Erskine Oglesby upsets incumbent Chris Anderson, wins city council runoff

Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / Erskine Oglesby and his wife Sheryl thanks supporters at his Alton Park headquarters. Erskine Oglesby won the runoff election from District 7 on April 11, 2017.
photo Erskine Oglesby

Erskine Oglesby has unseated Chris Anderson in the runoff contest for the District 7 seat on the Chattanooga City Council.

Oglesby defeated Anderson, 740 votes to 628.

In the city's March 7 election, Anderson fell just short of the required majority to win the seat outright in a three-way race with Oglesby and former councilman Manny Rico. The city charter calls for a runoff contest between the candidates who receive the most and second-most votes to decide the issue.

District 7 incorporates the Alton Park, Eastlake, Downtown and St. Elmo precincts.

In the final week of early voting, which ended April 6, the race heated up when Anderson sent out mailers alleging Oglesby was linked to failed mayoral candidate Larry Grohn, a tea party Republican, and "Republican operatives."

Oglesby called the claims ridiculous and said it was "unfortunate" his opponent took to last-minute deceptive advertisements.

"I want to remain focused on the four pillars on my campaign, which are economic development, community revitalization, programs for youth and families and community policing," Oglesby has said.

Both Oglesby and Grohn dismissed Anderson's claim the former mayoral candidate has "propped up" Oglesby's campaign.

Anderson later charged Grohn had shown support to Oglesby by attending one of his fundraisers.

"I think any reasonable person would conclude Grohn supports Ogeslby if he attends a fundraiser, much like they would conclude Mayor Andy Berke supports me when he attends one of my fundraisers," Anderson has said.

Anderson touted his record on increasing city investments to improve District 7, recently citing the construction of the new Southside Community Park on the former Charles A. Bell Elementary School property.