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Stokes enters race for Atchley seat

Knoxville attorney Billy J. Stokes filed a qualifying petition with the Knox County Election Commission making official his run for the state Senate in the 6th district being vacated by retiring Sen. Ben Atchley, who has served in the legislature for more than 30 years.

Stokes first announced his intentions in November of last year, and has campaigned steadily since. “We just opened our office last week and have already started our extensive door-to-door campaign,” Stokes said.

“From what we have gathered on our door-to-door campaigning, voters in this district want someone to respond to their needs and not push legislation just because a PAC or lobbyist is behind it. I think that’s what I offer, local representation with courage, commitment and cooperation,” Stokes said.

Stokes was born and raised in Knox County. A graduate of Rule High School and the University of Tennessee, Stokes served as a captain in the U.S. Army from 1979 to 1982 after working his way through college and law school as a juvenile counselor for the East Tennessee Regional Juvenile Detention Center and the Knoxville Police Department.

Stokes and his wife, Bay, a reading recovery specialist with more than 25 years of service in Knox County schools, have two children. Angie, a pharmaceutical sales representative, who lives in California with her husband Bill, a U.S. Marine Corps captain, and Amy is a recent graduate of Furman University.

Stokes and his wife are active members of Second Presbyterian Church.

From 1995 to 1997, on U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr.’s recommendation, Stokes served as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Employment Security and then as special assistant to the governor, building a record of reform as he worked on the Worker’s Compensation Reform Act of 1996, oversaw the 1996 Olympic Game events on the Ocoee River, served on the board of the Duck River Agency, and was a key developer of the Families First welfare reform program.

Stokes is a founding partner of Stokes, Rutherford, Williams, Sharp & Davies where he practices personal injury, employment and environmental law.

“The campaign looks forward to hearing more voters as we continue our tour around the 6th senate district, especially now that we know officially who will be running in the primary,” Adam Groves, campaign operations director, said.


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