NASHVILLE, TN- As session is winding down, I wanted to give a special thank you and shout out to my legislative intern, Stephen Duke. Stephen is a senior at MTSU and, through his participation in MTSU’s intern program, he was selected to be an intern for District 48. He has been a valuable asset for our District, and I believe that constituents and neighbors should know about the service that he has provided.
While many people believe that State Representatives may have large, government provided staffs to work on all issues and bills, the reality is that each Representative is provided one assistant. In many cases, the assistant may be new, and not know the processes, or they may not even be politically aligned with their Representative. I am fortunate in that Jeni Hines, my assistant, knows our district and is supportive of our concerns. However, having a thoughtful and motivated intern provides much needed help during session.
While primarily serving as my legislative intern, Stephen, also, helped other legislators, as well. I share a suite with Representative Gravitt, and Representative Alexander. Stephen was able to assist them in various manners throughout the session. We were all proud to sponsor HR 235 to congratulate Stephen for his service and dedication.
Stephen’s duties included everything from answering phones to research to filing bills and resolutions. Early on in session, Stephen would update the status on my bills, then Jeni, Stephen and I would meet to go over the daily game plan. When it became time to present my bills, Stephen would help disseminate the information to legislators and help me lobby the bills.
When one of our assistants was unable to be at work on a particular day, Stephen readily stepped up and helped in those duties. Whether taking down information or issues from constituents on the phone, or following up with constituents, Stephen did a great job.
Stephen is a highly motivated individual and serves as the treasurer of the MTSU College Republicans, treasurer of the Blue Raider debaters, vice president of Alumni Relations, and vice president of Finance for Interfraternal Council. It is young men and women like Stephen that our District and state need going forward, and I am proud to be able to let District 48 and Tennessee know about him.