Chattanooga native Brandon Woodruff is declaring his candidacy for the District 28 state House seat now held by Rep. JoAnne Favors, D-Chattanooga, who announced her retirement earlier this month.
Woodruff's public announcement will be made on Dec. 4.
"I'm running for State House to rehabilitate our community's view of public servants," Woodruff said in a statement announcing his intent to declare candidacy. "No more politicians. We deserve public servants. I believe I have shown and will continue to show I am trained and passionate about serving those around me."
Woodruff, a graduate of Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences, received his undergraduate degree in political science from Middle Tennessee State University. He will graduate with a master's degree in leadership and public policy from Lipscomb University on Dec. 16.
He is currently a co-owner of Scenic City T's, located in the heart of the Brainerd community, and is a licensed sales producer for Allstate Insurance Company.
Woodruff is no stranger to politics or the State Capitol in Nashville, according to the news release. In 2015, he was selected as one of nine students from Middle Tennessee State University to work for the 109th Tennessee General Assembly.
Woodruff's ability to cultivate relationships within the capitol extended his opportunity to work closely with the General Assembly in 2016 and the 110th Tennessee General Assembly in 2017, the news release states. He worked for three state House member's during his time with the General Assembly.
"The one things I've continued to hear is, "You are too young," Woodruff said. "I always say to that, 'There's no such thing as being too young.'"
He added several national and historic leaders were in their youth when they decided to leave their mark on the world.
"My fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, continuously reminds me of the legacy my brothers Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall began their respective journeys at 25, the same age I will be during my campaign," he said. "My entire life I was reminded by my late grandfather Pastor David Hill, former minister of Faith Unlimited Ministries, that 'a child shall lead the way.'"
He said the scripture denotes the child's humility and eagerness to learn is what makes him eligible to lead, not his age.
"So being called at this very moment in history to change Chattanooga, came as no surprise to myself and those in the district who witnessed and poured into me as I've grown into a man," he said.
Woodruff said he's listened to the community, and the reoccurring conversation has been that the city is in need of change. Local and state leaders need to genuinely care about supporting public education, encouraging businesses to create opportunities for the youth to engage in entrepreneurship and "appropriately distributing tax dollars to ensure all communities are benefiting equally from the tremendous growth our city is experiencing," he said.
"My people, my city of Chattanooga, in the words of Fannie Lou Hamer, are 'sick and tired of being sick and tired,'" he said. "This generation needs public officials who are honest and more transparent with those in which they serve."
Favors, a retired registered nurse and health care administrator who served on the Hamilton County Commission before being elected to the Tennessee House in 2004, said she decided not to seek re-election so she could spend more time with her family.