Republican Tim Boyd toppled his opponent and leading county fundraiser Kenny Smith — a man who raised six times more money than he — for the District 8 seat on the Hamilton County Commission Thursday night.
“I’ll do the best I can to maintain a fiscally conservative approach to local government. I’ll keep asking questions and I want to make District 8 the ‘midtown’ of Chattanooga,” Boyd said.
District 8 covers East Ridge, Brainerd and Eastgate.
The race included allegations of union alliances and illegal fundraising, as Boyd and Smith battled about each other’s campaign money. When Smith pulled away as the leading county candidate in fundraising, Boyd began hammering at his opponent’s union contributions and connections.
“There are no strings attached in my agenda,” Boyd said.
A manager at Southeast Carpenters, Boyd, 58, said he could bring local businesses into public schools for mentoring opportunities, and Smith, a 57-year-old Democrat, touted his leadership experience as Hamilton County school board chairman.
“I met some really great people on the campaign trail and these people deserve to be represented well,” Smith said Thursday night. “I’m very proud of the positive campaign we ran.”
Mr. Boyd credited the upset to a heavy Republican turnout — six times that of Democrats in early voting. He will be sworn in Aug. 12 since commissioners haven’t replaced Curtis Adams, who left in May to become city manager in Crossville, Tenn.
Two independent candidates also tried to fill the District 8 seat Adams occupied for 22 years: Terry Turner, 55, a plumber with Tight Seal Plumbing, and Jim Winters, 60, owner of Winters Affordable Homes.
Republican Jim Fields knocked off independent David Cantrell by a 2-to-1 margin Tuesday night.
Fields, 55, is a Signal Mountain attorney and Cantrell, 53, is an airline pilot. Fields will replace Richard Casavant, who lost to Fields in the county primary election after 12 years on the commission.
“I don’t feel nervous about coming in as a new commissioner,” Fields said. “Whenever you take on a new court case you usually don’t know what’s going on, but you educate yourself pretty quickly.”
Allegations surfaced Tuesday that Fields misrepresented some of his legal credentials on his website, credentials that lapsed a year before he announced his candidacy in February. Cantrell said his resume was “up-to-date and accurate, so you can trust what it says.”
District 2 covers Signal Mountain, Lookout Mountain, Walden, Falling Water, Mountain Creek and portions of Red Bank and Lookout Valley. Mr. Fields will be sworn in Sept. 1.
Incumbent Democrat John Allen Brooks lost to Republican Joe Graham.
Brooks, 57, and Graham, 44, battled over whether Brooks had been visible enough in his district and whether Brooks played a significant role in getting the county more education funding.
Brooks is an attorney and Graham owns Accent Printing. Graham said he won because “people just wanted to be heard.”
“We’re very excited,” he said. “We’re very honored, and I’m ready to go to work. I still want to thank John Brooks for his years of service as a District 6 commissioner.”
Graham said his top issues are crime, education, jobs and infrastructure.
District 6 covers St. Elmo, Lookout Valley, Missionary Ridge, Highland Park, Moccasin Bend, East Lake and portions of Red Bank. Mr. Graham will be sworn in Sept. 1.
Commissioners Warren Mackey, District 4, Greg Beck, District 5, and Jim Coppinger, District 3, were unopposed in the county general election. Chester Bankston won the county primary and was unopposed in the general election for District 9. He replaces incumbent Commissioner Bill Hullander, who was elected County Trustee.
Commissioners are the legislative and policy-making body of the county. Each makes $20,745 annually and serves a four-year term.
95% precincts reporting
Tim Boyd 2,368
Kenny Smith 2,074
Jim Winters 355
Terry Turner 100
96% precincts reporting
Jim Fields 5,026
David Cantrell 2,456
96% precincts reporting
Joe Graham 1,958
John Allen Brooks 1,277
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Dan Whisenhunt covers Hamilton County government for the Times Free Press. A native of Mobile, Ala., Dan earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Alabama. He won first place for best in-depth news coverage in the 2010 Alabama Press Association contest; the FOI-First Amendment Award in the 2007 Alabama Press Association contest; first place for best public service story in the Alabama AP Managing Editors contest in 2009 for economic coverage; and ...