House District 61 incumbent Charles Sargent will keep his seat, beating opponents Steve Gawrys and Terrence Smith with more than 3,500 votes.
Sargent beat both of them with 3,636 votes, taking more than 65 percent of the vote. Gawrys had 1,736 and Smith had 173.
“We are obviously very pleased with the results and look forward to continuing to deliver results to Williamson County and the state of Tennessee,” Sargent said. “We worked harder than ever before this election, because we had a point to make. It’s rewarding to know that my constituents recognize our efforts and trust me to represent them well in the General Assembly.”
Sargent, a 20-year incumbent of the Tennessee Legislature, is also the chairman of the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee.
On the education front in the last legislative session, Sargent was able to secure an additional $3 million for Williamson County Schools, covering about 60 percent of the county’s BEP funding shortfall. K-12 funding for the BEP (Basic Education Program) formula was increased by nearly $39 million to $4.8 billion, higher education say a $1.7 billion increase and additional funds were budgeted for capital improvements, scholarships, teacher salaries and more.
“We know we have work to do, and one of my top priorities is school funding,” Sargent said at his campaign party after voting results came in. “It’s meaningful to our cities and to the county.”
Sargent also said a top priority is the funding of Mack Hatcher Parkway.
“We will all work diligently toward getting Mack Hatcher on the federal budget,” he said. “We will work to get that into the three year road project.”
Originally from New York City, Sargent was in the U.S. Navy during 1965 when the Vietnam War was building up. He moved to Nashville in 1970 and then to Franklin in 1977.
Sargent is also one of the founders of the Grassland Athletics Association that was started in 1981, 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 his personal career, Sargent has been a State Farm Insurance Agent for the last 40 years and is a father, husband, grandfather and passionate boatsman.
As chairman of the Finance, Ways and Means Committee, Sargent handles budgetary matters and oversees bills that come through the committee, evaluating their budgetary impact.
“I want to congratulate Rep. Sargent on a tough campaign, and for his big victory,” Gawrys said. “It was an honor to take part in the election process.”
Sargent represents District 61, which encompasses Brentwood and some of Franklin.
Samantha Hearn reports for Home Page Media Group. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @samanthahearn.