Ellis Julian “E.J.” Laughter has announced his candidacy for Bradley County commissioner from the 6th District.
Laughter, a Navy Veteran, was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his military service to our country.
“I served four years in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya,” he stated.
“I was an explosive ordinance disposal technician, second class, and attached to EOD Mobile Unit 2 at the end of my career.
“As a squad leader in the Navy, I was in charge of four to 12 people. So I know the value of good leadership and the importance of teamwork. I now teach these skills as an assistant coach for seventh and eighth-grade football.”
Laughter coaches with Rocky King, chief of police in Benton, and current candidate for sheriff in Polk County.
Laughter grew up in Benton where he played football for eight years. He also played at Bradley Central High School, where he graduated in 2007. He graduated from Cleveland State Community College, where he met his wife prior to joining the United States Navy.
One of Laughter’s top priorities is education.
“If we can improve our educational system, then everything else will follow suit. Tennessee has among the lowest rankings for education. That has to change, and Bradley County can be a leader in this effort! We have dedicated and talented teachers, and great potential among our students. With the support of our elected officials, we have the opportunity to become innovative leaders in the field of education,” he said.
Laughter stated, “To accomplish this, our students need specific actions from our local government — we need a new school at Lake Forest. This is one of the most immediate needs in my district.
“There are also several roads in the district that need to be safer, and we need to prioritize and develop positive solutions for economic development,” Laughter continued.
“There are many underemployed families in Bradley County, and I will do anything I can to help improve that situation. This includes expecting big businesses here in town to give back to employees and/or the county in one way or another. For example, many local factory jobs only pay a dollar or two over minimum wage. That is not acceptable to me. A working person should be fairly compensated for their labor.
“We haven’t inherited this county from our parents — it’s on loan to us from our children. It would be my honor to serve as county commissioner from the 6th District, and your vote in August will be greatly appreciated,” Laughter concluded.