David Cantrell, an independent running for the District 2 Hamilton County Commission seat, says he feels like he can make a difference in the way the county government runs.
Mr. Cantrell, who met with the Times Free Press editorial board on Monday, promised to bring conservative financial management to the commission and said he wants to put more police officers on the street to combat crime.
“I don’t mind making tough decisions when they have to be made,” said Mr. Cantrell, who’s facing Republican Jim Fields in the race.
Mr. Cantrell is a pilot with Delta Air Lines and said his schedule will give him plenty of days off to tend to his duties as a commissioner if he is elected. He said he’s running as an independent because he is dissatisfied with partisan politics.
Occupation: Delta Airlines pilot
“We’re a growing force,” he said. “I vote based on the person’s qualifications and character.”
He’s also promoting an employee efficiency reward program to reduce government waste of taxpayer money, according to his website.
Dr. Richard Wilson, a professor of political science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, said there are some people in District 2 who “think highly” of Mr. Cantrell.
He said it is possible Mr. Cantrell could pick up some votes from people who voted for incumbent District 2 Commissioner Richard Casavant, who was defeated by Mr. Fields in the county primary.
In prior comments about the District 2 race, Dr. Wilson has said independents typically do not fare well in Tennessee, but said there are people who won’t vote for a Democrat who might vote for an independent.
“The situation is such that he might have a better chance than others that run as independents,” Dr. Wilson said.
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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 ...