All three candidates vying for the Hamilton County Commission District 3 special election next year are now qualified.
Democrat Mitzi Yates filed her petition Tuesday and Republican Mitch McClure submitted his Friday. Republican Marty Haynes qualified in September.
The election commission received at least 25 verifiable signatures from each of the candidates, a requirement of qualification, said Charlotte Mullis-Morgan, administrator of elections.
The final deadline for filing qualifying petitions is Dec. 8 at noon for the District 3 and county mayor special elections.
The commission race will fill a seat vacated in January when former Commissioner Jim Coppinger was appointed county mayor after former Mayor Claude Ramsey left to become deputy governor of Tennessee. Commissioners appointed McClure to fill Coppinger's seat.
Next year's election will fill the remainder of Coppinger and Ramsey's terms.
McClure, a pastor, and Haynes, a sales representative for Porter Warner Industries, will face off in a March 6 Republican primary. Early voting runs Feb. 15-28.
McClure also named David Queen to replace him as campaign treasurer on Friday. McClure said he has been "just making contacts and working with my team of advisers."
Haynes, who kicked off his campaign with a fundraising reception last month, said he's been meeting with local business leaders. He's relying on his "deep roots in the area" and past community involvement to propel him, he said.
Both are actively raising funds.
For now, Yates, who works for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, is the lone Democrat in the race.
Now that she's qualified, she said she plans to begin raising funds. Her first event will be the Hamilton County Democratic Party's Kefauver Dinner on Monday night.
"This an opportunity that comes once in a lifetime," Yates said.
The general election will be Aug. 2.
More than 700 registered voters who were moved during the county's redistricting process into District 3 have been notified of the change, Mullis-Morgan said, and new voter registration cards have been mailed.
Ansley Haman covers Hamilton County government. A native of Spring City, Tenn., she grew up reading the Chattanooga Times and Chattanooga Free Press, which sparked her passion for journalism. Ansley's happy to be home after a decade of adventures in more than 20 countries and 40 states. She gathered stories while living, working and studying in Swansea, Wales, Cape Town, South Africa, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn. Along the way, she interned for ...
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