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By Dean Harris



    He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
Thomas Paine


    The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.
James Madison


    Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
Thomas Jefferson
Lowell Dean Harris


          My name is Lowell Dean Harris. Most of my friends that I went to school with call me Dean. The military and my professional friends called me Lowell. My mom, when I got into something I shouldn’t have, called me Lowell Dean. On the ballot my name is listed as Dean Harris.

          If you are not aware by now, we have successfully made it through the primary. If I did not get your vote in the primary, we will have to have your vote if we are to win a Conservative seat in the race for County Commissioner of the 6th District of Sullivan County. I am writing this short autobiography to demonstrate to you why you should cast your vote this August for Dean Harris. I hope you take time to read my resume. In the resume you will find, after looking at the candidates, there are few veterans running for public office. It is important that a public figure know the price of liberty. Also, I believe it is important to have a commissioner with both foreign and local experience in business. I believe it is important to have a man in office that knows what it's like to work behind a mule all day, know how to budget for a large corporation,and how to use a pick and shovel. But most important of all, a candidate needs to be able to keep himself humble.

          Do voters care if you have plowed behind a mule all day? Everything one has experienced makes up one's character. A shovel may be dumb, but it can definitely build character. Character is important.

          I recently attended the anti-demonstration in Johnson City for Senior Airman Benjamin White, The outpouring of support for White's family said a lot about the character of the people of East Tennessee. These people care about character. Of all the thousands of people at the anti-demonstration, after they left, there was no litter left scattered around. They simply left a message to the rest of the world,"You will not tread on us."

          The last few years I have worked in several different jobs, mostly minimum wage plus commission: Alltel, Home Depot, Lakeway Building and Supply, ADT, Atfab, and Sears. I am good as a salesman, but I am great at marketing. Every job that I have held since the military has been, "if you don't produce you don't get paid". Sometime I didn't do well finanically and other times I smiled on the way to the bank. The before mentioned jobs are not listed on my resume, but they have allowed me to travel across the Tri-Cities area. I was able to see firsthand the economic welfare of the people in this area. While working with these companies within the Tri-Cities, I visited with businesses, schools, and the general public. I have been blessed to meet some very important people - people like yourself of Sullivan County. After all my travels around the world, you are the people I am the most proud of, and that is why I call this area my home.

          I am a conservative person. I think the second greatest writing is the Constitution of the United States. The first, of course, being reared in a Baptist family, is the Bible. In the political arena in which I am entering, there is no document as important as the Constitution. In these times it is important to look back to how we got to be the greatest country on earth, and see what others before us went through to get to where we are now. One can read "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine, "Civil Disobedience" By Henry David Thoreau or while we are catching upon our history, try "The Federalist Papers" by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Isaac Kramnick. Once we have read these articles we will find we have it rather easy compared to our past leaders. We would also not be too fast to give up our liberties. Our liberties come from GOD and are warranty by the blood of God's People. We are the protectors of these liberties. Incidentally, the first real democracy was right here in East Tennessee.

          The most important freedom, the First Amendment, to our fault has been entrusted to the news media. Political correctness, Fears of losing advertising money and money through frivolous law suits have dulled and desensitized us away from what has made this country great. Lax reporting, because of bias or fear of offending small opportunist groups with agendas, have made the media unreliable. They beleive that they can no longer afford to spend time investigating a story because of “I have got to have the story out first. They are soft, "A lie is not a lie. It's called spinning." The media has abused the rights we have entrusted to them. They have changed our culture, and not for the better. Following along behind collecting the money are the courts and lawyers. They have abused their offices and have failed their oath to uphold the Constitution.

          I believe everyone should have the right to succeed. I believe in a hand up for people, not a handout. This doesn’t mean not caring for the people who cannot help themselves, but allowing those that are capable to work to be successful. To provide a path and the tools is all that should be asked of our country’s citizens.

          When I graduated from high school there were several industries in this area that were the largest of their type in the world. Now there are only a few. Our area is becoming a service-oriented society with fewer and fewer manufacturing jobs available. After a while, service jobs have to have their customer base to manufacture a valued product to provide good paying jobs for people so they will have money to spend to keep those service jobs afloat.

          Here I am, like most of my family, looking to serve the people, but if I serve the people well, and then I should try my best to get industry back into the Tri-Cities. While I am running for the office of commissioner, there is a lot one can do to in this office to help his fellow constituents. While some are trivial, it is the job of this office to help in the local arena. I believe in grass roots policies where the people, if left to choose, will rise to unbelievable heights.

          I have always believed in the rules of responsibility and authority. If you tell someone to do something for you, then you have to give that person the authority to accomplish the job.

          I believe in personal responsibility. If you don’t vote, don’t cry about the candidate. It is my responsibility to look out after my neighbors. I believe in personal authority. I believe in my neighbor and I want him to have all the rights and authority given to him by God and upheld by the the people (Constitution) to protect my family and me. From the above statements there should be no doubt that I favor State rights and small Government.

