Richard Dawson, a retired pilot who flew helicopters in Vietnam and is a former Democratic Party chair, is running for Tennessee House of Representatives in Anderson County.
Dawson is running in Tennessee’s 33rd District, which includes most of Anderson County, including Clinton and the Anderson County portion of Oak Ridge. Dawson lives in Clinton, and he is a native Oak Ridger, a press release said.
“My dad was an electrical maintenance supervisor at K-25 for 20 years and was able to provide enough for my mom, sister, and me to live comfortably,” Dawson said in the press release. “Republicans have been in power in Tennessee for years, but their policies have only made it more difficult for people who work hard, like my dad, to take care of their families. I am running because Anderson County and Tennessee deserve better.”
The press release said Dawson was raised in Oak Ridge, and he and his family lived and experienced the “American Dream.” He benefitted from the top-notch public education in Oak Ridge and when he graduated, Dawson felt called to serve, the press release said. He voluntarily enlisted in the Army, flying helicopters in Vietnam. Returning home, he used the GI Bill to earn a degree in labor and industrial relations from East Tennessee State University, the press release said.
After working for a year as a personnel manager, Dawson re-enlisted in the military, flying B-52s for the Air Force, the release said. He worked with both conventional and nuclear weapon deployments and received both awards and decorations during his time in the Air Force. He retired from the military as a major in the Air Force with 20 years of military service.
For the next 18 years, Dawson flew large passenger jets until he retired to Clinton. He recently celebrated his 51st wedding anniversary with his Jefferson Junior High School sweetheart, Jennifer, his three children, and his four grandchildren, the press release said.
“I am lucky,” Dawson said. “I benefited from all that America has to offer: a living wage, strong public education, and comprehensive yet affordable healthcare. Tennesseans and the people of Anderson County need access to the same things my family had.”
Dawson is one of two Democrats on the ballot in the state primary election on August 2. The other is Nathaniel Varner of Oak Ridge. The winner will face the Republican incumbent, John Ragan of Oak Ridge, in the November 6 general election.
The press release said Dawson has volunteered his time helping the people of Anderson County. He was a member of the Green McAdoo Cultural Center board, and he served two terms as the chair of the Anderson County Democratic Party. He currently serves as a state committee member in the Tennessee Democratic Party and as a member of the Anderson County Economic Development board.
“For years, I have worked to help attract and grow businesses that employ people across the county,” Dawson said. “I’m willing to work with anyone, Democrat or Republican, to fight for our communities. I will continue to put people over both party and special interests in Nashville.”
Dawson said he is running on four principle policies: supporting a strong public school system, bolstering the economy and job growth, providing quality healthcare and comprehensive health insurance to all Tennesseans, and preventing gun deaths while protecting the Second Amendment.
Oak Ridge native Megan McNees is Dawson’s campaign manager, and Jan Newsome is acting as campaign treasurer. Visit www.dawsonfortennessee.com to learn more.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
This press release was submitted by Megan McNees.
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