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Organized in 1973, the East Tennessee Economic Council (ETEC) is an independent, regional, non-profit membership organization dedicated to supporting the federal government’s missions in Oak Ridge as well as encouraging new opportunities to fully utilize the highly-skilled talent, cutting-edge technologies and unique facilities that make up the federal reservation, the University of Tennessee complex, and the TVA  region.

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Randy McNally Set to Fill Large Boots as Tennessee’s Next Lieutenant Governor

Sen. Randy McNally greets guests during ETEC’s Muddy Boots award luncheon Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. (Photo: Saul Young / News Sentinel)

Like a Burgundy wine, his sense of humor is frequently dry. He was once John F. Kennedy in a high school debate, still occasionally plays lacrosse and has an affinity for rescuing dogs and practical jokes. Meet James Rand “Randy” McNally III, the 72-year-old next Senate speaker and lieutenant governor of Tennessee.

On Tuesday, January 10th, when the 110th General Assembly convenes, all eyes will be on the Senate as the chamber makes its formal transition from the leadership of Ron Ramsey, an affable and gregarious political powerhouse who played a pivotal role in securing the current Republican supermajority in the legislature, to McNally.

McNally’s ascension this week will be the culminating act for a man who has commanded respect through his dedication to a life of public service that began in the muddy streets of Oak Ridge.

On a sunny Friday afternoon in early December, McNally took the stage at a lunchtime reception at a hotel in his hometown of Oak Ridge to hand off a Muddy Boot Award to U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Chattanooga. The award, which is given to individuals who have been instrumental in the economic growth of Oak Ridge, received its name because those who worked in the community during the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb during World War II could be identified by their muddy boots.

During his brief remarks before handing out the award, the crowd listened intently to McNally, a past Muddy Boot recipient. He gave the crowd a brief summary of the comings and goings of the legislature, including topics such as the gas tax and the state’s budget surplus. McNally has become somewhat of a budget guru from serving as chairman of the Senate finance committee.

“I want to thank you all for the support that I’ve gotten out of this community,” McNally said in his signature style of speaking that’s reflective of his methodical thinking. “It’s really heartwarming to know that the people that I represent, the state I represent, are some of the finest people in the country.”

Source: The Tennessean | Joel Ebert | January 7, 2017

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