James Burks taught school for 42 years, and lost much of his right arm due to a treatable but incurable form of cancer. He drew perhaps the most rousing applause from about 130 residents on Tuesday inside at a town hall in Fairview hosted by U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn.
The applause wasn't for his question. It came when he gave a piece of advice to the eight-term Republican from Brentwood.
"Understand that, please, the things going on in America today are not Democrat or Republican things," he said. "(What you're doing,) you're doing it for the good of the people, not anyone on any side of the aisle."
Burks, who says he split his vote in November between Democrats and Republicans, told Blackburn to "be careful" with school vouchers, health care and other key issues facing the Republican-led Congress and a White House facing intense criticism.