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Born May 13, 1940, Clarksville, TN. Married. wife Penny; five children, Whit, Eddy, Joy, Eve and Dawson; Church of Christ; lawyer; former captain, U.S. Air Force serving as judge advocate general 1966-69; B.S. Austin Peay State University 1962; J.D. Vanderbilt University Law School 1965; selected to attend Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University 1973; member of Civitan Club, Clarksville Chamber of Commerce, American Bar Association, Montgomery County Bar Association.

While representing state Senate district 22, he served as Senate majority leader 1989-1992. He was secretary to the Select Joint Committee on Children and Youth; member of the Finance, Ways and Means Committee; Judiciary Committee; Ethics Committee; Calendar Committee; and the Council on Pensions and Retirement. He was the speaker's designee to Fiscal Review committee in addition to being a member of the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Southern Legislative Conference of the Council of State Governments. First elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1970, he represented the 67th House district in the 87th, 88th, 89th, 90th and 91st General Assemblies. Elected in 1980 to the Tennessee Senate, he served in the 92nd, 93rd, 94th, 95th, 96th and 97th General Assemblies. He was elected Tennessee secretary of state in January 1993.


Scene at Chickamauga/Chattanooga Park, where the “Battle Above the Clouds raged. From the 2005-2006 Tennessee Blue Book page, 476.

Riley Darnell,
Secretary of State