andy holt

Andy Holt 3.0? Former lawmaker lands job in Lee administration

Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) attends a meeting at the state Captiol in Nashville on Jan. 8, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Former state Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) has been named director of business development within the state Department of Agriculture.

Holt served in the House from 2010 through his retirement this November. He was mostly known for his firebrand politics until being named chairman of the powerful budget subcommittee by then-speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin).

Following Casada’s fall from power, new speaker Cameron Sexton chose a new head of the panel, returning Holt to the backbench.

Holt, a prominent supporter of Bill Lee during the 2018 governor’s race, is the latest ex-lawmaker to join the administration. The position will pay Holt $92,700 per year.

Here’s the release announcing Holt’s hire.

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. has announced the addition of Andy Holt to the Business Development Division of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA). Holt will serve as Director of Business Development in support of economic development initiatives, as well as agriculture and forestry industry expansion.

“Rural economic development and recovery from the pandemic are priorities of the Department and Governor Bill Lee,” Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “TDA has been given the opportunity to lead projects focused on these priorities and the addition of Andy Holt will be a significant enhancement to our work. Andy’s personal and professional experience in farming, along with his education in agriculture and economics, will support our efforts towards recruitment, recovery, and expansion.”

Holt served in the Tennessee House of Representatives, District 76 covering Weakley County and parts of Carroll and Obion Counties from 2010 to 2020. During his tenure, Holt served on several committees and was chairman of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee. He and his wife, Ellie, own and operate Holt Family Farms, an agri-tourism and diversified livestock farming operation in Dresden. Holt is a former Financial Services Officer at Farm Credit Services and former Greenfield Fertilizer Manager at Weakley County Farmers Cooperative.

“As a first-generation farmer, I have chosen agriculture not only as my profession, but more importantly, my wife, Ellie, and I have chosen agriculture as a lifestyle for our family,” Holt said. “I appreciate and look forward to the opportunity to continue my service to the State of Tennessee in this new capacity, leveraging my relationships, knowledge, and skills to strengthen the agriculture industry and community. There are only two words on the Tennessee State Seal, and this new position will combine them both – Agriculture and Commerce. I will work to see both thrive during my service with the team at the Department of Agriculture.”

Holt’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics and Business with a minor in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee at Martin with a focus on Economics and Finance. He will begin his new duties with TDA in January.

Rep. Andy Holt says he won’t run for re-election

Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden), left, attends a meeting at the state Capitol in Nashville on Jan. 8, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) has announced he won’t seek another term in the state House this year.

Holt tells Thunderbolt Broadcasting he wants to spend more time with his family and on his agritourism business.

State Representative Andy Holt: I Will Not Seek Another Term

House District 76 comprises all of Weakley and parts of Obion and Carroll counties. Holt was first elected to the seat in 2010.

New Nashville mayor’s transition team raises eyebrows

A  Tennessean report about Nashville Mayor-elect John Cooper’s transition team included several items that raised eyebrows. One was the selection as Greg Hinote, an aide to former Mayor Karl Dean, whose pro-development record ran counter to Cooper’s neighborhoods-first platform. The other was Victor Ashe, the former four-term Knoxville mayor and Republican state senator. Though it turns out there’s a pretty big caveat to the latter’s role in the transition.

Ashe, it turns out, retired after 20 years on the faculty of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he has been involved in the biannual Seminar on Transition for Newly-Elected Mayors (this year’s version is scheduled for Dec. 3 to Dec. 5).

“I am happy to share with mayor-elect Cooper my experience in transition to the mayor’s office, issues likely to be faced in short term, and how to prepare for it,” Ashe said in an email.

Meanwhile, there has been great rejoicing among legislative Republicans about the defeat of incumbent Nashville Mayor David Briley. But it remains to be seen how long the lovefest between the GOP and the brother of U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Nashville) will endure.