After serving in the Tennessee House of Representatives for 21 years and seldom facing electoral opposition in that time, State Rep. Charles Sargent (R-Franklin), announced on Thursday morning that he will not seek re-election in 2018.
According to a press release, Sargent, 72, has chosen to focus on his health. The Chairman of the House Finance, Ways, & Means Committee has dealt with skin cancer in prior years and was recently diagnosed with a related condition that requires additional treatment.
Sargent is a father, husband and grandfather, and owns a State Farm Insurance agency in Green Hills.
In the Legislature he has become known as an education advocate, and worked to get the funding for the new Williamson County campus of Columbia State Community College.
“It has truly been an honor to serve the hardworking men, women, and families of our community for more than two decades,” Sargent said in the press release announcing his decision. “I am grateful that they have placed their trust in me to address their needs and concerns as a member of the Tennessee General Assembly, and I remain passionate about our work ahead in 2018. Once the upcoming legislative session concludes, I look forward to focusing all of my time and energy on the people who matter most to me, my wife Nancy, our children and grandchildren.”
Prior to living in Williamson County, Sargent served in the U.S. Navy during the 1960s. He moved to Nashville in 1970 and then to Franklin in 1977.
Sargent is one of the founders in 1981 of the Grassland Athletics Association, and was the first president of the Parent Teacher Organization at Grassland Middle School in 1986.
He served on the Williamson County Planning Commission for seven years and the Williamson County Commission for six years before becoming the District 61 House Representative in 1997.
In 2016, Sargent sailed through the August primary, with voters overwhelmingly choosing him over Steve Gawrys and Terrence Smith. Gawrys had sought the seat prior in the 2014 primary and also lost to Sargent.
Republican Caucus Chairman Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville), said Sargent would be missed by his House colleagues after his term ends.
“I know that Charles Sargent has been a fierce advocate for our students and our educators during his time on Capitol Hill,” Williams said Chairman Williams. “His knowledge and expertise related to the budgetary process is invaluable to me and to our entire caucus. I am grateful to him for his service to his constituents and to our state.”