Mike Stewart, 47, is the son of John and Nancy Stewart, who live in Knoxville. Mike’s father served in a variety of public interest positions, including Communications Director for the Democratic National Committee, and retired from the Tennessee Valley Authority. His mother served as a school administrator and volunteered for many years for organizations committed to progressive causes and effective government. Mike attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1987.
Mike was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army immediately following college graduation. Mike served in Korea in 1988-89, and was selected to lead a platoon manning four radar sites along the Demilitarized Zone. In Korea, Mike was awarded the Eighth Army Distinguished Leader Award. Following Mike’s tour in Korea, he was stationed with a training unit at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, until volunteering for duty in Operation Desert Storm. Mike served with the First Cavalry Division in Saudi Arabia and Iraq and then returned to Fort Devens for the remainder of his active duty.
Mike completed his service with the U.S. Army in August, 1991, and entered the University of Tennessee Law School in Knoxville. Mike was on the Tennessee Law Review, the National Moot Court Team, and graduated, cum laude, in 1994. After completing law school, Mike joined Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis in Nashville where he practiced law until his election to the Legislature in 2008. In 2009, Mike joined Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings where he practices in both the complex and general litigation areas.
After law school, Mike and his wife Ruth moved to Nashville where they have raised their family. Ruth is a family physician at Meharry Medical College. Their 3 children—Will, Joseph, and Eve—attend Nashville public schools. The Stewarts are members of East End United Methodist Church.
Ruth and Mike bought their first home in Lockeland Springs in 1994. In 1998, Mike became president of the Lockeland Springs Neighborhood Association, and worked with other residents and volunteers to help the neighborhood rebuild after the 1998 tornado.
TN State House of Representatives
Mike was elected to the State House in 2008, and again in 2010. For a complete list of bills Rep. Stewart sponsored during the 106th and 107th General Assemblies, please visit:
Additionally, here is information about several bills that Rep. Stewart passed that he thinks are particularly important:
- House Bill 1007: Protecting cyclists and pedestrians. A group of cyclists asked me to sponsor this bill that adds protections for bikers and pedestrians against distracted drivers.
- House Bill 3659: Punishing scam artists. This is a bill I sponsored that addresses some of the financial scams that we are unfortunately reading about these days. The bill makes engaging in a Ponzi Scheme a violation of the Consumer Protection Act. A Ponzi Scheme is one in which a supposed investment advisor gets persons to invest their savings by showing outsized returns. The trick is that he or she is not really earning the returns through investments but just paying older investors with money received from subsequent investors. Ultimately, such schemes collapse, leaving investors – many of whom are often senior citizens relying on the investments for their retirement – destitute. House Bill 3659 makes creating a Ponzi Scheme a violation of Tennessee’s strict Consumer Protection Act, which would allow victims to force the scam artist to compensate them not only for their out of pocket losses but also the fees that the victims had to pay their attorneys.
- House Bills 0980 and 0984: Help for veterans and their families. These bills, which I have co-sponsored, attempt to assist military families with some of the hardships they are experiencing in this time of conflict. House Bill 0980 extends property tax relief to the surviving spouse of a soldier, sailor or airman who has been killed in connection with deployment. House Bill 0984 requires that unemployment benefits be provided to military spouses who leave employment because their husband or wife has been deployed. I am always on the lookout for ways to help our veterans; if you have an idea about how we as a state can do more, call me!
- House Bills 3826 and 0533: Helping citizens solve problems through mediation. These bills provide funding for Nashville’s mediation center, which offers citizens a low cost alternative to going to court. Experience has shown that many disputes that would otherwise end up in our court system can be resolved with the help of a trained mediator, who can help the parties talk through their problems and come up with solutions that work for everyone. Nashville’s mediation center (and similar centers around the state) provides free mediation services and has helped countless citizens resolve important disputes. I sponsored and passed House Bills 3826 and 0533 to create a steady stream of funding for the mediation center – funding paid for by persons using the courts, not other citizens.