This week, The Post profiled the Republican candidates for Rutherford County road superintendent. For the Democrats, BJ Smotherman is a shoo-in, as he is the only primary candidate. Next week, we will take a look at property assessor candidates. Early voting runs through Feb. 28 with Election Day set for March 6.
Buddy Gambill Jr.
Through the years, Buddy Gambill learned about road construction, maintenance and repair through managing his father’s construction and equipment business, Gambill Truck and Surplus Sales in Christiana.
“With my experience, I will bring cost-effective purchasing and new maintenence programs. I will maintain quality work with all areas of the Highway Department,” Gambill said.
Gambill has specific goals for the Rutherford County Highway Department, like widening roads and maintaining safe intersections to keep the public safe and traffic moving; increase pride and morale in the employees of the Highway Department; and properly manage all equipment to keep costs low.
A U.S. Air Force veteran, Gambill is a native of Rutherford County. He lives in Christiana with his childhood sweetheart, Merilyn.
Joe Frank Jernigan
For the past 10 years, Joe Frank Jernigan has worked as Rutherford County’s assistant road superintendent.
A life-long resident of Rutherford County, he has also served as county commissioner for the Kittrell and Buchanan communities since 1998.
Managing the county’s population and traffic growth, while staying within budget, is the most important issue facing the Highway Department, Jernigan said.
“We have to keep roads in good shape for drivers,” he said.
The county manages nearly 800 miles of roads by evaluating them each year and repairing or improving “the ones that need it most,” Jernigan explained.
“We need to alternate and keep them all in good condition, while staying within our budget,” he said.
In addition to his years of experience in the Highway Department, Jernigan is also a certified public administrator.
Running on a platform of safety, Robert Alsup says he wants to keep roads in Rutherford County safe to drive on for everyone, including his 14-year-old son who will soon be taking to the streets as a first time driver.
Alsup has worked for the Murfreesboro Fire Department for 27 years and has been an officer in the department for 12 years.
Beyond serving in the fire department, he also co-owns Alsup Excavating with his brother, which he explains does a little bit of everything from paving roads to building subdivisions.
“I’ve done the job in the private sector and want to take my experience to the public sector,” Alsup said.
Having grown up in Rutherford County, he graduated from Oakland High School and attended Volunteer State Community College. Alsup has been married for 21 years and has two children. A son who is enrolled at Siegel Middle School and a daughter at Siegel High School.
Alsup places emphasis on integrity as evidenced by his campaign slogan, “Integrity you can count on, quality you can drive on.”
Between being an officer in the fire department and co-owning a business, Alsup says he’s used to being in charge.
Though this is Alsup’s first time to run for an elected position, he remains confident he has a good chance of winning.
“I’ve got some strong competition, but I feel good about it and by the end of it, I think everyone will realize I’m the best candidate for the job,” Alsup said.
Greg Brooks is a second generation road builder who has spent the past 30 years in the industry as co-owner and managing partner of B & M Asphalt.
“I believe I will be a breath of fresh air to the Rutherford County political scene, because I’ve never been a politician or bureaucrat,” Brooks said. “Instead, I’ve been a road construction businessman for more than 30 years and my conservative values and problem-solving experience will help Rutherford County create the best road system in the state. I know how to work with federal, state and local regulations as well as create and stick to a budget and effectively manage people.”
Brooks said he believes his experience in asphalt production, site planning, civil drawing interpretation, construction, road maintenance, road construction equipment and supervision of employees makes him the most qualified candidate for Rutherford County’s new road superintendent. He said this experience will help him properly manage Rutherford County roads, work with the County Commission and county mayor and properly communicate with the citizens of Rutherford County.
Brooks and his wife Sandy own a 150-acre cattle farm in Christiana, where they are raising their daughter and attend Southeast Baptist Church.