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The Citizen Tribune - Roberts Runs For Bill Jenkins' Vacant Seat

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1609 W. First North Street Morristown, TN 37814 423-581-5630

Roberts Runs For Bill Jenkins' Vacant Seat

CITIZEN TRIBUNE, Sunday, June 11, 2006 A-7

Tribune Staff Writer

Richard Roberts believes his private and public backgrounds give him a definite edge in his campaign
to gain the U.S. House seat being vacated by Rep. Bill Jenkins, a Republican from Rogersville.

Roberts, also a Republican, is campaigning on a slogan of "Rocksolid conservative values, East
Tennessee common sense," both things he says he learned as a member of a large family with deep
roots in the region and his work as an attorney.

A Greene County native, Roberts is a graduate of Greeneville High School and the University of Tennessee, where he earned a law degree. From 1985 forward, his law career took him to practice in Nashville and to Washington, D.C.

It was in the nation's capital that Roberts worked in Sen. Howard Baker's Washington law firm, a place
the candidate credits with his knowledge of government inner circles.

"What I got to do there was a rare experience. (Baker) was a hero of mine and the chance to work with
him was a life changing experience," he said.

One East Tennessee client, Scott Niswonger, the owner of Landair of Greeneville, began urging Roberts to return to Greeneville during a period of several months.

"In the end, he just wore me down. So I came back as a vice president of Landair," he said. He oversees employee and labor issues for the company, the "business part of the trucking and air freight company." He has held the position since 1994. "It's a wonderful experience," he said.

For those who may view Roberts' inexperience in a political forum as a drawback, he is quick to point out his inside track and history in Washington gives him a head start in many areas.

"They will talk about my lack of experience in legislation. I actually worked there, I dealt with regulators
and I dealt with legislators. It's fair to say I won't need a road map the first day there," he said.

Roberts is married to Imogene King Roberts, also an attorney.

The couple have been married only a short while after reconnecting at their 30-year high school reunion in 2003.

"She's an incredible campaigner. She can talk to anyone," he said. More on Roberts' campaign can be
found online at

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