State Senator Mike Bell will not seek re-election
Represents Bradley, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe and Polk Counties in District 9.
RICEVILLE, Tennessee (WDEF) – A Southeast Tennessee seat in the legislature is opening up.
State Senator Mike Bell announces he will not seek re-election in 2022.
He does plan to serve out the rest of his current term.
Bell represents Bradley, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe and Polk Counties in District 9.
He is currently the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“It has been the highest honor of my life to serve in the Tennessee General Assembly,” said Sen. Bell. “I am incredibly thankful for the continued support, friendship and kindness of my constituents who have entrusted me to represent them for the past 15 years. Just as I knew it was time for me to run for office in 2006, I feel it is now time to move to the next chapter of my life and pass the leadership mantle for this district to a new state senator.”
Bell said he is making the announcement early to give more people a chance to consider running for the post.
He started as a state representative for the area in 2006 and then won the senate seat four years later.
Bell sponsored the law establishing the right to carry a firearm without a permit.
His other bills include:
- Legislation revamping the state’s Textbook Commission to provide for greater transparency and more public input in the textbook selection process;
- Several bills removing unfair restrictions concerning the eligibility of home school students for Tennessee’s lottery scholarships;
- Legislation to protect Tennesseans’ access to healthcare through telehealth services;
- The Broadband Accessibility Act to improve access to broadband through investment, deregulation and education, spurring development in rural areas to open them up to job growth;
- Legislation creating volunteer firefighter grants for equipment and the new law to provide them with an annual $600 payment upon completion of training;
- Numerous laws strengthening penalties for human trafficking and providing support for victims;
- Legislation to make the Board of Judicial Conduct more responsive to the public; and
- Several laws protecting unborn children, including legislation excluding facilities in Tennessee that perform abortion from receiving Tennessee taxpayer money.