hilleary as his chief of staff. Hilleary was asked to lead the new Congressman’s staff as Rose aims to make timely, effective constituent services the cornerstone of his service to the people of Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District.

Van Hilleary knows about connecting with constituents; he served as the congressman for Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District from 1995 to 2003. He built a solid conservative record in support of a strong national defense, balanced budgets, tax cuts, business deregulation, the Second Amendment, and rights of the unborn. He left office to run for Governor of Tennessee in 2002 on an education reform and anti-income tax platform, but fell just short in a close race to now former Governor Phil Bredesen.

Congressman-elect Rose, a small businessman and farmer, was a first-time candidate for elective office in 2018. Rose stated, “Having an experienced person like Van Hilleary agree to serve as my chief of staff will greatly benefit me and my constituents from day one. He will bring the Washington know-how to our team, but is not a Washington insider. He is my friend and I could not be more proud to have him on board. Together, we will work to bring the highest level of service to this office so the people I serve are represented in the fullest manner possible.”

State Representative and House Republican Caucus Chairman Cameron Sexton of Crossville added, “As a member of his campaign staff in 2002, I was an up-close witness to then-Congressman Hilleary’s renowned work ethic, knowledge of public policy, and respect for the people of Tennessee. I believe Congressman-elect Rose’s inspired selection of such an experienced and accomplished public servant as his chief of staff will pay dividends for him and the people of Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District.”

Also commenting on the selection, State Senator Paul Bailey of Sparta said, “Van Hilleary was a popular and respected congressman in his old congressional district, and a number of those counties are now included in our 6th district. I think he will be a great right hand to Congressman-elect Rose as he seeks to hit the ground

running in Washington, while at the same time making sure his constituents’ needs are addressed in an effective and timely manner.”

Hilleary said, “The day Congressman Diane Black announced she was retiring to run for governor, my first thought was that John Rose should run for that seat. His irreproachable character; background as a successful businessman, lawyer, and farmer; thoughtful approach to public policy issues, and the sincere faith-based life he leads make John Rose exactly the type of person we need in Congress – maybe now more than ever. I have nothing but the utmost respect for him and his family, appreciate the friendship we have formed over many years, and am honored to have the opportunity he has extended to me to again serve the people of Tennessee. I look forward to supporting his efforts in any way I can to help him be the most effective Member of Congress possible and an agent of consequential, positive change for our state and nation.”

The 6th District includes 19 counties that stretch from parts of Cheatham County and all of Robertson County down to Coffee County and across the Cumberland Plateau. John Rose is the eighth generation in his family to call the 6th District home. He is a conservative small business owner and farmer who lives with his wife Chelsea and their son Guy in Cookeville. Rose will be sworn in January 3rd during the opening session of the 116th Congress.

Watts appointed to fill vacant council seat, elected Vice-Mayor of Carthage City Council

Matthew Watts was appointed to fill a vacant seat on the Carthage City Council during the meeting of the council on Thursday, December 6, 2018.

A seat on the council was vacated by Councilman Randy Dennis, who chose to step down due to health issues. 

The City of Carthage issued a public notice on November 29, 2018, to inform Carthage citizens that the council would appoint a new member at its next meeting. Qualified citizens were encouraged to submit letters of interest.

Five Carthage citizens—Matthew Watts, Mark Grover, Phillip Kinslow, Roy Ethridge, and Kevin Burris—submitted letters expressing interest in the position. Each potential candidate was given three minutes to address the council and explain why they wished to serve on the Carthage City Council.

After hearing from all the candidates, the council voted 4-1 to appoint Matthew Watts to fill the unexpired term. 

Watts has previously served on the Carthage City Council, and his name appeared as an incumbent on the November 6, 2018, ballot. He received a total of 204 votes, coming in behind Cole Ebel (314 votes), Sam Petty (260), and Billy K. Reece (254 votes).

