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State Rep. Sam Whitson addresses the crowd at the ribbon cutting ceremony of the Mack Hatcher extension on Dec. 13, 2021.

State Rep. Sam Whitson (R-Franklin) announced Monday his bid for re-election to represent District 65 in the General Assembly’s House of Representatives.

The state officially began fielding petitions for candidacy in House and senate races as of Feb. 7, and as of that time, the Williamson County Election Commission reported no challengers for Whitson’s seat. Whitson, however, promptly announced his intent to campaign for re-election by issuing a statement.

“It has been the honor of my life to serve my country and my community, first as an officer in the United States Army, and now as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives,” Whitson said in a statement issued Feb. 7. “Thanks to the outpouring of encouragement from my constituents across Williamson County and after prayerful discussions with my wife, Pam, and our family, I am proud to again announce my candidacy for the Republican nomination for state representative in District 65.”

One accomplishment the retired U.S. Army Colonel referenced in his statement as evidence of his work on behalf of the district was his help in establishing the Civil War-era cannons as a fixture of Franklin Square. As a member of the Save the Franklin Battlefield nonprofit, he worked alongside Dr. Sam Gant, Pam Lewis and former Alderman Mike Skinner on the fundraising campaign to purchase carriages — up to par with national park standards — on which to mount four cannons, which was originally priced at $60,000 but made tax deductible by the nonprofit’s willingness to receive and hold the funds in preparation for the purchases.

Further proof he offered of his advocacy on behalf of District 65 constituents was his push for the completion of the $45 million Mack C. Hatcher Parkway project. During construction, Whitson personally toured the site with County Mayor Rogers Anderson and Franklin Mayor Ken Moore, and he boasted of his relationship with the Tennessee Department of Transportation. He also credited his support of the Improve Act of 2017 under Gov. Bill Haslam, a gas tax hike that generated revenue specifically to allocate toward infrastructure.

“It is time to move past the politics of the pandemic and focus on upgrading our infrastructure, backing those who serve, maintaining and protecting our community, and promoting economic opportunity for both citizens and businesses,” Whitson said.

Whitson also underlined his work as a proponent of the development of a new building for Columbia State Community College’s satellite campus in Franklin as a reminder of his focus on education and of his involvement in establishing Fairview High School’s mechatronics program, which is a cooperative program at Columbia State — the fruit of Whitson’s first ever bill in the legislature as of 2017 after having just been elected in 2016.