published Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Learn about your Hamilton County candidates

For the May 6 Hamilton County Primary elections, the Chattanooga Times Free Press collected questionnaires from all the candidates in contested local races to provide voters with more information on election day.

Below are the responses from the candidates, in their own words.

Hamilton County Democratic Party and Chattanooga Municipal Election:

Contested races

County Commission, District 4

Pam Ladd

Age: 57

Residence: Murray Hills

Years lived in Hamilton County: 57

Family: Two Dogs

Education: B.S., Industrial Organizational Psychology from Covenant College, M.S. Industrial Organizational Psychology from University of Tennessee — Chattanooga.

Previous Public Office Experience: City Councilwoman from 2009 - 2013; council vice-chairwoman, 2011; chairwoman 2012 and 2013

Church or Civic Involvement: North River YMCA Chair, Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, North Shore Council President, Chattanooga Chamber Small Business Council President, United Way – Center for Non-Profits Board, Chattanooga Choose Chair, Murray Hills Neighborhood Association President, Hixson Chamber Council Board Member, ArtsBuild Board Member, Hamilton County Sherriff’s Citizen Panel, Chattanooga State Business Advisory Panel, Founding Member of Culturefest, Graduate Chamber of Commerce – Chattanooga Leadership, City of Chattanooga Leadership Academy.

Achievements: Small Business of the Year Finalist, Small Business Advocate of the Year – Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, TVA Bronze Service Award, Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce Athena Award Finalist, Girl’s Inc. Unbought Unbossed Award, American Lung Association Woman of Distinction. Ethics Award, Chattanooga Better Business Bureau, Chattanooga State College – Eye of the Tiger Award, Building Operations Manager Association – Associate of the Year.

What is the biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

District 4 is the most economically impoverished of the 9 commission districts. This is reflected in poverty, education, and crime stats. Most of the zip codes with the highest poverty levels are contained in District 4. Third grade reading abilities are extremely low. Crime rates are high for both juveniles and adults. After listening to the residents, I understand the need for transportation, workforce development, and living-wage jobs. We must have strong leadership to advocate for improvements. I will attend monthly Chattanooga Police Interaction meetings to discuss crime and prevention. I will engage neighborhoods, build relationships with district school principals, and work with the city and school board representatives to improve adverse statistics. I will talk with the Chamber of Commerce about living wage jobs. We have commercial space for new industry and we need to make that a reality. Our residents deserve no less!

Why should voters choose you?

District 4 residents should vote for me because I promise to respond when they contact me and do my best to get results. During my tenure on the City Council, I learned how services are provided and by which department. The boundaries of District 4 lie within Chattanooga and residents receive services from the city. I also understand the responsibilities of the County Commission as the legislative unit of county government. With past experience on the City Council, I will be able to work collaboratively with both city and county departments, ensuring that our district receives the attention it needs. I have unique experience in local government. I will work hard and I have a proven track record for getting things done. I am a passionate advocate and have a desire to be the public servant for the county District 4 community.

Warren Mackay

Age: 64

Occupation: Part Owner of Mackey Monuments

Residence: Highway 58

Years lived in Hamilton County: 64

Family: Wife and an adult daughter.

Education: Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Tennessee State University and doctorate in history from MTSU and post-doctoral work at the University of Texas.

Previous Public Office Experience: Elected to the Hamilton County Commission in 2006 and re-elected in 2010.

Church or Civic Involvement: Orchard Knob Baptist Church

Achievements: In October 2013 I was elected president-elect of the Tennessee County Commission Association.

What is the biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

The biggest challenge facing the Hamilton County Commission is finding the resources to provide a quality education for all youth in Hamilton County. One aspect of this issue is the poor quality of many of our school buildings and the extensive repairs that are presently needed. Until the Hamilton County School Board do their part of determining what they will do with the excess classroom space that they already possess and dispose of their surplus property I don’t believe that the County Commission will do too much of anything. Four years ago a blue ribbon panel appointed by the superintendent said that the school system have enough money to operate the system.

Why should voters choose you?

Voters in the 4th District should re-elect me because while we have done well in achieving my primary goal of helping to bring good jobs to Hamilton County we still have a lot of work to do. The votes that I have cast on the Commission will reveal that I am student centered and represent the interest of my constituents. Additionally, my voting record shows that I have been attentive to being responsive to protecting interest, resources and tax money of the tax payers.

Kirkland Robinson

Not available

County Commission, District 5

Greg Beck

Age: 66

Occupation: Court officer, County Commissioner

Residence: Laramie Circle

Years lived in Hamilton County: 66

Family: Married, seven children, 13 grandchildren

Education: Chattanooga State political science, Covenant College statistics, Grace Baptist Bible College theology

Previous Public Office Experience: two terms as County Commission

Church or Civic Involvement: Grace Baptist Tabernacle Church member, Heritage Center

Achievements: Special Commendation by President Regan for work with young people. Special invitation to the National Prayer Breakfast from Obama for work in community service. Special acknowledgements from church and civic groups.

What is the biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

The biggest challaeng is continuation fo building jobs and developign community while at the same time keepting a close eye on the crime rate, and jobless rate and school performance levels in the distirict. Finding the formula for involving communities parents, churches and civic organizations to alleviate some of the problems of our young people.

Whatever we put in to them will be the signature of our efforts in the future whether good or bad.

Why should voters choose you?

Because of my experience and knowhow and leadership on the county commission. Because of my hands on community activities and relationships both with seniors and with youth. I think all of this makes me a model commissioner and a person that youth can build a future on and our seniors can have a secure environment with.

