In House District 9 campaign: ‘Double-dipping’ and campaign sign vandalism

State Rep. Gary Hicks, R-Rogersville, has been accused of “double dipping” because he continued to draw his salary as a public school system technology director during the legislative session, according to Tennessee Watchdog.

The online publication quotes Rogersville resident Tish Kozlowski to that effect while Rebecca Isaacs, the school system’s director, says she’s heard no complaints and defends Hicks, who was appointed to the post last December by the Hawkins County Commission and is currently seeking reelection to a full term.

Before that appointment to temporarily replace former Rep. Mike Harrison, Hicks was a county commissioner himself. He’s opposed in the August Republican primary by Cynthia Bundren Jackson, a Rogersville real estate broker.

Isaacs said Hicks is a devoted public servant. She said Hicks has a strong enough stamina to do both jobs at once and a strong enough Wi-Fi connection to do his school technology job from anywhere in the world, including Nashville.

“Mr. Hicks has done a remarkable job at this early juncture in his legislative career,” Isaacs said.

…Isaacs and Hicks said any complaints are politically motivated, especially when they come from Kozlowski.

“Her house is decorated with my opponent’s signs,” Hicks said in an email.

“My opponent’s boyfriend is from the area which Mrs. Kozlowski lives. Plus, the Kozlowski’s own real estate in Hawkins County and my opponent and her boyfriend are realtors.”

Hicks said no problems have developed at his IT job since he joined the Legislature, and he will work with his staff to make sure neither job is compromised.

Speaking of the House District 9 campaign, the Rogersville Review recently had this note:

Cynthia Bundren Jackson… offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for vandalizing her campaign signs and strewing them along the road and into a stream on Ebbing and Flowing Springs Road last week.

Jackson said in a statement to the Review that other political signs have been stolen, but this most recent theft from the Surgoinsville area occurred after dark on the night of June 15 or the early morning hours of June 16.

Jackson said she is offering the same $1,000 reward to anyone providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone removing or destroying campaign signs belonging to her opponent, Gary W. Hicks, Jr. Jackson said that persons who have information to share in regard to the vandalism and thefts should call the Hawkins Co. Sheriff’s Office.