Ten candidates qualified for 5 Hamilton County school board seats

Hamilton County School Board Superintendent Dr. Brian Johnson responds to Sheriff Hammond Thursday night on how he plans to help keep our schools safe.

The race is just about set for the five open seats on the Hamilton County Board of Education.

As of Thursday's deadline, 10 candidates have qualified for the nonpartisan election - two candidates each for the District 3, 5, 6, 8 and 9 seats.

Board member Steve Highlander, who was elected chairman in 2016, is running for a second term. Highlander has been in the District 9 seat since 2014. His contender is D'Andre Anderson, a Chattanooga native and current Austin Peay State University student.

Anderson is transferring to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga at the end of the semester and will return home in May. He previously served as the student representative of the school board as well as a student organizer with UnifiEd, the local education nonprofit advocacy organization.

Incumbent David Testerman of District 8 is also facing a challenge from a student - 23-year-old Tucker McClendon, a UTC political science student and chairman of the Student Government Association's Government and External Affairs committee. Testerman has served on the board since 2010.

Karitsa Mosley Jones, the board's vice chairwoman, faces community member Ann Jones Pierre of District 5. Pierre, who managed the former Church Koinonia Federal Credit Union that merged with the Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union in 2013, has not officially announced her candidacy, but has qualified to run. Jones has held her seat since 2014.

Joe Smith of District 3 is also running to keep his seat. He was appointed to the school board by the Hamilton County Commission in November 2016, after the seat was vacated by Greg Martin when he was elected to the county commission. Smith had also run for the commission seat, but lost to Martin on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Records from the Hamilton County Election Commission show that Miracle Hurley has qualified to run against Smith for the District 3 seat. The Times Free Press does not currently have biographical information on Hurley.

The District 6 incumbent Joe Galloway, who was elected in 2010, is not running to keep his seat. Candidate Jenny Hill, co-owner of Papercut Interactive, a local web development company, launched her campaign for the seat in February. Hill faces local entrepreneur Michael Henry on the ballot.

The nonpartisan school board election is on Aug. 2.