Isiah Hester

Not available

County Commission, District 7

Don Brown

Not available

Ezra Maize

Not available

Criminal Court Clerk

Gwen Tidwell

Age: 57

Occupation: Hamilton County Criminal Court Clerk

Residence: Signal Mountain

Years lived in Hamilton County: 57

Family: three sons

Education: Hixson High School graduate; University of Tennessee in Knoxville graduate; University of Tennessee School of Law graduate

Public Office Experience: Criminal Court Clerk since 1994; Chattanooga City Court Clerk; Hamilton County Juvenile Court Referee

Church or Civic Involvement: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; Cancer Society Advisory Board Member; Chair of Cancer Society Relay for Life, 2014; Chattanooga Bar Association; Tennessee Bar Association; State Court Clerk’s Association; County; Official’s Association of Tennessee; previous board member for Kidney Association; previous member; Downtown Sertoma Club

What is the biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

The Criminal Court Clerk’s office is a very detailed and technical job. Over 50,000 new cases are filed in both the five criminal divisions of General Sessions Court and the three divisions of Criminal Court. Every day may have a different challenge, be it related to IT, or budget, or legal, or personnel issues. While it is an elected position, it is a working job and not a political seat. The Clerk not only must stay current and familiar with laws which are updated and amended each year, but she must be knowledgeable with the application and consequences of these laws. It is a complicated financial office, and arguably one of the most complicated in county government. Employment and case law changes frequently and the Clerk must stay current with these laws in order to protect Hamilton County Government from lawsuits and liability.

Why should voters choose you?

I hope voters will look at my history as their Criminal Court Clerk and remember the things I have accomplished. I run the office professionally, not politically. The Criminal Court Clerk office is a fundamental part of our criminal justice system. All parties to a case, in addition to members of the general public, deserve reliable records. I made these records open and easily accessible so that this trust is possible. It is a constitutional office, and like many other county offices, charges fees from those who use our services. In my case, we charge fees to those convicted of crimes. Prior to my election in 1994, there were no efforts to collect those fees, and taxes paid for the office’s salaries. However, I have managed the office so that taxes do not pay any of the salaries of my staff - and have not done so since 2000.

Brian White

No photo. No info available

Hamilton County Republican Party and Chattanooga Municipal Election:

Contested races

Circuit Court Judge, Div.1

J.B. Bennett

Age: 48 years old

Occupation: Attorney at Law at Spears, Moore, Rebman and Williams

Residence: Signal Mountain

Years lived in Hamilton County: 42

Family: Married

Education: Graduate of Boyd-Buchanan High School, 1984; Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, 1989; Juris Doctor from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, 1993.

Previous Public Office Experience: Appointed Commissioner of the Hamilton County Election Commission.

Church or Civic Involvement: Member of Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church, Board member of The Children’s Advocacy Center, Board member of the Friends of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Member of the Kiwanis Club of Chattanooga, Member of the Harrison Ruritan Club, Member of the Leadership Chattanooga Alumni Association, Board member of the Kiwanis Club of Chattanooga, Member, Community Advisory Board of PBS affiliate WTCI-TV

Achievements: Has practiced law for more than 20 years with local firm Spears, Moore, Rebman and Williams handling highly complex cases and jury trials, mainly in Circuit Court, Licensed to practice law in the state courts of Tennessee, Admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Awarded Best Oral Advocate in the Ray Jenkins Trial Competition in law school, Vice Chair of Moot Court Board in law school, Leadership Chattanooga

What is the biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

The primary challenge is to provide the just and efficient court system our Tennessee Constitution demands and our citizens need and deserve. A growing population will increase the use of the justice system by those needing a forum for remedy and correspondingly increase the demand for a skilled judiciary.

Part of the solution is a judiciary with the dedication, judgment and work ethic to analyze and understand a vast array of legal issues across a wide breadth of difficult disputes, and with the management skills to increase efficiency. Another part of the solution is the utilization of electronic filing and access to digital files. This part of the solution cannot be implemented by one judge alone, but the process must be embraced by those committed to assist in the process of improvement to better serve those in the justice system while remaining good stewards of tax dollars.

Why should voters choose you?

Courts must be open, public, fair, and efficient, but above all, resolute in providing justice. That is my commitment to our citizens.

For more than 20 years, I have practiced law in Hamilton County and surrounding jurisdictions. I am the only candidate with experience trying difficult, highly complex jury cases sometimes involving months of preparation and weeks or months of presentation. Having handled a range of legal issues from simple disputes to lengthy, complex jury trials, my experience provides the insight to handle all types of cases coming before a court of general jurisdiction.

Through working with organizations of this community and my legal practice, I have gained the understanding and experience in the management of budgets and the implementation of systems that improve efficiency and performance, skills necessary to the administration of justice.

Catherine Cate White

Age: 53

Occupation: Attorney

Residence: Chattanooga/Hixson Area

Years lived in Hamilton County: 53

Family: Married, two children

Education: GPS, Baylor University BA in Journalism, Cumberland School of Law 1988

Previous Public Office Experience: None

Church or Civic Involvement: The Ministry Center; Program Committee of Siskin Children’s Institute

Achievements: Special Judge in Chattanooga City Court and Circuit Court; Rule 31; Supreme Court Approved Family Law Mediator; Authored Local Rule for Family Law Mediation.

What is the biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

A judge must be fair and impartial. They must be kind, but firm. They must be knowledgeable and patient when dealing with tedious facts and disagreeable attorneys. A judge is a professional test-

taker. A judge serves as a referee who controls the flow of information. A judge is in charge of the litigants who hope to have their day in court. They must be knowledgeable in the rules of evidence and civil procedure. Most importantly, judges must instill public confidence in the judicial process by acting in a manner befitting an individual who has the highest of character and ideals.

