By Michael Davis Staff Writer
Chattanooga lawyer John Allen Brooks said Wednesday he will challenge Hamilton County Commissioner Lou Miller in next May's Democratic primary.
Mr. Brooks, who served as chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party from 1999 to 2003, said he plans to file treasurer's papers with the Hamilton County Election Commission in October.
He said he is running largely because of school funding and other public education issues.
"I think the most important job the county commissioners have is the kids of this county," he said. "I think education's the biggest thing, but I always think that we need to provide in the County Commission a little bit of leadership."
Mrs. Miller said Wednesday she plans on running again as a Democrat in District 6.
"Bring him on," she said. "I'll react to him when the time comes."
Mrs. Miller was appointed in 2004 by the Hamilton County Commission to fill the seat held by her late husband, Ben Miller. Voters in August elected Mrs. Miller to serve out the remainder of his term.
All nine County Commission seats are up for election next year. The general election is in August.
Stuart James, chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party, said the local party would not endorse a candidate if more than one runs.
"If Lou Miller is running as a Democrat, (neither) the Democratic Party nor I can endorse a particular candidate," he said. "We support both candidates, because we know they will debate the issues for the public good."
Bobby Wood, chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party, said he knows of no Republicans challenging Mrs. Miller.
"It would be very difficult for the GOP to win that one," he said. "Lou Miller and Ben Miller have always been very cooperative and good to work with, so it's just a seat we never looked at."
E-mail Michael Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org