Education: Graduate University of Tennessee
Job: Commercial real estate broker
Family: Married with two children
NASHVILLE — House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, announced Tuesday he will seek re-election to the House District 26 he's held since 2004.
Calling it a "privilege" to serve the people in the district and "proud" of their encouragement, McCormick pledged to continue focusing on jobs-related issues.
"I hope to keep working on bringing jobs to Southeast Tennessee, and I think I've had a small part of having some good things happen," McCormick said. "We've made some great progress, and we need to build on it and keep the momentum going."
He said the district has had more jobs created and new capital invested than in nearly any other in Tennessee.
In the past four years, McCormick said in his announcement, District 26 has had more than $1.5 billion in new capital investment supporting the creation of over 10,000 new jobs. That includes Volkswagen and Amazon.com.
Former Rep. Bobby Wood, a Republican whose 2004 retirement from the Legislature spurred McCormick's bid, praised his successor, saying he has "matured more" as a legislator and leader "than anyone I have known."
"I think he has lived up to the task and is doing an excellent job for the district and the area," Wood said.
McCormick was elected majority leader in late fall of 2010 by Republican House members. In that role, McCormick is responsible for Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's legislative package.
The lawmaker cites achievements including legislation that made it easier for AT&T to enter the cable business statewide, which the campaign says led to the telecommunications giant investing more than $1 billion in infrastructure and jobs in Tennessee.
The campaign also cites McCormick's leading a fight to keep critics of Amazon.com's sales tax break from driving the company out of town, as well as efforts to press for freeway exits 9 and 11 on Interstate 75.
McCormick, 50, co-owns a commercial real estate development and brokerage company.
The Republican-leaning district changed during legislative redistricting this year, shedding areas like Collegedale and Ooltewah and taking in new precincts in Hixson, Riverview, Stuart Heights and North Chattanooga.
Meanwhile, Democrat Larry Miller, a former vice president for institutional advancement at Chattanooga State Community College, has picked up papers to run and is expected to file and announce today.
Also picking up papers to run as an independent is Rodger Cooksey.
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...