I will address this challenge by drawing on the skills that I’ve derived as a mediator and a special judge. I will continue to study the law. I will constantly remind myself that the Lord requires me to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with Him. Micah 6:8.

Why should voters choose you?

I will do my utmost to carry out the very serious duties of judge. I will maintain great care, integrity, fairness, and common sense.

As a family law attorney, I have seen people at their very worst. I am prepared to address their case in such a way that even if they don’t win, they will leave the courtroom with a sense of satisfaction that at least they had a fair opportunity to present their case.

I will apply principles that I base my conduct on as a Christian and a conservative Republican. I have a strong work ethic and will work hard to get the job done.

I am qualified for this position. 70 percent of Circuit Court’s case load is domestic. I have focused on family law for the last 20 years of my career. I am a trained mediator and have sat as a special judge.

Chancellor, Part 1

Joe Manuel

Age: 61

Residence: Hixson

Years lived in Hamilton County: 35

Married: Married, three children

Education: Memphis State University 1975, University of Tennessee College of Law 1978

Public Office Experience: Currently Member of City of Chattanooga Board of Zoning Appeals; Board of Governors Chattanooga Bar Association 1991-1992 and treasurer 2013.

Church or Civic Involvement: 1st Centenary United Methodist Church, lay reader

Achievements: Licensed to practice Law in Tennessee and Georgia; Admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Tennessee, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th, 6th and 11th circuits.

What is the biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

Awesome power resides with the Chancellor. Yet, the Chancellor must also deal compassionately with those who cannot protect themselves. In particular, the power to stop government action is extraordinary. Chancery Court enjoys “its finest moment” when it intervenes to protect the individual from abuse by government. However, with this power comes the obligation to use it sparingly and only when convinced irreparable harm will occur. I pledge to be ever mindful and restrained with the use of the power.

We must apply current technology to Chancery Court procedures and filing practices. It may be that we can adapt practices whereby counsel can appear via telephonic conference call or video call. The goal will be to install an electronic case filing that will allow electronic filing of all documents and access to all public filings. This will require substantial funding and I am committed to seeking appropriate funding to accomplish it.

Why should voters choose you ?

I am the only candidate who has the breadth of experience that qualifies one to address the broad range of issues that come before the Chancellor. I have spent my entire professional life engaged in the resolution of disputes. I have been fortunate to have been involved in a broad range of cases, but also in different roles: as a trial lawyer, mediator, arbitrator and author. I gained knowledge from 35 years of trial practice, patience from mediation practice and the ability to make difficult decisions from serving as an Arbitrator. And, in each one of these roles, I have distinguished myself.

In 2010, the Judicial Nomination Commission recommended me as one of three qualified lawyers to serve as Chancellor. Therefore, I have already been vetted by my true peers and found to be qualified to serve as Chancellor.

Pamela McNutt Fleenor

Age: 54

Occupation: attorney

Residence: Lookout Mountain

Years lived in Hamilton County: 50

Family: married, two children

Education: Central High School, Graduated with a BA magna cum laude from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga;Juris Doctorate from University of Cincinnati College of Law

Previous Public Office Experience: none

Church or civic involvement: Member of the Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church; Leadership Chattanooga Alumni Association, Pachyderm Club; Hamilton County Republican Women; Nightside Pachyderm club; Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute; Southeast Tennessee Legal Association for Women; Harrison Ruritan; past PTA board member of Lookout Mountain School

Achievements: Graduated from Central High School-salutatorian; first female to be elected president of a senior class at Central in, at that time, its 70 year history, recipient of the Benwood Foundation’s Chapin-Thomas scholarship to the University of Cincinnati College of Law, graduate of Leadership Chattanooga

What is the biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

The greatest challenge facing Chancery Court is the rising number of conservatorship cases due to the aging population. These cases involve our senior friends dealing with onset dementia or Alzheimer’s that will have their very lives placed in the hands of a third party. Simultaneously, recent turnover in the Clerk and Master’s Office results in a loss of years of experience and institutional knowledge.

As Chancellor, I will use my hands-on experience with these cases involving very vulnerable people to work with the family members and apply the law carefully and compassionately to achieve the best for the senior. In these filings, it will be my responsibility, in light of the changes in the administrative staff, to pay particular attention to detail to assure due process and Tennessee law are followed. Further, I will be responsible for training new staff in the Clerk and Master’s Office.

Why should voters choose you?

Foremost, I possess the judicial temperament required of every judge. This is especially essential in this court which hears cases involving the most vulnerable members of our community from victimized children to our seniors with Alzheimer’s facing conservatorship. Like current Chancellor Brown, I’ll work hard, treat the lawyers and the parties with respect, and make myself accessible after hours.

Currently, the majority of the caseload is the conservatorships. Having been appointed by Chancellor Brown as guardian in conservatorship cases, I have the necessary experience to hear these difficult cases. As a trial lawyer, I also have experience in the equity cases as well. I’m the only candidate suggesting improvements to make current open files available by electronic access that will result in cost-reduction and efficiencies.

I’ve been fortunate to utilize and refine the skills needed to be a proficient judge by serving as special judge on several occasions.

County Mayor

Jim Coppinger

Age: 58

Occupation: Mayor of Hamilton County

Residence: Hixson

Lived in Hamilton County: 58

Family: Married, two step children and one grandchild

Education: Graduated Hixson High School, attended Chattanooga State and University of Tennessee — Chattanooga

Public Office Experience: Hamilton County Commissioner September 2006 through January 2011; Hamilton County Mayor January 2011 to present.

