KINGSTON, TN – State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) today announced his candidacy for reelection to the Tennessee Senate. Yager, who serves in a key leadership role as Chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus, is seeking a 3rd term to the 12th Senatorial District.

“Twelve years ago, the people of the 12th Senatorial District gave me the privilege to serve them in the Tennessee State Senate, allowing me to serve without opposition in subsequent elections,” Yager said. “Once again, they have afforded me the opportunity of continued service to them and the district. My one unchanging guideline is and always will be that constituents come first. In that spirit, I announce I am a candidate for re-election, subject to the Republican primary in August.”

“During my tenure in the State Senate, I have risen in seniority and now serve on the Finance Ways and Means Committee. My peers honored me by electing me the Chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus. These responsibilities are very helpful tools in my efforts to best serve my constituents and the District.”

Yager also serves on the Senate State and Local Government Committee and the Joint Fiscal Review Committee, where he formerly served as chairman of both.

“The next four years will be challenging,” added Yager. “Unemployment – putting people back to work is a critical issue. I will use my experience to work with the local and state agencies to encourage job creation and support programs to train those looking for work to find good paying jobs.”

“I represent seven of the finest counties in East Tennessee and the Upper Cumberland. With your help, and God’s blessing, I will continue to fight your battles in Nashville. I will appreciate your vote and support in the August primary and November general elections.”

The 12th District includes Campbell, Fentress, Morgan, Pickett, Rhea, Roane and Scott Counties. The August primary election is set for August 6, with early voting extending from July 17 – August 1.


(NASHVILLE) – State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) today announced that the Tennessee Historical Commission voted to approve the Rose Terrace House historical marker on Friday, July 10th. Rose Terrace is located in Oliver Springs, Tennessee and is the birthplace of Howard Baker, Jr. 

“Right off the town square, Rose Terrace is a hallmark of the Oliver Springs,” said Yager. “The marker, though only a couple hundred words, will illuminate the historical significance of this house which has stood for almost 150 years. It has been home to some remarkable Roane Countians – the Ladd’s and Baker’s – who have made a lasting impact not only on Oliver Springs but on Tennessee and the United States as well.”

“I am particularly happy to have initiated this project because of Sen. Baker’s interest in the house,” Yager continued. “I wrote him occasionally to keep him updated. He referred to his grandmother as Mother Ladd. She made history in her own right being the first and only female sheriff of Roane County. Baker told me she slept with a loaded revolver under her pillow.”

“Many thanks to the Oliver Springs Historical Society, particularly Robbie Underwood who researched the history of the house,” added Yager.

A formal ceremony to unveil the marker is expected to take place later in the year.

The approved text for the marker is below:


Rose Terrace was built in the mid-1880s by coal operator James K. Butler and was sold in 1921 to Chris Ladd and wife Matilda. The Ladd’s daughter Dora married Howard H. Baker, Sr., in a ceremony held at Rose Terrace. Howard Sr. embarked on a storied career in politics as a candidate for governor of Tennessee and then as an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. Senate.  He was elected as a U.S. Representative in 1950 and served until his death in 1964. His refusal to join the resistance to the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education helped pave the way for the desegregation of schools. The firstborn of Howard and Dora was Howard H. Baker, Jr., who became a U.S. Senator from Tennessee and later served as Chief of Staff for President Ronald Reagan and as the United States Ambassador to Japan.

LOCATION: The Rose House Terrace House, (Ladd House), 504 Main Street, Oliver Springs (Roane County), Tennessee 37840


(NASHVILLE) — State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) and Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro) today announced that two Campbell County health centers have been chosen for federal funding for expansion of COVID-19 testing.  The funds were awarded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services (HRSA) as part of the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community Health of East Tennessee, Inc. in LaFollette will receive $180,289 and Dayspring Health, Inc. in Jellico will receive $242,719.  Both are federally qualified health centers.

