Politics for the People: Interviews with Henderson County Mayor Candidates

HENDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. — Continuing our political coverage, we sit down with the candidates running for Henderson County Mayor.

*Note: These interviews are listed in alphabetical order.

Eddie Bray

The Henderson County Mayor position has three candidates in the running in the Republican Primary, including the incumbent, Mayor Eddie Bray.

If re-elected, Bray says there are a few issues that he wants to continue to address.

“We adopted an economic recovery plan,” Bray said. “In that plan, the biggest thing, the biggest need that Henderson County needed was broadband. We are a rural county and like a lot of the other rural counties, even in COVID, we found out that the kids had to go home and a lot of the kids couldn’t do their homework. Going forward we want to make sure that everybody in Henderson County has broadband. We are working on our ADA transition plan that makes our county properties more accommodating to our folks with disabilities. We passed a parks and recreation master plan. It is in the final stages of being drafted. I think that that is going to help us to apply for grants that will bring more opportunities to Henderson County. Just down the road, Ford Blue Oval is coming in so we have to be prepared for that.”

Bray says what sets him apart is his experience.

“Nobody had the experience of going through a COVID pandemic, not any of your mayors that had been mayors for 20 years,” said Bray. “Looking forward, we don’t know what tomorrow holds, but at least you have somebody in the seat right now that has experience.”

Bray says he decided to run again to make a difference.

“I tell everybody that I have been a community servant all of my grown-up life. I just saw it as a way to, as a county mayor, a way to serve your community and be able to give back, to be able to help the community and make a difference in people’s lives,” Bray said.

Robbie McCready

Robbie McCready is also running for Henderson County Mayor.

McCready says if elected as mayor, these are the issues he would address in the county.

“I would like to see where we are on our emergency management,” McCready said. “I would like to do a drill in the first 60 days when elected. I would like to see a master transportation plan for the county and a master tourism plan, what our goals are, how we can attract people to our asset which is Beech Lake. The second goal is co-invest in a broadband connectivity across the county. I would like to see a partnership with our local education system. We have learned during COVID that kids and teachers rely on connectivity. Create new and affordable housing developments. Henderson County is in a vicarious position with our location in West Tennessee. We are just outside of the bullseye for Blue Oval City.”

McCready says he has several years of experience working in city government, and that’s what would set him apart.

“I have 18 plus years of public service,” said McCready. “I am a U.S. Army Combat Veteran. I have been deployed twice to Iraq. I have seen other countries and how they operate, but at the end of the day I understand a master plan is our goal and we need to be pointed in a direction in unity.”

He says his decision to run is to see change in the county.

“Henderson County is sitting in a good position,” said McCready. “Blue Oval City, just west of our location. Over the past four years, we have been idle as a county. If elected, I have a clear obtainable goal that will allow Henderson County to prosper.”

David Watts

David Watts is a business owner in Henderson County, running for the county mayor seat.

If elected, Watts says he wants to address these issues.

“I want to make sure that there is transparency within all of the offices and with the public,” Watts said. “You need to know what is going on in your county offices, especially the Mayor’s office, and know what is going on with all decisions being made. Other areas of concern would be making sure that the money is there for certain areas throughout our county government, whether it be in the school system, or if it is in the highway department, or if it is over in the sheriff’s department. Whatever area, making sure everyone is properly funded and there is no waste in those areas. Other areas, making sure that we have nonprofits that are serving the citizens of the community and making sure they are funded, like getting properly staffed and funded.”

Watts says his background could bring a unique advantage to the position of mayor.

“I am not a career government employee public servant,” said Watts. “I come from the business world. I want to bring the way that you make common sense business principles in making a decision and bringing that into the county government.”

Watts says he wanted to run to bring a business mind into the government.

“I’ve got years in the corporate world with a national retail chain,” Watts said. “I also have over 30 years of small business experience. I wanted to bring that experience and knowledge from those two areas into the government area.”

The Republican Primary election for Henderson County Mayor will be held May 3.

Stay with WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News on-air and online as we bring you more coverage of local elections.

For more news in the Henderson County area, click here.

Categories: Local News, News, Primaries 2022, Video