Church: Burks United Methodist

Civic: Association of County Mayors, Tri-State Regional Workforce Alliance, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce Board, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Chancellor’s Roundtable, Regional Health Council, Hamilton County Planning Commission, Joint Economic and Community Development Board, Transportation Planning Organization, Advisory Council on Traffic Safety, Workforce Investment Board, Southeastern Tennessee Development District/Chattanooga Area Council of Governments, Emergency Communications District 911, Hamilton County Railroad Authority, Scenic Cities Beautiful Commission, Tennessee County Services Association, River City Board

Achievements: Presented no tax increase budgets, created over 7,000 new jobs, recruited 27 new businesses, helped more than 50 businesses expand, made available $100 million dollars for new school construction and additions, kept a Triple A bond rating by all three rating agencies during two ratings, saved millions of taxpayers dollars by refinancing bonds, reduced the number of employees by 59 positions, cut budget by more than $13 million in fiscal year 2012.

What is biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

Public education, workforce development, economic development and creating jobs. Public education is critical to the success of Hamilton County. With the implementation of the STEM school and the startup of Pathways to Prosperity, students will be better prepared for the jobs of the 21stand an ageing workforce, the need for developing a larger workforce is becoming even more apparent. We have outstanding partners in Chattanooga State and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga which stand willing and able to design and deliver specific training based on needs. Although we have seen some success, we must continue to create more family wage jobs. We do that by continuing to educate our workforce, better education means a better job.

Why should voters vote for you?

As Mayor I have created and presented three budgets with no tax increases. We have reduced the workforce by 59 positions and cut the budget by millions of dollars. We have maintained our AAA bond rating by all three rating agencies and saved taxpayers millions of dollars by refinancing several bonds. We have delivered a balanced budget on time to the Commission every year and have come in under budget each of those years. We have created more than 7,000 jobs through new and expanding businesses and work with the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce to operate the Business Development Center, one of the top startup incubators in the country. The BDC is the home of over 70 businesses that employ approximately 400 people and has a success rate of more than 90%. I am committed to continue making Hamilton County a better place to live, work and play.

Basil J. Marceaux, Sr.

Age: 61

Occupation: importer, auto master tech, home repair master, machinist, song writer, movie producer, inventor, businessman.

Residence: Soddy Daisy

Years lived in Hamilton County: 31

Family: married, two children and five grandchildren

Education: 12 years, two college, GM master training in N.J., VW school, Opel school and a bunch of home study programs — read all of minutes to the Congress from 1789 to 1961.

Previous Public Office Experience: Force Recon Marine

Church or Civic Involvement: Baptist

Achievements: Created five canned vegetable labels and sold them to Food Lion, Winner of seven mandated orders from Tennessee Criminal Court of Appeals. Cities are civil. Had the first traffic ticket in Hamilton County Circuit Court in 145 years, became a superstar in the 2010 governor election and climbing.

What is the biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

Make everybody listen to higher court orders concerning false arrests of thousands of citizens at all cost. Emission testings — close them.

Why should voters choose you?

Everybody else only cares about making money for their government office. Me, I care about their rights first. I will not break my protect and defend oath from the marine corp. Everybody else thinks they are immune, and they are and break their oaths all day every day. I’m an importer for years and know how to create jobs.


County Commission, District 1

Randy Fairbanks

Age: 57

Occupation: Certified Public Accountant- owner of Fairbanks Bookkeeping and Tax Service

Residence: Soddy Daisy

Years lived in Hamilton County: 57

Family: Married, two daughters

Education: B.S. Degree in Accounting from University of Tennessee — Chattanooga, CPA license

Previous Public Office Experience: NA

Church or Civic Involvement: Member of Family Christ Church, Member of Pachyderm Club, TSSAA Football Official, Past Member – Hamilton County Health and Education Development Board, Past Falling Water PTA President

Achievements: My biggest achievement in the sports arena would be having the honor of referring the 2009 TSSAA championship football game. In my professional career I would say that obtaining my CPA designation. In my personal life my biggest and most important achievements would be raising my two beautiful daughters.

What is the biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

The biggest challenge in District 1, as is the case in most parts of Hamilton County, is adequately funding the educational needs of our schools. Sixty percent of our $665 million dollar budget, or $395 million, goes to our schools. That tells me how important the schools are. I will work with our local state delegation to try and get our fair share of the BEP funding from Nashville. Far too long, we have helped fund new buildings in nearby counties. I also pledge to use the discretionary funds to help meet the needs that does not come from the school systems budget. The $100,000 each commissioner is allocated each year is already out of the budget, so it makes no sense for the money to sit in the bank while there are so many needs in our schools going unmet.

Why should voters choose you?

District 1 needs a hands on county commissioner. A commissioner who is out in the community listening to the people’s concerns. They need a commissioner who will visit the schools in the district on a regular basis, to know firsthand what their needs are. They need a commissioner who will attend city council meetings to know what issues the citizens care about. I have been involved in the community through church and working with the Soddy Daisy Kids Club, as both a coach and official. I have served as a PTA President in a District 1 school. I know first the struggles parents go through to help provide their children a good education. I will work diligently with educators, city commissioners and community leaders to make our community a better place to live and raise a family.

Fred Rees Skillern

Age: 77

Occupation: Business

Residence: Soddy-Daisy

Years lived in Hamilton County: 77

Family: Wife, one son (deceased)

Education: Soddy-Daisy High School

Previous Public Office Experience: 20 years Hamilton County School Board, 13 years Hamilton County Commission.

