Take a look at who is voting for and endorsed Steve Darden for U.S. Congress:

  • Kingsport Times News
  • The Johnson City Press
  • Morristown Citizen Tribune
  • Jonesborough Mayor, Chuck Vest
  • Former Mayor of Johnson City, Jeff Banyas
  • Long-time Washington County Commissioner, Pat Wolfe
  • Long-time District Manager for Congressman Phil Roe, John Abe Teague
  • Long-time Treasurer for Congressman Phil Roe, Gerald Thomas
  • Retired Cocke County Judge, Ben Hooper II
  • Former Sevier County Trustee, Jettie Clabo
  • Former Johnson City Police Chief, John Lowry
  • Tri-Cities Airport Commissioner, Todd Hensley
  • Former CEO of Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, Bob Miller
  • Former SHHS Coach, Mike Voitlein
  • WWII Veteran, Bill Brent

There are so many who believe and are voting for The Darden Difference for Congress. Take a look at some of his endorsements below.

Kingsport Times News, Aug. 5, 2020:

Steve Darden is Right Choice for Congress

Johnson City Press, Aug. 2, 2020:

Darden for Congress

A world of difference exists between a politician and a statesman. While a statesman may have to utilize politics to achieve certain goals, conscientious drives decision making, not personal aspirations or fever-raising antics.

Northeast Tennessee needs a statesman in Congress, not a pure politician. The 1st Congressional District needs a representative who will fight for improvement for its citizens, not someone caught up in the political rancor dividing this nation.

We believe the candidate with the most potential to fill that role is Steve Darden.

Johnson City’s native son has a long track record of statesmanship and civic-minded principles, dating back to even before he first entered public office as a member of the City Commission in 2001. He has accumulated countless hours of community service as a volunteer, youth sports coach and board member.

During his 10 years on the Commission, including two as mayor, Darden demonstrated the leadership skills and vision necessary to move this city ahead. Darden was among those responsible for the city’s flooding mitigation efforts, the revitalization of downtown and the development of Founders Park. He set the course for advances in the West Walnut Street corridor and advocated improvements to Interstate 26.

And like the current national situation, the Johnson City Commission was bitterly divided for much of his tenure. Yet Darden was an agent of progress in the face of those divisions.

His experience as a labor attorney and negotiator makes him the right choice to fight through the politics in Washington to develop policy that is good for both the nation and the people of this district. He will not be intimidated or overwhelmed in the swamp. He seems grounded in the traditional conservative principles of his family and his community, not allegiance to outsiders.

Perhaps most importantly, Darden has shown himself to be a reasoned man who maintains the disposition necessary to represent the 1st District with the dignity, fortitude and sense of honor the office deserves.

The Johnson City Press endorses Steve Darden for Congress in Thursday’s Republican primary and the general election Nov. 3.

Jonesborough Mayor, Chuck Vest, July 20th, 2020

Darden is best choice for First Congressional District

Former mayor endorses Steve Darden for Congress, June 8, 2020

Jeff Banyas

As a former Johnson City mayor and county commissioner, I wish to endorse another former mayor, Steve Darden, as our next congressman. With his background of small business ownership and distinguished elected service at the local level, Steve is uniquely qualified to fill the seat of another Johnson City mayor, Phil Roe, who is retiring.

In my nine years on the City Commission, I was privileged to serve with Steve. His vision for revitalizing downtown by ending decades of flooding was one of the most important decisions by our city government. Today, downtown has been reborn with restaurants, shops, entertainment and new residents. Likewise, Steve saw the possibilities of transforming an abandoned railroad track into what is now the most popular Tweetsie Trail that has greatly improved the quality of life in our region. He was also instrumental in forming the Economic Development Council (now NETREP) that serves Carter, Unicoi and Washington counties.

After leaving office, Steve maintained his commitment to serving small business and the public through the United Way, as a board member of the Chamber of Commerce and in many other ways that demonstrate his dedication to others.

I know most of the other candidates. I have no hesitancy in saying that based on his energy, intelligence, determination and uncommon passion, Steve will be an excellent congressman. Steve has my confidence, my vote and my support. Vote for Steve Darden in the Republican primary.

Pat & Becky Wolfe Endorse Steve Darden

With Congressman Phil Roe retiring, we all want his replacement to be the best representative for the 1st Congressional District. Since two of the leading candidates are from Washington County, we would like to provide our opinion and endorsement of Steve Darden.

We have invested 26 years of having Rusty Crowe in the State Senate and we believe it’s in our best interest for him to complete his term which expires in 2023. Otherwise, we are forfeiting the he could exercise in Nashville. With Ron Ramsey having retired several years ago, we need a presence. Plus, Rusty is seeking to become a rookie Congressman at the same stage of life that Congressman Roe is retiring, which makes no sense given that it takes time to get established.

We also understand that at the Unicoi County Legislative Breakfast in March, Rusty boasted of flying to Washington D.C. from the Knoxville Airport, rather than using our TriCity Airport. Every business person in our region understands the importance of supporting the Tri-City Airport. That Rusty would miss this basic point is very disturbing and suggests that he does not understand the basics of leadership within our local economy and region.

Steve Darden, on the other hand, has been in the thick of economic development efforts in Washington County and the region for at least 20 years. When I (Pat) was on the County Commission and Steve was Johnson City’s Mayor, we and others worked together to revamp the economic structure of our county and Steve was instrumental in the actual recruitment of businesses. Steve has the
intelligence, energy and determination to be a great Congressman, not to mention the skills to be a great Ambassador for the
1st Congressional District. Plus, he is at the perfect stage of life to take on the job: mature enough to make good decisions but poses no danger of becoming a career politician.

Between the two Washington County candidates running for Congress, to us the choice is clear – Vote for Steve Darden for the Republican nomination!

