Jim Fields, the Republican candidate for the District 2 County Commission seat, said he’s not in favor of metro government and considers raising taxes a “last resort.”
Mr. Fields met with the Chattanooga Times Free Press editorial board Wednesday. He faces independent David Cantrell, a local pilot, in the Aug. 5 county general election.
The candidate said he ran against incumbent Commissioner Richard Casavant in the GOP primary because he favored term limits and does not see himself serving on the commission longer than two terms.
Mr. Fields said he would look for other revenue sources before he would raise taxes.
“I look at taxes as a last resort,” he said. “The solution is not always to default to increasing taxes.”
He also said the city and county could consolidate some services but that it would be “a logistical nightmare.” He added that, if elected, he would like to be more involved in the district.
Fundraising: About $14,800
Richard Wilson, a professor of political science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, said the race between Mr. Fields and Mr. Cantrell may come down to the fact that Mr. Cantrell is running as an independent, who would struggle in any election, not just in District 2.
“I recognize that Mr. Cantrell is making a spirited race and that he hopes that running as an independent will enable him to get votes from people who would be unwilling to vote for a Democrat but might vote for an independent,” Dr. Wilson said. “That is a strategy that may earn him more votes than he would get if he were, for example, to run as a party nominee for the Democrats.”
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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 ...