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Walling announces candidacy for state Senate seat
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Van Buren County native Justin Walling has announced he will seek the 16th State Senate District seat, which encompasses seven counties – Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie, Van Buren and Warren.
“I will fight for jobs and the resources – water lines, sewer lines and roads – to bring good jobs to the 16th State Senate District,” Walling said. “Our children should not have to leave the communities they grew up in to find a good-paying job. I will work with all citizens and our local elected officials to ensure our children get a first-class education, help build up and support our existing businesses, and help recruit new jobs to our rural communities.  Infrastructure, an educated workforce, and good-paying jobs all tie together.”
Walling worked for U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis for eight years in his McMinnville district office as a casework director and in his Washington, D.C. office as a legislative assistant. 
“I had the opportunity to work with county and local officials and to help constituents. It’s an honor to serve the public,” Walling said. 
The McMinnville district office served nine of the counties in Davis’ Congressional district, including the seven that make up the 16th Senate District.
“Helping a veteran file a service-related claim or get medical care at a Veterans Administration hospital, or helping an elderly or disabled person navigate the Social Security process was truly a humbling and rewarding experience,” Walling said. “Helping your neighbor is one of the greatest values we, as Tennesseans, share. I want to continue to help the residents of the 16th State Senate District by cutting through the red tape and making sure they can quickly access the services they need.”
While working full time for Davis, Walling attended Nashville School of Law, a three-hour round trip from the McMinnville office. He passed the bar last year and opened his law office in January. 
“I know what it’s like to try to keep a small business running in a rural area, to lie awake at night deciding which bills to pay first,” Walling said.
A product of public education, Walling graduated from Van Buren County High School and Tennessee Technological University.
“Our teachers have been under attack. Teachers need someone to advocate for them,” Walling said. “I want to make government work for the people.”
Walling is an active member of the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce.
Walling was elected co-chair of the Van Buren County Democratic Party at the age of 17, a position he held for 12 years. During that time, he was elected and served a four-year term each as treasurer and president of the Tennessee Democratic Party’s County Chairs Association.