Brenda Short is the only Democrat running for the 3rd District congressional seat, but that's enough, a friend says.
"It only takes one Democrat to win," said Marilyn Lloyd, who held the seat from 1975 to 1995.
On Friday at her kickoff event, Mrs. Short hugged friends, family members and supporters, saying one of her primary goals is to create more work for Tennesseans.
"People are hurting and families are struggling, so job creation is a priority," Mrs. Short said.
The 3rd District's current congressman, U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., is running for governor.
Unlike the snow and rain from earlier this week, temperatures warmed into the low 50s with sunshine Friday as Jeff Brown, chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party, introduced Mrs. Short.
"As the long, cold winter of this year is almost over, so is the long, cold winter of not having a Democrat in this congressional seat is also almost over," Mr. Brown said. "When you think about Brenda Short, think about family, unity and God. Think about service. That's what she's about."
Mrs. Short stood in front of East Ridge City Hall, flanked on one side by 10-term former U.S. Rep. Lloyd and by a representative from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 175 on the other.
Ms. Short said she would focus on job creation, the military, education and health care if elected.
"Health care is not a Democratic or Republican issue. It's a people issue," she said. "Thousands of people die because they don't have health care."
Brenda Freeman Short
* Career: Worked in former U.S. Rep. Marilyn Lloyd's office; teacher at Silverdale Detention Center; also served a two-year term as a charter commissioner of East Ridge
* Education: Bachelor's in political science and doctorate of jurisprudence from the Nashville School of Law
* Family: Married to Doug Short; one son, the Rev. Todd Short, senior pastor of a church in Beaumont, Texas; two granddaughters
* Residence: East Ridge
Chattanooga City Councilwoman Debbie Gains, who is running against incumbent Warren Mackey for the District 4 seat on the Hamilton County Commission, and the Rev. Bernie Miller, who is running against incumbent Greg Beck for the commission's District 5 seat, were also in the audience Friday.
Some people in the audience, including Mr. Miller, contributed money to Mrs. Short's campaign while at the event.
Two other Democrats, former Tennessee Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Paula Flowers and systems analyst Brent Benedict, originally were in the 3rd District race, but announced late last year that they were withdrawing, leaving only GOP candidates.
The GOP candidates include Bradley County Sheriff Tim Gobble, former Tennessee Republican Party Chairwoman Robin Smith, attorney Chuck Fleischmann, attorney Van Irion, businessman Tommy Crangle and businessman Art Rhodes.
Two independents, engineer Greg Goodwin and businessman Mark DeVol, also are running for the 3rd District seat.