Bio John Ray is serving his third term as the State Representative for District 55 in the Tennessee General Assembly. He and his wife Tamara are the proud parents of John, Finn, Henry and the family dog, Wrigley. John Ray practices law with the Nashville firm Clemmons & Clemons, PLLC. In his free time, he attends his son's many school and sporting events with Tamara, plays ice hockey, reads, and exercises. John Ray's Story Early Years & Education John Ray was raised on a farm between Lebanon and Watertown, Tenn., where he learned the value of hard work and a good public education. He graduated from Lebanon High School with honors. John Ray attended Columbia University in New York City where he rowed on the Columbia crew team and worked multiple jobs to help pay his way through school. During John Ray’s freshman year at Columbia, he met his wife, Tamara, who was a coxswain on their crew team. During college, John Ray had the opportunity to work with visiting professor George Stephanopoulos and U.S. Senator Dale Bumpers (D-Ark.). After earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Columbia in May 1999, John Ray briefly returned home to care for his grandfather and run his family farm before returning to Washington, DC where he worked as a legislative aide in the U.S. House of Representatives. After two years, he returned home to Tennessee where he worked on a U.S. Senate campaign and was subsequently tapped to be the statewide Political Director for the Tennessee Democratic Party. In the fall of 2004, John Ray entered the University of Memphis School of Law, earning his Juris Doctor degree in December 2006 and promptly gaining admission to the Tennessee Bar in May 2007. Legal Work John Ray is a Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator and an experienced civil litigator. He and his lifelong friend Michael Clemons co-founded and operate their law practice, Clemmons & Clemons, PLLC. As a litigator, John Ray has represented clients on a wide range of legal issues in federal and state courts, from civil rights to contracts. As a mediator, John Ray has the opportunity to do what he enjoys most - working with multiple parties to find common ground, solve problems, and resolve difficult issues. John Ray is a Fellow with the Nashville Bar Foundation, a Barrister with the American Inns of Court, and a member of the Nashville and Tennessee Bar Associations. He has enjoyed providing pro bono legal services to local artists and entrepreneurs through the Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts, a program of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville. Public Service On November 4, 2014, Nashville voters elected John Ray to represent them as their State Representative for District 55 in the Tennessee General Assembly and re-elected him in 2016 and 2018. Prior to elected office, John Ray served his community in multiple capacities. As chairman of the board for Nashville RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner-Cities), now a program of the Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee, he got the opportunity to combine two of his passions - baseball and public service. As the former president of Belmont-Hillsboro Neighbors, Inc., John Ray remains an active ex officio member of its steering committee, and he sits on the board of directors for Friends of Sevier Park, Inc., a non-profit he co-founded with other neighborhood leaders. He also served on the Metro Board of Fair Commissioners, as an appointee of Mayor Karl Dean, and the Tennessee Civil Service Commission, as an appointee of Gov. Phil Bredesen. Additionally, John Ray continues to represent his alma mater as an active member of the Columbia Alumni Association of Nashville and Columbia's Alumni Representative Committee. Awards & Honors 2018 Cecil D. Branstetter Award, Davidson County Democratic Party 2017 Public Policy Advocacy Award, NAMI-Tennessee 2017 Legislative Leadership Award, Tennessee AFL-CIO 2017 Fellow, Nashville Bar Foundation Fellow 2016 Appreciation Award, Tennessee Association of Marriage and Family Therapists 2016 Ally Award, Nashville Pride 2015 Best Politician, The Nashville Scene 2014-2017 "Rising Star" in Business Litigation, Mid-South Super Lawyers A progressive, unifying voice. John Ray is committed to having honest, open conversations about issues that impact you and your family. Connecting with people will always be a priority. He attends civic and community events, hosts public meetings and emails regular newsletters to inform Tennesseans about legislative sessions. Sign up to receive updates.