Political Notebook: Candidate forum set for Wednesday

Political Notebook: Candidate forum set for Wednesday

January 26th, 2013 by Andy Sher in Local Regional News

Chattanooga Women's Leadership Institute, in partnership with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's department of political science, public administration and nonprofit management; women's studies program; and Women's Center will host a candidate forum Wednesday at UTC's University Center at 5:30 p.m.

Candidates running for Chattanooga City Council seats and mayor in the March 5 elections will talk about their campaigns, according to a news release.

Citizens will be introduced to each candidate running for the City Council and will be given a handout with each candidate's vision. There will be an opportunity to meet one-on-one with those running in the council races.

At 6:30 p.m., WRCB-TV 3 news anchor Cindy Sexton will moderate a forum featuring candidates running for mayor. Candidates will be asked to share their positions on several issues specific to the city.

For more information, call 423-394-8173.

Watson backing Tracy in 4th District

Republican 4th Congressional District candidate Jim Tracy, a state senator from Shelbyville, this week announced new members of his leadership team.

Among them: state Rep. Eric Watson, R-Cleveland, and Rep. Ron Travis, R-Dayton.

Watson's appearance is interesting because state Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland, is eyeing running in the 2014 GOP primary, as well. But Brooks has made no final decision. State Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, is testing the waters.

The seat is held by Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a Marion County physician.

Democratic chairman's race close

Today's Tennessee Democratic Party chairmanship race appeared to be pretty close late Friday afternoon, according to party observers.

The contest to replace current Chairman Chip Forrester is between party Treasurer Dave Garrison, of Nashville, and former Sen. Roy Herron, of Dresden.

The state House Democratic Caucus, which endorsed Herron on a 14-12 vote a few weeks ago, was revisiting the vote Friday afternoon, according to party insiders.

Herron is a relatively late entry in the race. Three other candidates, including Chattanoogan Jane Hampton Bowen, have bowed out in recent days.

An attorney, Garrison was a bundler for President Barack Obama, raising an estimated $500,000, and has ties to the Obama administration. He also has ties to and support from organized labor. He is an open supporter of abortion rights.

Herron, an attorney, raised $2.1 million for his unsuccessful congressional bid two years ago, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Herron opted not to seek re-election to the Senate after Republicans redrew Senate and House districts. During his Senate career, Herron did not openly back abortion rights.