“The key to keeping our communities safe as our economy continues to open is aggressive testing,” said Sen. Yager.  “These community health centers are very important in this effort and I am very pleased that these two in Campbell County will receive these funds as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  I also want to thank our congressional delegation for their help in securing these needed funds.”

“I’m very pleased these health centers will receive additional resources to aid in the fight against COVID-19,” said State Rep. Dennis Powers. “Until there is a vaccine, testing will play a critical part in slowing the spread of this potentially deadly infection and limiting hospitalizations.  I appreciate President Donald Trump and our leaders in congress for making these funds available in our community.”

The funding for health centers is part of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, signed into law by President Trump on April 24th.  In addition to providing funding for small businesses and individuals financially affected by COVID-19, it provides grants for hospitals and healthcare providers, and increased testing capabilities to help track the spread and impact of the coronavirus.

Across the U.S., health centers are currently providing more than 100,000 weekly COVID-19 tests in their local communities.


Earlier this year, I wrote an editorial encouraging constituents in the 12th senatorial district to complete the 2020 census form which has been mailed. At the halfway mark in time set aside to complete and return the forms (or go online), COVID-19 happened.

The population count influences funding for local programs and services that are critical to the well-being of our communities.  This includes funding for local schools, roads, fire departments, emergency services and hospitals.  It also affects the distribution of state shared revenues and grants to Tennessee counties which are used to provide vital services for many local citizens.

In addition, the census count determines how many congressional seats we will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as the apportionment of state legislative and local government districts in 2021.  An undercount means that we will not receive the full measure of representation we deserve.

There are many ways for citizens to serve their community and shape our future.  One important way is to stand up and be counted.   We have been afforded more time to make this happen.  Due to COVID-19, the Census Bureau’s field data collection activities were suspended until June 1.  President Trump has asked Congress for 120 additional calendar days to deliver the final apportionment counts.   This gives us the additional time needed to get these forms returned.

Citizens can respond<> to the questionnaire online, by mail or by phone.  It takes less than 10 minutes to complete.   Also, encourage your family and friends to participate.  Many people have been distracted due to these extraordinary times and have forgotten to return their forms.  A friendly reminder is a big help in ensuring that we increase participation in our counties.

We can all shape our community’s future by participating in the 2020 Census.  Let’s get over the finish line so we can fully be counted.  It is well worth the effort.


Census Return Rate as of May 7, 2020

National Self-Response Rate 57.3%
Tennessee Self-Response Rate 56.7%
Self-Response Rate of Counties in the 12th Senatorial District
Campbell: 45.9%
Fentress: 41.3%
Morgan: 49.4%
Rhea: 47.3%
Roane: 55.6%
Pickett: 41.1%
Scott: 49.2%

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) and Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro) announced today that the city of LaFollette in Campbell County will receive a $1.48 million grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) for Phase 4 of construction of sidewalks along both sides of W. Beech Street and South Tennessee Avenue.

The project includes Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades, crosswalks, curb and gutter, a retaining wall, and drainage improvements.

“This is a very sizable grant and I was very pleased to support it,” said Senator Yager, “This will make downtown LaFollette more accessible for pedestrians and a beautiful attraction for local citizens and visitors to enjoy.  These improvements will help area businesses and the future impact on our community’s economic development is undeniable.  I appreciate TDOT for recognizing the local need and congratulate our local officials who helped secure a successful grant application.”

“These grant dollars will play a critical role in our efforts to improve the overall health and quality of life for the citizens of LaFollette,” said Representative Powers. “I believe they will also have a significant impact on our city’s economic future, and I want to congratulate our local leaders on their successful application. It was an honor to support their efforts, and I appreciate TDOT’s investment in our community.”

The competitive TAP grant program began providing funds to local governments in 1991. More than $317 million in grants has been distributed by the department since to improve access and provide a better quality of life for the people of Tennessee. The money has gone to 267 communities across the Volunteer State to build sidewalks, bike, and pedestrian trails and to renovate historic train depots and other transportation-related structures.