Watts was sworn in following the council’s vote. Watts’s term began on December 6, 2018, and will continue until November 3, 2020.

The Carthage City Council also elected a Vice-Mayor during the December 6 meeting. 

Councilwoman Barbara Kanappel was initially nominated for the position but respectfully declined the nomination.

Councilman Watts, Councilwoman Scott, and Councilman Ebel expressed interest in the Vice-Mayor position, and the council took a vote on those three candidates. 

The Carthage City Council voted 5-1 to elect Matthew Watts to serve as Vice-Mayor of the Carthage City Council. 

The following members currently sit on the Carthage City Council:

  • Mayor Sarah Marie Smith
  • Vice-Mayor Matt Watts
  • Councilwoman Barbara Kannapel
  • Councilwoman Jacquelyn M. Scott
  • Councilman Sam Petty
  • Councilman Bill K. Reece
  • Councilman Cole Ebel

The Carthage City Council meets at 6:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month inside the James A. Clay Municipal Building in Carthage, Tennessee.

The next meeting of the Carthage City Council will be held on Thursday, January 3, 2019. This meeting will be live-streamed by Smith County Insider.

Interested citizens can stay updated on the Town of Carthage by visiting this website or checking the town’s Facebook page.

November 6, 2018 General Election Results

CARTHAGE, Tenn.—Results are in for the November 6, 2018, General Election in Smith County, Tennessee. Polls were open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on November 6, and voters had the opportunity to vote early between October 17 and November 1.

Early voting numbers were strong all across the state. Across Tennessee, 1,378,840 voters cast their vote early. 3,810 of those voters were from Smith County.

On Election Day, many more Tennesseans made their voices heard. In Smith County, 2,795  voters showed up to the polls on November 6, bringing the total number of votes cast in Smith County to 6,605. This amounts to a voter turnout of 55.87%. 

Reports from the Smith County Election Commission detailing local election results began to come in around 7:45 p.m. on the night of November 6.

Results from the City of Carthage were among the first to come in. 

Sarah Marie Smith was elected Mayor of Carthage. She narrowly edged out her opponent, Incumbent Mayor Donnie Dennis by a total of 27 votes. Smith received 313 votes, compared to 286 votes for Dennis. 

Cole Ebel, Sam Petty, and Billy “Bill” K. Reece were elected Aldermen of Carthage.

369 (72.64%) Carthage citizens voted for the sale of wine in food stores, compared to 139 (27.36%) who voted against the referendum. 

Voters in the city of Gordonsville also elected three city Aldermen. John Potts, Michael Harpe, and Charles Proffit will now sit on the Gordonsville City Council. 

County-wide, voters voted for the repeal of the Sales Tax Referendum by a total of 3412 (58.36%) votes in favor and 2434 (41.64%) votes against.

Additionally, Terri Lynn Weaver will retain her seat as Tennessee State Representative. Weaver ran unopposed and received 4885 votes in Smith County, totaling 95.39% of votes cast in the county.

Mark Pody will also retain his seat as State Senator for District 17 in Tennessee. He won over Democratic opponent Mari Alice Carfi. In Smith County, Pody received 4052 votes (67.28%), compared to 1966 votes (32.64%) cast for Carfi.

John Rose has officially been declared the winner of the United States House of Representatives race. Rose will be the next Representative for Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. Rose won out over Democratic opponent Dr. Dawn Barlow and Independent opponents David Ross and Lloyd Dunn. In Smith County, Rose received 4576 votes (75.81%). 

Marsha Blackburn emerged victorious over her opponent Phil Bredesen in the highly contested U.S. Senate race. Blackburn received 4310 votes (66.20%) in Smith County, compared to 2108 (32.38%) votes for Bredesen. 

Bill Lee was elected Governor of Tennessee, emerging victorious over Democratic opponent Karl Dean. Lee carried 72.38% of the vote in Smith County, compared to 26.78% for Dean.

For a complete list of election percentages and results in Smith County, visit the Smith County Election Commission website. 

