Most known for his BBQ, Warren County Commissioner Gary Prater isn’t new to politics. In fact, he’s currently serving his sixth term.
Here’s a snapshot of District 10 County Commissioner Gary Prater.
Q: Describe yourself.
A: I am a family man. I’m 63 years old and I run and operate two businesses and farm with my brother. My wife and I have three children together and six grandchildren. I’ve lived here all my life.
Q: What are your hobbies/interest?
A: I like to farm. We grow corn and soybeans. Me and my wife go on a few trips and we go to five or six BBQ cook-offs a year in places like Florida, Mississippi and around Middle Tennessee. I enjoy getting to meet teams I’ve cooked with over the years.
Q: What food could you not live without?
A: I guess it would be a brisket sandwich.
Q: How did your decision to open a BBQ restaurant come about?
A: I’ve always enjoyed cooking and I used to work in a restaurant chain in the ’90s and I started Prater’s BBQ in ’94 and I love being around food. I used to be a master cheese maker and my rib recipe is probably my favorite.
Q: What major decisions have you been a part of?
A: We’ve had a lot of stuff … spec buildings, the jail, we remodeled the old jail and built on to the addition and I was on the Jail Oversight Committee there. I’m chairman of Highway and Bridge Committee and we’ve accomplished a lot over the years. We’ve only got two or three miles of gravel road left and that’s something I felt like I’ve helped accomplish. We’ve built the schools and I’ve been involved in providing the budget for the school system. If you are sitting on the county court, you really have an involvement in everything. When you are voting on the budget, you are actually voting on different budgets and the budget affects every department in the county.
Q: What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I’m pretty sure people already know that I’m outspoken and say what’s on my mind. I don’t sugar coat. I wish my wife was here to better answer this question.
Q: What advice would you share with the younger commissioners new to government?
A: Vote from the heart. Don’t let anybody lead you into something you might regret. Vote on how you feel because you aren’t going to make everybody happy.
Q: What is one county project you’d like to see completed during this term?
A: I’d like to see better jobs and I’d like to see parents get more involved with their children because here’s the thing about it, we can provide those kids with a teacher and a place to educate them, but once they leave they go home and sometimes that might be a vacant spot. I’d also like to see the drug problem go away and the jail cells empty.
Q: What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given?
A: Use your common sense and don’t get carried away. I wouldn’t trade common sense for any degree hanging on anybody’s wall.
Q: Best way to communicate with you?
A: My phone – 931-205-7866