Semate District 6: Gill Vs. Massey

Republican incumbent Becky Duncan Massey is being challenged by Evelyn Gill, 45, who teaches special education at Carter High School, in state Senate District 6. Jim Balloch has talked with the candidates.
Massey, 57, has the backing of the politically popular Duncan family, and the district lines are drawn to favor the GOP. The District stretches from the Bluegrass community to Corryton, surrounds much of Knoxville and includes rural, urban and suburban sections.
She has a record of legislative success. Of the 31 bills she introduced or co-sponsored, 22 have became law, including those that were compromised or amended.
“She thinks things out and is not easily stampeded,” said fellow GOP Sen. Randy McNally of Oak Ridge, “She has a special and personal interest in issues that effect senior citizens, and our citizens who are mentally or physically disabled. She has an easy manner, but doesn’t beat around the bush. She very much comes to the point on issues.”
Gill is originally from Mississippi. She holds a master’s degree in public planning and administration from Rutgers University. Her master’s thesis was on poverty in urban and rural areas.
She said she is waging a classic grass roots campaign. She emphasizes education, economic development and the environment. She said her experience as a teacher makes her particularly better suited to deal with education issues than her opponent is.
Gill has lived or worked in three different sections of the district for many years. That, she says, gives her a better grasp of the district’s wide geographic diversity, and the multitude of issues that arise from such a district.
“I can represent the district on a personal as well as a professional level, and make sure that all of the voices in the district are heard,” she said. “In the end, the issues of education, economic development and the environment are all tied together.”

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