Blackburn visits LMU, discusses county issues

Published 11:36 am Tuesday, July 25, 2023

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U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn was in Harrogate on Friday for a tour of the LMU Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum. Blackburn also toured campus before meeting with county and city mayors, members of the Tennessee General Assembly and LMU President Clayton Hess at the LMU Richard A. Gillespie College of Veterinary Medicine

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The campus visit was a part of the senator’s annual 95-county tour. Blackburn says part of her goal with this tour is to hear first hand from residents and elected leaders across the state on where they need help.

Blackburn says Mayor Joe Brooks spoke with her about grants and how to close the digital divide.

“Claiborne County is now far ahead of many other counties,” said Blackburn.

“This is how we’re able to better help and participate with the counties and make certain that Tennessee is still the best place to live, to work, to raise a family.”

Blackburn also says she and Brooks discussed ways for the county and state to work together to solve Claiborne County’s financial situation.

They also discussed trends in demographics across the state and in Claiborne County. The absence of a state income tax, they said, is making Tennessee a destination for retirees.

“As they’ve retired out of a career, and ready for a second career, something that’s more entrepreneurial focused, they choose to come to Tennessee,” said Blackburn. “We see so many people who see Tennessee as a great opportunity and a great place to do business because of no state income tax.”

So far, Blackburn has visited 80 counties on her tour. She said she has enjoyed her stay in Claiborne County, and learned a lot more about LMU history through her stay.

“Getting to visit here at LMU, and doing our county meeting here, see the campus, go through the museum, I learned a little more about the expansion,” said Blackburn. “I learned a little bit about the campus in Knoxville, and I visited with some LMU medical students that were in Henry County, but have not been here.”