          I have an active family within the Kingsport area. We have been involved in local sports as players, teachers, and coaches since my dad moved us here in 1951. My father, the late Rev. Roy Harris, retired from Holston Ordinance and my mother, Bessie Jenkins Harris, was everyone’s mom. I can tell you personally, Mom was a disciplinarian. Dad, a very talented individual, would give a stranger the shirt off his back, even though in his youth he was a Golden Glove champion. Mom inherited her father’s, Ballard Jenkins, musical talent. When she sang in church she could be heard over everyone else. They both were lifelong members of Bloomingdale Baptist Church, and I am very proud of both of them. I could never repay the Rev. Joe Byrd for his service to my family.

          I have an older sister and three brothers, one who is deceased. One of them did not want to be mentioned in this article.

          Janice, or Janup as my grandfather would call her, is our older sister. Her health has limited her abilities for several years. She is a graduate of Ketron High School and attended Steed Business College. She has two kids and one grandchild. She worked and retired from Food City.

          Roger, a well-known athlete who played basketball and football at Ketron High School, later attended Emory and Henry College where he played guard for their basketball team. He later joined the Army and served in the Vietnam War where he was badly wounded. He is now a handicapped veteran. After being medically discharged as a Staff Sergeant with less than a year of service, he married Betty Arrington. He and his wife lived in the Bloomingdale area for years.

          Despite his handicap Roger has been very active in the community. He has served in several positions in the Bloomingdale Optimist Club, including President. As a coach in the Optimist League, he has helped the coaches at Sullivan North by providing a group of well-trained kids through the feeder system. He was the President of the Sullivan County Baseball League, and he coached baseball and basketball for several years. There are not too many people in the county that do not know Roger and his fast wit and humor.

          My late brother, Coy, was my hero. He served in Vietnam as a Marine. He never talked too much about his tour of duty there, but several of his fellow buddies told of his heroic actions. His Marine background laid a foundation for his success in his later life. Coy married Margie Lamb in 1969. They had two children, Carrie, who is married and lives in Knoxville, and Jeremy, who is married and lives in the Bloomingdale Community.

          Coy graduated from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) in 1974 with a degree in Education. After graduation, he was hired to teach and coach football at Rogersville High school. He later became the head football coach at Rogersville and at Cherokee High School. When an opening came for a football coach and teacher at Central High School, he came back to the area. He himself played football at Ketron High School. He was the head football coach at Sullivan North High School until his untimely death in 1999. His legacy lives on as his son, Jeremy, and his step- niece, Sonya Owens, are now teaching and coaching at Sullivan North where the field house bears Coy's name.

          My wife, Jane, is an alumnus of Sullivan Central High School and East Tennessee State University where she received her B.S. and Master's Degrees in education. She has been a teacher at Central Heights, Blountville Elementary, and at the present Kingsley Elementary School. With a gift in music, she is a very talented pianist. Besides teaching private piano lessons, she has long been the pianist for Vermont United Methodist Church where we are members. Jane's family, the Pecktol's of the Central Heights Community, is very well respected and is very active in the community. No one could not ask for a better mother-in-law than Mayme Pecktol, Jane's mother or "Jim" to her family and friends. She and T.H. have one son, Glen, and another daughter, Nancy.

          I have two great children, Garrett and Angie, who live and work in the Tri-Cities area. Garrett has his own successful company in Johnson City, Audio Video Integration, while Angie is married and has her hands full with my three grandchildren. You can see them on my Facebook page.

          I have much to be thankful for. I have been a part of a revolutionary time of growth and development in industry that has given me an excellent background in marketing, sales, and management. The employment, training, and experiences I possess demonstrate I can be an asset to Sullivan County in many ways. I have been very successful and the companies I have worked for have shown tremendous profits. My resume will show that I am a people person. I have spent most of my life in development projects that I am very proud of. While working at Mini Fibers in sales of synthetic fiber, I had many opportunities such as providing my expertise to help Johnson and Johnson develop the first synthetic-made baby diaper. I also provided assistance to Kimberly Clark who produced the first nonwoven tea bags, replacing asbestos in several areas including removing asbestos from the flooring felts at Armstrong World Industries, and the list goes on. However, I am more proud of the fact that I have developed a reputation in the U.S. Markets as a person who has integrity and character. I have made great friends around the world.

           I am enclosing my resume so you may look at my training to show that I have the ability to serve my community. After you have read my resume and believe I am qualified to be your Commissioner, I would appreciate your support and vote. If you wish to contribute to my campaign with your time or money, you can contact me personally or by phone. My address, email address, and phone numbers are in my resume. I look forward to talking with you personally and getting your input and ideas on what you expect from your Commissioner.

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