Church or Civic Involvement: First Presbyterian Church – Soddy-Daisy, American Legion Post 107

Achievements: Keeping taxes low, building schools, play grounds, sewers, improved roads, supported volunteer fire departments

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What is the biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

Improving safety, schools, sewers, fire protection, fire hydrants, roads — doing this without a tax increase.

Why should voters choose you?

I have experience and knowledge of my District and citizens. I’ve lived and worked in District and have contact on a daily basis with a diverse group of citizens in this District. I have lived in District 77 years. I have worked in District 45 years. I have gone to church in District 77 years. I have contact with many District 1 citizens everyday. My business has an open-door policy for citizens to come in to see me at anytime.

County Commission, District 7

Phil Smartt

Age: 70

Occupation: Retired, for 38 years I was a business owner in the insurance industry. Twice I built an insurance agency from the ground up and grew each into a very successful business.

Residence: East Brainerd

Years lived in Hamilton County: 42

Family: married, six children, 29 grandchildren and one great grandchild

Education: graduated from Chattanooga High School in 1961, and then earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University.

Previous Public office: Chairman of the Hamilton County School Board, served 10 years on the Hamilton County Waste Water Treatment Authority, and two years as Chairman.

Church and civic involvement: Elder in my church, Moccasin Bend Board of Trustees, Hamilton County Community Service Agency, Cherokee Council – Boy Scouts of America.

Achievements: My single greatest achievement is my family. Gloria and I have raised six wonderful children, all of whom were educated in public schools in Hamilton County, and all of whom were able to attend college, pursue their own careers, and establish their own families.

To this day we continue a tradition we began when they were small children, and that is weekly family time for reflection, fun and discussions about life, Christianity and the American way of

What is the biggest challenge facing the office you seek, and how will you address it?

The single greatest challenge is to continue the tremendous growth we are experiencing in Hamilton County and how we can support and pay for that growth. At the heart of this conversation is education. To continue to attract good jobs to Hamilton County we must have an educational system in place that is both attractive to potential employers and that can produce the person those businesses will hire. While those new businesses often get tax incentives to come, one must remember that while those incentives often include property tax exemptions, they are still required to pay the portion of those taxes that go to the schools. So, our challenge is to keep companies like VW, Coca Cola and many others coming to and expanding in our county. As they build and grow their footprint they are paying more in school taxes.

Why should voters choose you?

I am the only candidate with public office/service experience. I am retired, and therefore the only candidate who can devote as much time, even full-time, to the needs of District 7. I am the only candidate who opposes the ongoing use of the discretionary spending accounts of the County Commission – that’s $900,000.00 of taxpayer money being spent without the people having a voice in the spending. It leaves too much room for favoritism and some might even say “buying votes.”

My passion for Hamilton County and District 7 – My life is here and therefore my passion for all of this area is driven by the fact that I have invested so much of life in trying to impact and improve the well- being of all our citizens.

Perry Perkins

Age: 57

Occupation: Residential Paint Contractor

Residence: Apison

Years lived in Hamilton County: 57

Family: Married

Education: Tyner High School Class of 1974; B.S., Criminal Justice, University of Tennessee — Chattanooga, 1985.

Previous Public Office Experience: None.

Church or Civic Involvement: My wife and I attend Redemption Point Church in Ooltewah, Active member of the Alhambra Shriners, associate member of the board of the Shriners Children’s Hospital in Lexington, Ky. 2010 to present; Reserve Deputy with Hamilton County from 1978-1982 and from 2006-2011 as well as with the city of East Ridge from 1982-1987; board member of the Hamilton Family YMCA from 2006-2008; chaired the Fundraising and Activities board for the Fraternal Order of Eagles, helping raise money for the local Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program, 1992-2004.

Achievements: I am a successful local business owner. I am also a fundraiser for civic projects, including a $50 million hospital facility and the successful D.A.R.E. program in public schools.

What is the biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

First, the County Commission needs to get back to work with the County School Board as well as the councils and commissions from the municipalities in the County. Obviously, there has been a lot of infighting. Then the most important question facing the County in light of our growth is “how do we provide an excellent education for our children, who are our greatest asset?” Public education is about building good citizens. Improving public education will effect both economic development and safety.

Why should voters choose you?

I have spent all of my adult life in service to residents of Hamilton County, especially its youth. I am the most experienced in building partnerships to finance large facilities projects and the best suited to start building a better relationship between the County Commission and the School Board.

Sabrena Turner

Age: 45

Occupation: Owner and Broker of Sabrena Realty Associates

Residence: East Brainerd

Years lived in Hamilton County: 33

Family: Married, three young adult children

Education: Associate of Applied Science from Chattanooga State and Bachelors degree in Business from Bryan College.

Previous Public Office Experience: N/A

Church or Civic Involvement: Member of Morris Hill Baptist Church, Member of the Ruritan club, Freedoms Foundation and Hamilton County Republican Women Club. Past board member of the Friends of East Brainerd, Past chair of HubFest (a community event at Heritage Park which I chaired for 2 years), Past Chair of Governmental Affairs Committee of Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors, Serve on State Governmental Affairs Committee and as a Tennessee Director, and currently serve as a Board member for the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors and Multiple Listing Board.

Achievements: Received the Academic Excellence Award for graduating top of my class from the Radiology and Ultrasound Programs at Chattanooga State., graduated from Bryan College with top honors and voted Realtor of the Year by the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors in 2012.

What is the biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking?

