Kerney serves as a lieutenant colonel in the Tennessee National Guard. Last year, he was deployed stateside where he had the honor of serving as battalion commander of the largest unit in the 101st Airborne Division. He supervised 1,500 personnel, including 11 companies. Kerney served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005 and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2007-08 where he earned the Meritorious Service Medal. Kerney is a graduate of the Advanced Operations and War Fighter Course from the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
“These are serious times for our state and our country,” Kerney said in a news release. “I believe my leadership skills honed through 25 years as a reserve army officer and my experience owning and operating a small business uniquely qualify me to serve our communities. I’m running for state representative to provide conservative leadership in serious times.
“One thing we have all learned during the coronavirus pandemic is that we cannot outsource everything to China. It’s time we brought manufacturing jobs back to Upper East Tennessee. Manufacturing our own pharmaceuticals in the USA isn’t simply about cost. It’s a matter of national security. As an experienced military officer, I understand this. As a state representative, I’ll work to bring these critical jobs back to Tennessee.”
Kerney is an active member of Colonial Heights Baptist Church and a member of Gideon’s International. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Tennessee, where he was a varsity football player.
Kerney previously ran for the House District 2 seat in 2004. He will be opposed in the August Republican primary by Scotty Campbell, who previously held the House District 3 seat. The current seat holder, state Rep. Timothy Hill, is not seeking re-election.
House District 3 includes part of Sullivan County, all of Johnson County and part of Carter County.