Pat & Becky Wolfe, Jonesborough

John Abe Teague, Congressman Phil Roe’s 1st District Director for many years Endorses Steve Darden

Dear Friends & Fellow Voters,

I’m writing to endorse Steve Darden as our next U.S. Congressman, to succeed Phil Roe. It was my honor and privilege to serve as Congressman Roe’s Field Representative and District Director from the time he took office in 2009 until 2016. I believe I am well-qualified to offer an opinion as to who is best suited to be our next Congressman.

I’ve known Steve Darden through our church and community involvement since our family moved to Johnson City 33 years ago when I became manager of the local Farm Bureau Insurance Offices of Washington County. Steve was raised right and it shows. He began washing dishes at his dad’s restaurant, the Rainbow Corner, at age 8 and learned the value of hard work and serving others at an early age. Steve gets along with people from all walks of life.

Steve has the qualifications, work ethic, personality, intelligence, demeanor, judgment, and the experience to be an excellent Congressman. As I’ve followed the campaign over the last several months, it is clear to me that Steve is the leader we need.

Johnson City, Washington County and the region are better off due to the fact that Steve was an excellent Mayor, Vice-Mayor, and City Commissioner. He answered the call then when the City needed his leadership. After Congressman Roe was elected to Congress, Steve completed Dr. Roe’s remaining two years. Steve has also been a volunteer on many boards, has coached our local youth, and has traveled abroad in mission and as a community representative. There would be no better ambassador for the District than Steve as our representative to the rest of the state, nation, and world. This native son is someone of whom we should all be proud and expect great things from.

Many of the candidates for the Congressional office are pre-occupied with mayhem in other parts of our country. Steve, on the other hand, emphasizes making lives better here in our District. That should be the Congressman’s focus and that of his staff, to listen and respond.

As I have recognized the damage having the wrong person in this seat would do for the next 50 years, I felt compelled to speak up. In Steve Darden, we have a chance for our Congressman to have a positive impact rather than take us backwards, reinforce negative stereotypes about our area, or keep the seat warm for a few years before they retire. Steve is at the perfect age to assume this role — mature enough to have many experiences to draw from, but young enough to hold the job long enough to make an impact without becoming a career politician. Steve Darden will continue the proactive leadership that Congressman Roe has shown during his time in Congress.

Please join me in voting for Steve Darden to be our next U.S. Congressman.

Yours truly,

John Abe Teague

Letter to Newport Plain Talk, June 4, 2020

By Retired Judge Ben Hooper II

Dear Editor:

I have evaluated the field of Republican candidates in the race to succeed retiring Congressman Phil Roe. I have decided that the best choice to become our next Congressman is Steve Darden and I would like to explain why.

Steve is well educated, having receiving an accounting degree and law degree from the University of Tennessee. He’s a native son of the District, having been born in Johnson City and educated in its schools. He is not a career politician but has 10 years of distinguished service on the Johnson City Commission, including terms as Mayor and Vice Mayor. And as small business owner, he has a unique blend of a business owner’s perspective and government experience.

Steve is the right age to represent us in Congress and as you can see, he is well qualified. Perhaps the main thing that has impressed me about Steve is his passion for our District, including my home county of Cocke County, but also its neighbors Sevier, Hamblen and Jefferson and the other 8 counties that he would represent. Steve’s enthusiasm for our future and his respect for our history, as well as the great impression he makes when speaking in front of a group, will make him an outstanding ambassador for our District. Steve is tough, yet shows a willingness to listen to others and the much-needed ability to disagree agreeably.

I hope that you will decide, as I have, to vote for Steve Darden for U.S. Congress.


Judge Ben W. Hooper II, Retired

Jetti Clabo Endorsement, June 24, 2020

Former Sevier Country Trustee

I’ve looked at the candidates for 1st District Congressman and Steve Darden is our best choice. Steve is a small business owner, and he supports President Trump’s economic policies and – like the President – is not a career politician. As a former Mayor, I think Steve has the best background, personality, integrity and skills to lead. I know that Steve will fight for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and our other outdoor assets as well. These are just a few “Darden Differences” and some of the reasons why I urge every voter to cast their ballot for Steve to replace my good friend – Congressman Roe – in the Republican Primary on August 6th or during the early voting period.

Bob Miller Endorses Darden, July 26, 2020

Former CEO of Kingsport Chamber of Commerce

Endorsement by former Johnson City Police Chief John Lowry

Steve Darden Names Jettie Clabo Sevier County Campaign Chairman


The Darden Difference

I am writing to urge voters in our area who haven’t decided between Steve Darden and Rusty Crowe to recognize the many Darden Differences and vote for Steve Darden for Congress.As an airport commissioner, I found it alarming that Rusty Crowe spoke openly in public about using the Knoxville airport for a flight to Washington, D.C. earlier this year. The Tri-Cities Airport is essential to maintaining and improving business conditions in our region. We have had advertising campaigns in the past to encourage our local residents to support the airport (“Fly the Tri”). Rusty’s use of the Knoxville airport rather than supporting the home team demonstrates to me that he is a career politician who has quit paying attention to his obligations, thanks to 26 years of steady government pay and benefits. We need a true leader as our next congressman, and Steve Darden has shown me on the campaign trail that he has the fire in the belly we need to move the needle in our region.

There is important work to be done by our next congressman, and Steve Darden is well-prepared to provide the leadership we need at the federal level. I have known Steve and appreciated his commitment to our area for several years. Most importantly, I trust him to work hard on our behalf. Please join me in voting for Steve Darden in the Republican Primary for Congress!

Todd Hensley

Endorsement by former Science Hill High School Football Coach Mike Voitlein

Endorsement by Johnson City voter Bill Brent