Since launching my campaign, I have met with school principals, teachers, voters, civic and community groups, and multiple community and business leaders in our area. Some of the most commonly expressed concerns have been the need for a new middle school in East Brainerd, the construction of CSLA and the importance of bringing technology upgrades into our classrooms. Additionally, most residents believe there are critical infrastructure needs that need to be addressed, such as widening East Brainerd Road and addressing the storm water and sewer issues in our area. As a mother who has a son currently working for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department, public safety will always be a primary concern of mine. Residents want someone who will make difficult decisions on how these and other needs are funded within the existing budget and without raising taxes.

Why should voters choose you?

As the owner of Sabrena Realty Associates, I understand growth and the importance planning for it. We need a successful school system, a safe community, low taxes and strong infrastructure. I have a proven record of getting results for my district and fighting to stop annexation and oppose tax increases. If elected, I will work to build a strong working relationship with the school board to address the needs within our schools. I will support building a new middle school in East Brainerd and CSLA while maintaining our AAA bond rating and avoiding a tax increase. I will work with city and state leaders to address critical infrastructure needs, promote public safety through strong neighborhood watch programs and add more School Resource Officers. I am committed to bringing transparency, accountability, and efficiency to government, and will always focus on what matters: the people.

County Commission, District 8

Brent Lambert

Age: 37

Occupation: Passenger Sales Manager – Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

Residence: East Ridge

Years lived in Hamilton County: 37

Family: Married, four children

Education: Graduated from East Ridge High School, B.A. in History from University of Tennessee — Chattanooga, Master of Public Administration from Valdosta State University

Previous Public Office Experience: East Ridge City Councilmember, 2008-2010; East Ridge Mayor, 2010-Present

Church or Civic Involvement: Ordained as deacon at Spring Creek Road Baptist Church in 2000; currently attend Lupton Drive Baptist Church; former President of the East Ridge Council of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce; former Chairman of the East Ridge History Center Committee

Achievements: Tennessee Young Republican Federation Chairman’s Award, 2007; Valdosta State University Graduate of the Last Decade (G.O.L.D.) Award, 2012

What is the biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

Economic needs are among the most pressing issues for District 8. We must work harder to create new

jobs while being good stewards of taxpayer dollars. I will be actively engaged with all areas of the district in order to encourage economic development (where appropriate), bringing revitalization and jobs while expanding the tax base. One example would be providing recruiting and planning assistance to the City of East Ridge as it develops a “Border Region Retail Tourism Development District.” East Ridge is one of just three such districts that will be allowed to develop in the entire state. At the heart of this opportunity, the city will be able to incentivize large “destination” types of retail development while the state pays for the cost of those incentives over time through sales tax dollars. This is a tremendous opportunity, not only for East Ridge, but for all of Hamilton County.

Why should voters choose you?

My experience, integrity, and work ethic make me the most qualified candidate for this position. Being a lifelong resident of District 8 and having earned an MPA degree with a concentration in government management, I have a solid grasp of the issues facing our district and the methods that can be used to address them. I am currently in my sixth year on the East Ridge City Council, including over three years as mayor, and I am proud of the progress we have made there. I have also served the Republican Party well, first as Chairman of the Hamilton County Young Republicans and then as Treasurer of the County GOP. My energy and enthusiasm will be true assets for the district; no one will work harder. And in all things, I strive to serve with honor and in a way that is true to my Christian faith.

Curtis Adams

Age: 80

Occupation: Retired

Residence: East Ridge

Years lived in Hamilton County: 72

Family: Married, four children, 10 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

Education: Alton Park Elementary School, Gibson Middle School and Paul Haynes High School in Birmingham, Ala.

Previous Public Office Experience: Six terms on the Hamilton County Commission

Church or Civic Involvement: Music Director at Ridgeview Baptist, Trinity Baptist and Unity Baptist — 30 combined years.

Achievements: Named to the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, attended the prestigious American Press Institute at Columbia University, spoke to 265 civic and church groups, and numerous newspaper conventions, served 22 years on the Hamilton County Commission, served 11 years on the Parkridge Helath System Board, served as president and program chairman of the East Ridge Chamber, won a 10-day trip to Hawaii for being top circulation director for the largest percentage of circulation in America, worked 40 years at the News-Free Press, 25 years as circulation director and 15 years as advertising director, won several awards for top ad layout.

What is the biggest challenge facing the office youa re seeking, and how would you address it?

Schools: We have some of the top rated schools in the state and some of the lowest rated schools. If elected I plan to request to be named chairman of the education committee. I served as chairman of that group five years. I would do everything in my power to pull these grades up. We have schools that run 15 to 20 points below state average. This would require the best teachers at low achieving schools.

Why should voters choose you?

Highly experience! I have the time, have my own office with conference room for meetings. I think I could make a big difference with our schools that are lagging behind.

Tim Boyd

Age: 62

Occupation: engineer

Residence: East Ridge

Years lived in Hamilton County: 40

Family: Wife, three children and five grandchildren

Education: BSIE from University of Tennessee – Knoxville, 1976

Previous Public Office Experience: Current first term Hamilton County District 8 County Commissioner

Church or Civic Involvement: Member of Cross Paths Baptist Church formerly East Ridge Baptist Church.

