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Lovell aims to cut spending, revisit unemployment laws

By Julie Turner
Special to The Independent
He is a local businessman whose endeavors include everything from the popular Delta Fair & Music Festival and Memphis Air Show to Stonebridge Golf Course, a real estate development company and even Duck Commander Fireworks.
And now he is also the newly elected District 95 Representative for the state of Tennessee.
“I am not a politician, and I mean that in every way,” Mark Lovell said. “I take everybody’s phone call, and I will return everybody’s phone call.”
“Everyone wants to be heard,” he added.
The lifelong Memphian decided to run for office after watching some of the coverage of this year’s presidential election. A self-described “news junkie,” he was approached by some people who asked him to run.
After talking to Linda – his wife of 29 years – about it, he decided it was a good idea.
“I’d been exposed to some of our state representatives a long time ago, and I didn’t totally like what I saw,” Lovell said.
Republican candidate Lovell upset 18-year incumbent Curry Todd on Aug. 4 to win the seat. No Democrats filed petitions to run for the office.
He believes the residents of Collierville, Germantown and Eads elected him because he is accessible and treats everyone with respect.
“It was nice to see that I won by a good margin,” Lovell said, who secured 56 percent of the votes.
He describes himself as a “strong Conservative Republican with common sense problem solving skills.”
“Anybody can go to Nashville and vote – we need someone with great ideas,” he added. “And I don’t have all of those ideas yet but you have to recognize an opportunity when you see it.”
Concerned citizens have already approached Lovell about various issues.
While he was at a restaurant with his wife and daughter the Sunday after the election, a woman approached him wanting to talk about her concerns. He handed her a card.
“People need help,” Lovell said. “And people that know me know I like helping people.”
One of Lovell’s ideas will give people a recurring opportunity to voice their concerns.
“I really want to put together a quarterly town hall meeting so people can come and talk,” he said. “It’s a good way for people to tell what they’re interested in.”
He believes that handling issues sooner rather than later is the best course of action and that hearing from citizens firsthand can help.
“I tend to deal with problems immediately so they don’t grow and get worse,” Lovell added.
One of his main goals while in office is to create jobs in the state of Tennessee.
“It’s a trickle-down affect,” he added. “The more people work, the more it will cut down on crime.”
Another goal is cutting down on wasteful government spending.
“I hope I am able to get on a committee that will give me an opportunity to look at how we spend our money and cut down on wasteful spending,” Lovell said. “I’ve always been very frugal, and I think our government needs to be frugal.”
He also wants to revisit unemployment laws and expedite the process of getting tax-delinquent property in the hands of new owners. Lovell believes tax incentives for these new owners would help with this problem.
When he is not working, Lovell stays busy outdoors in every season. He enjoys snow skiing in the winter, water skiing in the summer, and riding dirt bikes in the spring and fall.
While raising his three kids in Memphis, the Lovell family spent a lot of time on Pickwick Lake. He also enjoys going to Sardis Lake.
“It’s home – both my wife and I were born and raised here, and I just know a lot of people here,” Lovell said of the area. “We have good private and public schools, and my kids all did some sort of sports growing up – soccer, T-ball and basketball.”
Lovell said he is looking forward to helping the people who live in this town he loves so much in his new role as District 95 Representative.
“And I promise you this,” Lovell said, “I will never, ever, ever help anybody expecting anything in return.”

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