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Murray qualifies to run for District 21 in Wilson County commission races

Staff Reports • Jul 3, 2018 at 6:29 PM

Eugene Murray announced his candidacy for Wilson County commissioner in District 21. 

Murray is a lifelong Wilson County resident and has lived in District 21 for the past 40 years. 

Murray is married to Velma Jean Enoch Murray for the past 54 years. They have three children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. 

Murray served with the Lebanon Police Department in the 1970s and 1980s and was appointed interim circuit court clerk in the early ’80s. He retired from Toshiba America Corp. as the material manager after 24 years of service. In retirement, he drives a school bus for Wilson County Schools. 

Murray is a 1962 graduate of Lebanon High School and attended Cumberland University, Volunteer State Community College and the University of Tennessee Extension School in Nashville. He completed 188 credit hours of further education and attained a certified public administrator degree through the University of Tennessee Center for Government Training. 

Murray also completed 45 credit hours and received his certificate of public service, level 1, for county executives. 

Murray previously served as chairman of the Wilson County Planning and Zoning Committee, the finance committee and the cable TV committee and a member of the ethics committee, development and tourism committee, judicial committee, where he helped introduce legislation to add a third general sessions judge in Wilson County. He was also a member of the steering committee and co-chair of the ad hoc legislative committee, which has the responsibility of reporting to the commission on matters introduced by the state legislature that may have an impact on Wilson County. 

“A couple of things I could not get done during my last term on the county commission was access to our county clinics for part-time employees,” Murray said. “I worked with the school board and Commissioner Jeff Joines, and a bill was passed by the full county commission in early 2014, giving access to the county clinics for part-time employees.

“I was working on legislation as to the exemption of new automobiles from emission testing with the state legislature, and between the state legislature and the Wilson County Commission in May 2016, the commission passed a local ordinance for the exemption of newer cars for a period of three years based on state law, which passed into law. All this is awaiting approval from the Environmental Protection Agency. Also, there is new legislation awaiting approval to eliminate these tests completely. Again, these are waiting approval from the EPA. 

“Wilson County is experiencing tremendous growth now. This is like a two-edged sword, however, as it begins to strain our resources. We must provide schools, public safety, roads and emergency services. We work with our planning group, where I currently serve on the Wilson County Board of Zoning Appeals, to monitor our land use to stay ahead of the growth. We will work with our school board, WEMA and public safety officials, along with the Wilson County Road Commission, to determine areas of concern from those front-line people who know first hand the problems that need attention. We know there are some roads that, because of growth, need widening, and this will be one of our first concerns.”

Murray said one of the most important officials elected is county commissioner, because among all other elected officials, none sets tax rates and designates spending except for commissioners. 

“I pledge to the voters of Wilson County a very conservative mind set concerning any tax-and-spend legislation,” Murray said. 

“There are many concerns that affect our county, and one of the most concerning is our schools and school bus safety for our children. I want to work closely with out school safety committee and law enforcement officials to make these areas as safe as they can possibly be for our students, teachers and bus drivers. 

“I humbly seek your vote and support for this most-important office. I pledge again my support to District 21 and also the entire county.”

With current District 21 Commissioner Cindy Brown not seeking re-election, Murray will face Mike Kurtz for the seat in the Aug. 2 Wilson County General Election. Early voting will be July 13-28.

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