Putnam County native puts in bid for congressional seat

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From a rich agricultural background to law school and IT businesses, John Rose has been in a number of fields.

Now, he’s seeking something bigger — to win the Republican nomination and be the person to represent the 6th congressional district of Tennessee, an office currently held by Gallatin Republican Diane Black, who is pursuing a candidacy for governor.

The idea of running for public office came when Rose and his wife started talking about starting a family, a little more than a year ago.

“I started noticing the state of the country and where it was going and knew we could leave this country in a better state for our children,” he said.

He and his wife, Chelsea, now have a little boy, born in October.

A native of Putnam County, he is a 1983 graduate of Cookeville High School, Tennessee Technological University, Purdue University and Vanderbilt Law School.

His degrees from TTU and Purdue deal with agriculture, since that is what his family has done for generations. His family has two farms — the Rose Farm, which sits on the Smith/DeKalb County line, founded in 1874, a Century Farm; and the Lancaster Farm, a Pioneer Farm that began in 1790. He is the eighth generation to own that property.

“My family’s involvement in farming is what got me into agriculture,” he said.

He went to law school with the idea of becoming a country lawyer, but things changed.

“A couple of colleagues and I came up with a business idea to prepare IT officials to pass certification programs,” he said. “We developed the first practice certification program for Microsoft certifications for individuals, kind of like the practice ACT tests you take.”

It proved to be a very successful concept.

In 2000, he sold that business and came back to DeKalb County to his family farm.

In 2002, he was selected to be the commissioner of agriculture, a position he said was very educational and insightful.

“I got to work on a variety of committees, such as the Tennessee Board of Regents,” he said. “I got a glimpse of how state government works.”

He left that position a year later, and in 2005, he got back together with those colleagues and got back into the IT field, offering Cisco certifications.

That business sells products all over the world, with universities and colleges using those services as well.

He is excited to meet people from all over the 6th District.

“There are a number of issues that need to be addressed,” he said. “The safety and security of the homeland is one not to be overlooked.”

Another issue is the federal debt and the economy.

“The federal government sets the tone, and it has been discouraging growth through regulations and taxes,” he said. “Healthcare is another big issue that we need to tackle.”

He would like to advance the mindset the state legislature has — get the work done and go home.

“We need Tennessee values in Washington, not Washington values in Tennessee,” he said. “That’s what the Founding Fathers wanted, the states to have power over some issues.”

The 6th congressional district covers a lot of counties —  Cannon, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Robertson, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, White and Wilson counties and areas of Cheatham and Van Buren counties.

“I’m optimistic I can make a difference,” he said. “I hope to make a difference.”

If Rose wins the nomination and the seat, he will be the first person from Putnam County to represent the district in Congress.

For more information about Rose’s campaign, visit www.johnrose.com.