Dear Friends and Neighbors:
Today I am announcing that I do not intend to seek election as your State Representative for the Fourth District in 2014.
One of my core beliefs, and one that resonated most strongly in my 2012 campaign, is my belief that the family, not the state, is the core unit of a successful society. Since I first announced my campaign plans in April 2012, my amazing wife Stacy and I have welcomed two beautiful daughters into this world, Chloe and Lily, with Lily being born just this last week on November 12.
My first and most important job will always be to be the best father I can be for Chloe and Lily and the best husband I can be for Stacy. Right now, that means staying close to home—a luxury our State Representatives do not have.
I am extremely proud of the campaign you helped me run in 2012 and am honored that many of you have already approached me about next year’s election. While the General Assembly is not the right place for me right now, my passion for public service is not diminished in the least. I am exploring opportunities to serve our community closer to home and anticipate being active in the 2014 campaign season.
I am excited to see what doors God will open for me and for Carter and Unicoi Counties in 2014. Thank you again for your tremendous support.
About Thom Gray
Thom Gray is an attorney from Elizabethton. He primarily practices in the areas of civil litigation and criminal defense. He has also served as a Fellow with the Office of the Federal Public Defender in Abingdon, VA and an Intern with the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia.
Gray, 28, is a lifelong resident of Carter County. He is the son of former General Sessions and Juvenile Judge Richard Gray and JoAnn Campbell Gray, also of Elizabethton. He is married to his high school sweetheart Stacy Gray (nee LeJeune). The Grays live in the Valley Forge community and have two daughters: Chloe Jane, age 18 months, and Lily Rose, born Nov. 12, 2013.
Gray first campaigned for public office in 2012, when he won the Republican primary for State Representative for the Fourth District (Carter and Unicoi Counties). He then faced former Speaker of the House Kent Williams in the General Election. Despite being a first-time candidate and being outspent more than 3-to-1, Gray nearly unseated the three-term incumbent, earning 46.3% of the vote.
Gray describes himself as a Constitutional Conservative. He believes government should adhere strictly to the limits set by the Constitution, and that lawmakers should be guided by the principles of Individual Liberty, Limited Government, and the Free Market.
Gray earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee and attended Elizabethton City Schools.
The Grays are members of Elizabethton Alliance Church in Elizabethton, where they serve on the Missions Committee and in the Worship Team. Gray is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association, the Virginia State Bar, and the Kiwanis Club of Erwin.