Achievements: Technical consultant to Exxon contractor on the Valdez Oil Spill in 1989; Co-inventor of medical diagnostic equipment in 1987; Started engineering design/consulting firm in 1989 with wife, Jan. Our firm was involved with the clean-up of several EPA superfund sites throughout the U.S.; Received 2013 Community Service Award from the East Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation

What is the biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

The biggest challenge is letting my constituents know what accomplishments have been made during my tenure as County Commissioner. Co-sponsoring programs through the effective use of discretionary funds to free up hundreds of thousands of incarceration cost through an alternative sentencing program having a 90 percent success rate. Helping a local nonprofit with a pilot literacy program for Pre-K through 2nd grade receive national attention and over $100,000 in private grants. Providing the city of East Ridge with $12,500 of district discretionary funds to purchase the first recycling cans. Helping the schools of East Ridge by stepping up to provide over $75,000 in funding for projects not funded by the county. Improving the District 8 community by upgrading four pocket parks through the use of discretionary funds. Sponsoring scholarships to many of the underserved youth of District 8 to impact their lives to help the realize they can be more.

Why should voters choose you?

I have never voted for a tax or fee increase. I will protect the citizens from wasteful spending and ask the hard questions when faced with determining whether to fund a project. I will defend the public’s best interest when government over reach threatens their rights as U.S. citizens. I will always be mindful of the citizens best interest and will not be pressured by special interest groups.

Register of deeds

Pam Hurst

Age: 59

Occupation: Hamilton County Government Register of Deeds

Residence: Ooltewah

Years lived in Hamilton County: 45

Family: Married, three children, five grandchildren

Education: Central High School, Chattanooga & Cleveland State

Previous Public Office Experience: Hamilton County Register of Deeds for 20 years.

Church or Civic Involvement: member at Christ United Methodist Church; President of the County Officials’ Association of Tennessee 2005-2006; Chairperson of the Hamilton County United Way Drive 2009-2010; president and secretary of the Tennessee Register’s Association; Associate Member of the Harrison Ruritan Club; Panelist for past Tennessee Land Title Association Meetings; Real Estate License (retired presently) for 34 years; Member of Property Records Industry Association, 2010; Legislative Committee Member, Tennessee Register’s Association and the County Officials’ Association, Currently member of the Host Committee for the County Officials’ Conference schedule in the fall in Chattanooga; United Way Employee Campaign Manager of the Year of Large Company 2009.

Achievements: East Tennessee Register’s Association “Register of the Year” 2002; named “Outstanding Register of the Year 2000” by the president of the Register’s Association that year; Acquired Certified Public Administrator designation in 1995 as provided for by UT County Technical Assistance Program; University of Tennessee graduate of Local Government Leadership Program 2000; County Officials’ Association of Tennessee named Elected Official of the Year.

What is the biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

Continued progress with indexing and backscanning old data and images from 1800s to 1960’s, continued creation of computer programs that could accelerate some of the title search process.

Why should voters vote for you?

Voters should choose me because of my 20 years experience as the Register. I believe that experience does count.

I also have a 10 year background researching real property titles and I have worked with real estate attorneys during that time. That lends itself to helping set rules for computer programs, and assisting customers with property information.

Also under my direction we have been successful in remitting 25 million plus excess fees which does not include the salaries that we additionally paid out of our fees.

Ryan Epperson

Did not participate

Sheriff

Jim Hammond

Age: 69

Occupation: Hamilton County Sheriff

Residence: East Brainerd

Years lived in Hamilton County: 52

Family: Married, three children and nine grandchildren

Education: B.A. in Psychology, B.S. in Criminal Justice, Masters in Criminal Justice

Previous Public Office Experience: Chief deputy for 17 years, served as mayor of Ridgeside city, worked at juvenile court for 7 years, worked as international police training instructor overseas

Church or Civic Involvement: Woodland Park Baptist Church, Veteran of the U.S. Navy

Achievements: CALEA Award – being only one of five Sheriff’s Offices in Tennessee to meet more than 480 law enforcement standards by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Expansion of SRO program; Acquired $1 million in funding to add eight officers in our schools; dramatic increase of Neighborhood Watch Programs to improve education and awareness in communities in crime prevention and identification; AEGIS Foundation – By creating a non-profit organization funded by local business leaders, law enforcement offices in each Hamilton County municipality have access to additional technology and training to supplement taxpayer dollars.

What is the biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

My priority is to provide personal safety to residents in their homes, their businesses, and their community. I am also tasked to respond to natural disasters, the closing of mental health services, and other safety and personnel issues, all within a county-government budget.

In response to the budget challenge, I started the AEGIS Foundation, a non-profit organization including every law enforcement agency in our county. AEGIS works with business leaders to fund training for the hundreds of men and women who risk their lives to protect citizens across the county.

I will continue to appropriate the $30 million budget to prioritize safety for our citizens through innovative measures like AEGIS and the marshaling of available resources. As technology in the hands of criminals improves, so must the technology in the hands of our officers. It’s my job to keep our officers equipped, trained, and proficient to serve.

Why should voters choose you?

Crime against persons and property has been on a downward trend in Hamilton County for the last several years. The efforts of the Sheriff’s Office through quadrupling the neighborhood watch programs, adding 8 School Resource Officers and enhanced training for effective patrolling are yielding tangible results.

After years of work, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office joined only four other Sheriff’s Departments in Tennessee in earning the CALEA accreditation. In order to meet over 480 of CALEA’s law enforcement standards, our men and women were equipped with superior training to more effectively serve the public safety.

Through the implementation of training and technology, I have been able to maximize patrol time while minimizing the administrative task load for officers. As your Sheriff, my commitment is to an effective, efficient force for personal safety.

I have been successful to lead our team in the mission to protect the residents of this county.

