Harwell swears Zachary into office as House District 14 rep

Jason Zachary was sworn in asTennessee’s newest legislator Monday evening at a ceremony at First Baptist Church Concord with House Speaker Beth Harwell handling the oath of office and his pastor praying that he “stand on principle without compromise.”

Further from Georgiana Vines:

The ceremony was short once it got under way for the nearly capacity crowd in the church’s chapel. The Rev. Corey Mayfield, pastor of family ministries and master of ceremonies, said the room held more than 300 people and nearly every seat was taken.

Zachary, 38, defeated school board member Karen Carson in the Aug. 12 Republican primary to represent the 14th District House seat to succeed Ryan Haynes, now the Tennessee Republican Party chair. With no Democrat running in the Sept. 29 general election, the Knox County Commission appointed Zachary in a unanimous roll call vote Monday.

“It’s the honor of my life to serve the people I love,” Zachary said in brief comments after the vote.

… Mayfield called on the Rev. John Avant, senior pastor, for a prayer. Avant asked for mercy on the nation and state and to help “our friend, Jason,” in his government duties. He asked that Zachary have a prophetic voice and not back down on what’s right.

Harwell said before giving Zachary his oath of office she had met him before he was elected and feels “he truly wants to do this for the right reason.”

Then after winning, “he made it clear he wanted to be sworn in here and not in my office,” she said.

Zachary’s wife, Holly, and son, Tyson, joined him for the ceremony.

Zachary was comfortable on his home turf, where he serves as a deacon and leader in various ministries, and came down from the stage and spoke to the crowd from the front of the room.

…Zachary closed the ceremony with a prayer. In it, he expressed his appreciation for Harwell, “who would come and do something that is so outside the box.”

Zachary still has to be elected Sept. 29 to finish the rest of Haynes’ term. Monday’s ceremony gets him started. He said after the ceremony he will go to Nashville on Thursday to begin.

Zachary said he has scheduled a one-on-one meeting with Gov. Bill Haslam for Sept. 9 that has been arranged by Jim Henry, the governor’s chief of staff.

Zachary’s wife, Holly, and son, Tyson, joined him for the ceremony.