Local candidates take the stage to present their campaigns

BENTON COUNTY, Tenn. — It was a packed house at Briarwood School, Thursday evening as members of the community came out to hear from the three men trying to become the next mayor of Benton County.

Candidate Randy Shannon said so much of rural America has been overlooked. If elected mayor he said he plans to promote high-speed internet and get the county noticed through marketing strategies.

“Benton County is a great place to live. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, and I know once people find out about us, they’ll want to live here too,” said Shannon.

He says it is also important to him to be transparent.

“So many times in small rural America, people think that politicians are corrupt, that things are good old boy network’s and things of that nature,” Shannon said. “That couldn’t be farther from the truth with me.”

Also campaigning for Benton County mayor is Tony Brewer. He says he brings to the table knowledge and experience as a firefighter and a member of the TVA, law enforcement, and an EMT.

“I feel like I’m a people’s candidate, that I have the pulse of what the people’s needs are here in Benton County. I’ve been a leader and a servant. I’m not necessarily a politician by any means,” said Brewer.

He also hopes to bring in new industry by expanding roads throughout the county and infrastructure around the Tennessee River.

“I think we have to focus on jobs, jobs, jobs, and keeping our property tax base where it is,” Brewer said.

Candidate Brett Lashley said, if elected, he would be the first ever Republican mayor of Benton County.

“I think it’s also symbolic. I’m running on the fact that I have different ideas, and I believe that we have a ton of potential in this county if we begin thinking a different way,” said Lashley.

He says his financial and military background has taught him how to be an effective leader, and hopes to hold town hall meetings in every community within the county.

“You have to allow the community to voice its opinion whether it be good or bad,” Lashley said. “I’ve noticed that in round tables, in those types of discussions, ideas are born.”

Each candidate also mentioned that training a more progressive workforce was an important aspect on their agenda.

Early voting in Benton County runs from April 11 to April 26. Election Day is May 1.

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