published Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Rob Healy enters Chattanooga mayoral campaign


by Cliff Hightower

Longtime businessman and former Chattanooga Parks and Recreation Director Rob Healy says he will run for Chattanooga mayor — again.

"I think our city needs a choice," Healy said Wednesday.

Healy, 61, picked up qualifying petitions at the Hamilton County Election Commission office and said he plans to turn them back in within a week. He'll be a candidate alongside Andy Berke, who is leaving the Tennessee Senate, and retired city employee Guy Satterfield.

Healy ran for mayor once before and lost to Mayor Ron Littlefield. Over the next few weeks, Healy said, he will begin to talk about his platform of fiscally conservative government.

He also took his first jab at Berke, saying he has a history of being a government bureaucrat.

"I think it's time to bring business experience to government," Healy said.

Healy for years ran a sportswear company called RH Apparel but said he recently sold it.

Berke plans to hold a campaign kickoff rally at 5:30 p.m. today at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center in Chattanooga. His campaign sent out a statement Wednesday about Healy entering the race.

"Over the past several months, Andy has engaged thousands of voters across Chattanooga on solving our crime issues, developing our economy, and making city government more transparent and accountable," the statement read. "We welcome Mr. Healy to the conversation."

Satterfield also welcomed Healy into the race Wednesday, saying more residents should get involved in the political process.

"It'll make it an interesting race," he said. "I think it will be a clash of the titans and a dark horse candidate."

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