MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) -- The 108th Tennessee General Assembly is winding down and the State Senate said goodbye Thursday morning to one of its most beloved members.
Democratic State Senator Charlotte Burks of Monterey has served in the legislature since 1998. She was the first senator ever elected to the legislature by means of a write-in campaign.
Burkes husband, longtime Senator Tommy Burks, was murdered by his Republican opponent, Byron Looper, on the eve of the ‘98 election. Voters in her East Tennessee district organized a successful write-in campaign to elect Charlotte Burks to her late husband’s office.
Burks spoke of those dark days when she was recognized this morning by her senate colleagues.
“You saved my life when I came down here. I think you saved my sanity. And I got to thinkin’ well maybe I can make a difference and I got kind of ingrained and I just stayed and I stayed and I stayed, But it’s time to go home.”
Burks 15th District constituents voted her into office three more times. She served in the Tennessee Senate for 16 years.
Burks says she’s looking forward to returning to her farm in Putnam County.