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Senator Rusty Crowe, the Dean of the Northeast TN legislative delegation, is a Tennessee Senator known as an elder statesman in the Tennessee General Assembly.  Affectionately called the “Rock” by his fellow senators for his firm and principled stance on important legislation; he is known as a tireless worker and effective sponsor of legislation.  He is viewed by his constituents as a grassroots legislator who rises above party politics.  He is accepted as both a friend and a legislator.  His constituents feel comfortable with him knowing that he is a legislator who:  Takes time to listen to their concerns, follows through on issues to resolution, treats each individual with respect, and is sincere and genuine in both word and deed.


Senator Crowe was born in Johnson City in 1947. His great-great-grandfather was 1/2 Native American from Carter County. He received his B.S. in Criminal Justice from East Tennessee State University.  He earned the Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from Atlanta Law School in Atlanta, Georgia.  He served in the U.S. Army Security Agency intercepting coded messages from the enemy in Southeast Asia in the late 60's during the Vietnam War and served with the FBI while attending law school in the late 70's.


He was appointed to serve as a Commissioner in the Tennessee Department of Correction by Governor Ned McWherter; worked at ETSU in Higher Education for over 20 years; served as President of the ETSU Staff Senate and has worked in the business development of wound care and hyperbaric medicine for over 15 years.

Senator Crowe is known as one of the “go to” Senators for our Veterans; and currently serves on the Governor’s Armed Forces and Veterans Committee.

Senator Crowe is Chair of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee; and serves on the Education Committee, as well as the Senate Committee on Government Operations.

He was named "Legislator of the Year" by Tennessee Human Resource Agencies in 1993; "Legislator of the Year" by the Tennessee School Board Association in 1994; "State Senator of the Year" by the First District Tennessee Christian Coalition in 1994; "Legislator of the Year" by the Tennessee Development District Association in 1997 and 2003; 2011 legislator of the year by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill;  2013 “Legislator of the Year” by Tennessee Community Organizations; 2014 “Legislator of the Year” by the Tennessee Cancer Coalition; 2014 “Legislative Leadership Award” by the Tennessee Men’s Health Network; 2015 & 2019 “Legislator of the Year” by the First Tennessee Development District; 2015 & 2019 Southeastern Association of Area Agencies on Aging “Aging Impact (Regional) Award”; 2016 Tennessee Federation for the Aging’s “Legislative Aging Champion Award”; 2018 American Conservative Union’s “Award for Conservatism”; 2018 Optometric Physicians “Statesman of the Year Award”; 2019 NFIB “Guardian of Small Business Award”; 2019 American Conservative Union Award for conservative achievement and has received the Legislative Silver Bayonet Award from the Tennessee AMVETS. Most recently nominated as recipient of the first annual State Senator Douglas Henry Jr. Memorial Award.


Senator Crowe is married to Dr. Sarah Barron-Crowe.  They have two children, Katie and John Barron. 


Legislator of the Year

1993, 1995, 2003, 2011


Silver Bayonet Award from the Tennessee AMVETS

Champion of Families Award

2022 CPAC


Achievement Award

Tennessee Education Trust 2022 Education Award

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