State Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden) announced he is not seeking re-election after 10 years of service as a representative.
Representative Holt posted the following message.
Ten years ago, I was given an opportunity that I thought would likely never be possible. At 28 years old, I felt the Lord’s undeniable call on my life to run for State Representative, and seemingly against all odds, I won. I don’t credit myself with that first win, or the four winning elections to follow, I credit the hardworking folks in Northwest Tennessee, who placed their faith in me. Had it not been for their initial support of an unknown political lightning-rod, or their continued and unwavering support through the last decade, this reality would have never been possible for me and my family. From that first election, until now, I continue to find myself in a debt of gratitude to the constituents that I am honored to serve. I am still humbled by the trust that’s been placed in me.
I knew the calling that was placed on my life ten years ago was not to become a career politician, but to serve the district, the constituents, and to make Tennessee a better place. In many ways, I feel like I have been able to fulfill my call to that work, in my role as a representative of “the people.” In the last decade, during my time in the Tennessee General Assembly, I have helped to reduce the regulatory and tax burden experienced by each and every Tennessean, I have helped to protect the lives of the unborn, I have helped to restore and embolden constitutional freedoms, I have helped to increase the opportunities parents have to choose the education path that best suits their child, and I have helped to defeat several attempts to expand government in Tennessee, beyond its intended scope. I can honestly say that I believe the State of Tennessee is in better shape now than when I was first elected.
I have tried to represent the will of the constituents I serve, with each and every vote that I have taken. Although the sum of my decisions & votes have not always been suitable to every one of the constituents that I have represented, I have always been willing to address the concerns & complaints of each and every constituent who has chosen to express their dissatisfaction with me personally, with my political principles, or with my deeply-held convictions. I believe that my role is to be accountable to each and every voter, even those with whom I disagree. A trademark of my tenure in the legislature has been telling people the truth, even if that meant telling them that I disagreed with them – at times, even those in my own political party.
Having now given a summation of the past decade, I find myself in a position of telling you about my current plans: I will not be seeking re-election to the Tennessee House of Representatives.
I can attest to the fact that my time, as a member, in the Tennessee General Assembly is now voluntarily coming to a close. As of the time that I plan to release this document, there has not been a challenger who has come forward in the primary or general election. With the previous acknowledgment made, I know that much of the purpose to which I was called has now been fulfilled, and Ellie & I are at peace with this decision that we made years in advance. My intent was to run for 4 terms as Representative, and I ended up running for 5. I have dedicated a full decade of my life to the legislative body in Tennessee, not a moment of which, do I regret. My decision is firmly rooted in the fact that I believe in term limits for all officeholders, and I believe the best term limits are those that are self-imposed. There is no crisis in our family, and there is no surprise for us in this decision; it has been a pre-determined outcome since the day we were called to run. It is unfortunate that we find ourselves giving this notice at such a troubling time for our Great State of Tennessee, and our United States, but with the filing deadline so close at hand, a more optimal time was not going to be available.
In light of the decision that Ellie and I have made, we do hope that there is someone who will begin the same prayerful decision-making process we entered together, ten years prior. Even though this has been a great sacrifice for us as a family (more than many would believe), we hope that there is a conservative-minded leader, who is willing to take up this position, and now represent us, as constituents. For those who will receive this message, I have a special insight that I would like to share with you – you may actually be the one who needs to run for this position, just like I did. Successful service in the Tennessee General Assembly is not dependent on sizable net worth, prior political engagement, a professional career or any other prerequisite other than a willingness to be bold, possession of some deeply held and unshakable convictions and a desire to help those who elected you to serve. I don’t want the person with the best resume to take over this role, I want the person with the most heart, conviction, and willingness to stand alone, when necessary, as my State Representative.
While I will most certainly miss parts of my role as a State Representative, I will also most certainly enjoy the increased opportunity to have a much less restricted schedule to share with Ellie, and our seven precious children. We have a number of plans to improve our agritourism operation, diversify our current farm, and engage in other business opportunities. Serving the district for the last 10 years has been a truly humbling, amazing and exciting opportunity, but I sincerely believe that my time in the legislature has now reached its conclusion.
As for those who may be taking great joy in the delivery of this message regarding my departure from the legislature, don’t get too excited – I can promise you that I will never be too far removed from the political process at home, in Nashville, or in D.C. For those of you rejoicing in my decision, or for those of you who are somewhat disappointed in my current revelation, I can promise you that my actions should not be viewed as a retreat from the political process, it should be viewed as an opportunity to reload.
Best wishes & Love Y’all,