Potential Chattanooga mayoral candidates watching and waiting

Potential Chattanooga mayoral candidates watching and waiting

February 4th, 2012 by Cliff Hightower in News

Joyce Terrell, administrative assistant at the African-American Museum, wears traditional West African ceremonial dress in this file photo.

Joyce Terrell, administrative assistant at the African-American Museum,...

Photo by Tim Barber /Times Free Press.


Five potential candidates have picked up petitions for the August mayoral recall election:

• Jim Folkner

• Landon Howard (dropped out)

• Guy Satterfield (qualified)

• Darrell Silvey

• Joyce Terrell

Source: Hamilton County Election Commission

Potential candidates in Chattanooga's mayoral recall election in August are mostly taking a wait-and-see approach as the issue moves to a court hearing next week.

"I don't know if we're going to intervene," said Jim Folkner, who picked up a petition to run for mayor and is also with Citizens to Recall Mayor Littlefield, one of the groups that started the recall.

Intervening would allow those who think they may be affected by the recall to plead their case during the hearing and also appeal the court's ruling if they disagree with it.

The hearing is set for Friday in front of Circuit Court Judge Jeff Hollingsworth, who is expected to decide whether to stop the Aug. 2 election set by the Hamilton County Election Commission.

So far, five people have picked up petitions. But one, local activist Landon Howard, said Thursday he has changed his mind and will not run. He did not give a reason for dropping out.

The others -- Folkner, Guy Satterfield, Darrell Silvey and Joyce Terrell -- either said they would not intervene in the court case or said the groups involved in the recall movement should do so.

Terrell, an author, said she is in Durham, N.C., for a book tour next week and would be heading to Washington, D.C., after that. She said she had no plans to intervene.

"I'm sitting back and watching," she said.

The recall election started when three groups -- Citizens to Recall Mayor Littlefield, Chattanooga Organized for Action and the Chattanooga Tea Party -- gathered almost 15,000 signatures in the summer of 2010 to oust Littlefield.

Littlefield sued the election commission before it could it could certify the petitions. Hollingsworth ruled in favor of Littlefield in the fall of 2010 and the recall was stopped.

But last fall, the Tennessee Court of Appeals overturned Hollingsworth's ruling. The Election Commission certified more than 9,000 signatures and set the election date.

Littlefield sued again, sending the matter to Hollingsworth's court a second time.

Silvey, who owns Silvey Sheet Metal, said he contributed money to the recall but he won't get involvedpersonally in the case. He said he thinks Folkner and the recall groups should intervene, however.

"We need to be a party of that," Silvey said.

Folkner said he is still mulling whether to intervene, hesitating on whether he feels the Election Commission could win the case.

"I don't know," he said. "I'm certain there will be an election if everything is treated fairly."

Satterfield, who formerly worked as Chattanooga transportation inspector and at Moccasin Bend Waste Water Treatment Plant, said he doesn't plan to get involved because he is too busy campaigning. He will run in the August election, he said, and if that is halted by the judge, he will run in the March 2013 regular city election.

"I'll just keep right on," he said. "That'll give me 13 months to campaign instead of seven."