Erskine Oglesby seeks District 7 Chattanooga City Council seat

Erskine Oglesby and Carmen Davis
photo Erskine Oglesby Jr.

Erskine Oglesby Jr. announced Friday he will seek the District 7 seat on the Chattanooga City Council.

That seat is now held by Chris Anderson, who has picked up qualifying papers to run, according to the Hamilton County Election Commission.

Manny Rico, the former District 7 councilman who lost to Anderson in 2013, has qualified to run again, according to election commission records. And Montrell Besley also has announced his candidacy for the seat.

Oglesby said in a news release the district needs "a new voice" on the council who "brings a new vision, passion and the necessary business experience to advocate for the needs of our community while bringing people together so we can succeed together and make the progress needed to move our city forward."

The candidate has worked as the associate director of corporate engagement for the United Way of Greater Chattanooga, where his job was to grow corporate giving and provide technical and marketing support to nonprofit groups in the region, the release stated.

Before that, he was business services representative for the Southeast Tennessee Development District's Tennessee Career Center, where he worked with area businesses and administered training grants and economic development programs.

In his statement, Oglesby said Chattanooga "should be known for its social innovations in reducing crime, growing our workforce, [and] creating economic empowerment opportunities" in a collaboration among government, business and civic and faith-based groups. He said the district's representative should be someone who pushes the city administration for economic development and "works every day to expand the industrial footprint on our community that continues to struggle with overcoming high poverty, high crime rates, record unemployment rates and poor housing conditions."

Oglesby holds a degree in health care administration and planning from Tennessee State University/Meharry Medical College. He and his wife have a son and a daughter and three grandchildren, and they are active members of Resurrected Baptist Church.

District 7 includes the precincts of Alton Park 1 & 2, Downtown 1 & 2, East Lake and St. Elmo.