Chris Harvey

Age: 41

Occupation: Law Enforcement

Residence: Soddy Daisy

Years lived in Hamilton County: 41

Family: Married, two children

Education: Soddy Daisy High School; Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy; University of North Florida Institute of Police Technology and Management

Previous Public Office Experience: None

Church or Civic Involvement: Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Fighter - former fire fighter current member of the Board of Directors; HCSO Explorers Program (created by Boy Scouts of America) - Associate Advisor

Achievements: My biggest achievement has been to raise my family to love God and our country. My professional achievement is I have worked my way up the Sheriff’s Office. I’ve supervised different divisions and gained the support of my coworkers. I’m honored to have so many of them supporting and encouraging me in this campaign.

What is the biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

Addressing the critical manpower shortage in the Jail and Patrol Divisions without increasing budgetary funding is the biggest issue facing the next Sheriff. My plan for the Jail is to implement a cost neutral reorganization of certain positions currently performing tasks outside of the Jail and the three shifts that manage the inmate population. For Patrol Division I plan to evaluate and transform recently created staff positions into salaries for more patrol officers. Currently Lookout Valley doesn’t have a designated deputy. If elected I’ll assign a deputy to that area do each patrol shift. By reorganizing certain positions these tasks can be done without increasing the budget.

Why should voters choose you?

I’m the only candidate for Sheriff that has patrolled our streets and fought to keep our schools and neighborhoods safe. I’ll attack the gang and drug issue head on and implement prevention courses for our children to learn the lifelong affects of crime and drugs. Ever since Charlie Peavyhouse taught me the difference between the two parties I’ve been a Republican. I’ll work to balance the budget and protect our liberties found in the Constitution. To that end I’m the only candidate that opposes portable traffic cameras. Taxpayers want a Sheriff that will manage tax dollars wisely and make the protection of our schools and neighborhoods the top priority? I will be that Sheriff. I ask you to vote Chris Harvey for Sheriff.

Circuit Court Clerk

Larry L. Henry

Age: 65

Occupation: Owner of Stacy Oil Company (retired), County Commissioner

Residence: East Brainerd/Ooltewah

Years Lived in Hamilton County: 65

Family: Married, on child, three grandchildren

Education: Tyner High School, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Covington Seminary

Previous Public Office Experience: Hamilton County Board of Commissioners, District 7, 2002 to present.

Church or Civic Involvement: Morris Hill Baptist Church, Samaritan Center, Friends of East Brainerd, Freedom Foundation.

Achievements: Owned and operated Stacy Oil Company for over thirty-five years. Served on Hamilton County Commission for 11 years, including five terms as Chairman. Only person to serve three consecutive terms as Chairman of the Hamilton County Commission.

What is biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

The biggest challenge facing the Hamilton County Circuit Court Clerk is budgetary. Meeting this challenge will require management of the dedicated staff in that office. With over thirty-five years managing employees in private business, I have the skills to manage the staff in a cost-efficient and effective manner. Meeting the budgetary challenges in the office will also require an understanding of how the budget of the Circuit Court Clerk factors into Hamilton County Government as a whole. Having served on the County Commission for eleven years – five of which as Chairman – I understand how the Circuit Court Clerk’s budget fits into the overall framework of County Government. Meeting this challenge also requires a willingness to invest in new technologies, and I plan to investigate the feasibility of electronic filing in the Circuit Court Clerk’s office.

Why should voters vote for you?

Voters should vote for me because I have the experience in both the private and public sectors to manage the Circuit Court Clerk’s office effectively, efficiently, and in a manner consistent with the best interests of the taxpayers. As the onwer of a small business for over thirty-five years, I know how to make the most out of available financial resources and manage workers effectively.

As a County Commissioner for over 11 years, I understand what it takes to govern effectively without burdening the taxpayers.

Lisa Zarzour Bowman

Age: 53

Occupation: attorney

Residence: Soddy Daisy

Years lived in Hamilton County: 41

Family: Married; mother and grandmother

Education: Ooltewah High School, Associate paralegal degree, Cleveland State; BS in Criminal Justice, University of Tennessee — Chattanooga; JD, Nashville School of Law.

Previous Public Office Experience: Notary Public, Special City Court Judge, Special General Sessions Court Judge

Church or Civic Involvement: Peach Blossom Baptist Church, Chattanooga Bar Association, Southeast Tennessee Lawyer’s Association for Women, Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute, Pachyderm Club.

Achievements: Pro Bono Award, 2001

What is the biggest challenge facing the office you are seeking, and how would you address it?

The biggest challenge facing the Hamilton County Circuit Court Clerk’s office is generating the income necessary to meet the needs of the office within the guidelines set forth by the Tennessee Legislature. Should I be elected on May 6th, I plan to use technology more effectively in order to generate the maximum amount of income while implementing changes to make the Circuit Court Clerk’s office more accessible to the public. My goal is to cut out inefficiencies while raising revenue. To accomplish that end, I am conducting research into other metropolitan clerk’s offices faced with statutory restrictions or fee collections, and analyzing the current spending in those offices to better understand the demands of the office.

Why should voters choose you?

I am a practicing attorney and an officer of the court. Over the past thirty-three years, working first as a paralegal and later as an attorney, I have developed close working relationships in the Circuit and General Sessions Courts with the Clerks as well as the Circuit and General Sessions Court judges and their staffs. I am the most qualified and prepared candidate for the office of the Hamilton County Circuit Court Clerk.

Ron Parson

Did not participate.

about Louie Brogdon...

Louie Brogdon began reporting with the Chattanooga Times Free Press in February 2013. Before he came to the Scenic City, Louie lived on St. Simons Island, Ga. and covered crime, courts, environment and government at the Brunswick News, a 17,000-circulation daily on the Georgia coast. While there, he was awarded for investigative reporting on police discipline and other law enforcement issues by the Georgia Press Association. For the Times Free Press, Louie covers Hamilton County ...

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