For state-wide totals, visit the website of the Tennessee Secretary of State.

John Rose wins Tennessee’s 6th Congressional Seat

COOKEVILLE, TN – John Rose has won the race for Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. The race was called shortly after 7pm with Rose ahead by 41%. Rose was the Republican nominee for the open seat held by Congressman Diane Black that includes all or part of 19 counties east and northeast of Nashville.

“I am excited to get to work in Congress for the people of the 6th District,” Rose said. Rose is a solid conservative who is a native of the district. He is a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, endorsed by the NRA, and is 100% pro-life.

Rose has pledged to take Tennessee values to Washington and get Washington out of Tennessee by using a common-sense approach to solving the nation’s problems. Rose stated, “We need to take on our debt issue instead of shy away from it, build the wall, support our president, and create a healthcare system that works for all Americans. We have a lot of work to do, but I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”

The Rose Campaign knocked on over 60,000 doors and made over 80,000 phone calls to voters over the course of the campaign. Rose attended hundreds of events across the district and will keep that same energy of meeting constituents in the future. “I am honored by the support I have received in this race and I will do my absolute best to represent my family, friends, and community here in the 6th District,” Rose said.

Sarah Marie Smith elected Mayor of Carthage

CARTHAGE, Tenn.—Results are in for the highly contested mayor race in Carthage, Tennessee. On November 6, 2018, voters in Carthage decided that Sarah Marie Smith would be the next mayor of their town.

Sarah Marie Smith narrowly emerged victorious over her opponent, Incumbent Mayor Donnie Dennis. 

Smith received a total of 313 votes, amounting to 51.74% of votes cast in the mayoral race. Dennis received 286 votes, amounting to 47.27%.

Early voting turnout strong ahead of November 6 election

CARTHAGE, Tenn.— Many Smith County citizens took advantage of early voting ahead of tomorrow’s General Election. According to reports published by the Tennessee Secretary of State, a grand total of 3,793 Smith County voters participated in early voting.

Four years ago, only 2,274 voters chose to vote early in the November 2014 General Election, accounting for just under half of total votes cast.

Early voting in this election cycle began on October 17 and continued through November 1. 

Election Day is set for Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Registered voters will be able to cast their votes at their precinct location anytime between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Read below to see the voting locations for all 8 Districts in Smith County:

District 1 – Defeated 

The Carver Barn

315 Defeated Creek Highway

Carthage, TN 37030


District 2 – Tanglewood 

Smith County Motor Company

211 Dixon Springs Highway

Carthage, TN 37030


District 3 – New Middleton

New Middleton Elementary School

402 New Middleton Highway

Gordonsville, TN 38563


District 4 – Rock City

Union Heights Elementary School

663 Lebanon Highway

Carthage, TN 37030


District 5 – Gordonsville

Gordonsville Municipal Building

63 Main Street East

Gordonsville, TN 38563


District 6 – Carthage 

Chamber of Commerce

939 Upper Ferry Road 

Carthage, TN 37030


District 7 – South Carthage

Senior Citizens Building

120 Pauline Gore Way, Suite B

Carthage, TN 37030


District 8 – Elmwood

Forks River Elementary School

611 Cookeville Highway

Elmwood, TN 38560


The November 2018 ballot will include candidates for Tennessee Governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives (6th Congressional District), TN State Senate (17th District), and TN House of Representatives (40th District). Smith County citizens will also be able to vote for or against the Sales Tax Referendum.

Citizens of Carthage will cast their votes for Mayor of Carthage and three City Aldermen. They will also be able to vote for or against the sale of wine at retail and food stores in Carthage. 

Citizens of Gordonsville will vote for three City Aldermen. 

Please remember that Smith County residents must be registered to vote and must be able to present a valid photo ID issued by the Tennessee or U.S. government in order to vote in the November 6 election. 

For more information, visit the Smith County Election Commission website.


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