Sam Stockard, The Murfreesboro Post, November 9, 2017
Republican Rep. Mike Sparks of Smyrna captured a fourth two-year term, picking up 13,510 votes, 61.08 percent, to 8,585, 38.7 percent for Brandon Thomas.
“I appreciate the voters because I’m held accountable by my constituents,” said Sparks, an online auto dealer.
Sparks congratulated Thomas for running a good campaign and said he looks forward the challenger helping him on key issues such as juvenile justice reform and opioid addiction.
A member of a House juvenile justice committee, Sparks said it costs $453 a day to house a juvenile offender, about $160,000 annually.
“There needs to be an overhaul in that area,” Sparks said, noting it should be a “conservative issue” because turning young people in the right direction could save money and change lives.
Thomas was excited about the results of his first political campaign. He pointed out he received the highest percentage for a Rutherford County Democrat running for the Legislature.
“My campaign was the most progressive, and I think that really shows that there is something in my district that people really want to see change,” Thomas said.