Mark Hutton, a Presbyterian minister who recently resigned his elected position on the Sullivan County Commission to accept an appointment to the Bristol Tennessee City Council, will be sworn in tonight during Council’s regular monthly meeting.
A Bristol native, he was unanimously chosen by the incumbent Council members to fill the vacancy created when Chad Keen resigned in February to pursue other interests, including a potential run for state office. Hutton said he looks forward to representing residents of the city’s eastern district and is committed to making “informed decisions.”
“I like to take time to think things through, to try to hear as many different perspectives as possible, to collate it all, and try to see things from as many angles as I can before I make informed decisions,” he said. “That’s really the process for me – being quiet long enough and listening to what other people have to say, trying to ask the right questions, and being open to what people are thinking.”
In accordance with the City Charter, Hutton will serve the remainder of Keen’s unexpired term. The seat will be up for election in November.
Hutton holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and English literature from Carson-Newman, a Master of Divinity from Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School, a master’s degree in literature from East Tennessee State University, and a doctorate degree from Covenant Theological Seminary. He formerly worked for Young Life, a ministry program for young people, and now assists churches in transition in his role as a teaching elder for Presbyterian Church USA. He also teaches courses in literature and religion at King University.
Hutton first entered public life in 2018 when he was elected to the Sullivan County Commission and continued in that role, representing Bristol’s 2nd District, until he resigned in late February to accept the Council appointment. He has also served the community as a member of Bristol Regional Medical Center’s ethics committee and as chairman of the Criminal Justice Committee for the Tennessee County Services Association. Additionally, he has written a column for the Bristol Herald Courier and appeared on stage in several Theatre Bristol productions.
He and his wife, Sherry, have three sons.