Hullander says he won't use own money in run for Hamilton County mayor

Staff Photo by Logan Hullinger / Matt Hullander announced his candidacy for mayor of Hamilton County on the courthouse steps earlier this month.

Hamilton County mayoral candidate Matt Hullander will not bankroll his own campaign and will hold a public event Wednesday laying out his political platform, according to a news release.

Hullander, a Chattanooga Republican and former CEO of the home improvement company HullCo, entered the race Nov. 12.

His latest event will be held at 11:30 a.m. on the steps of the Hamilton County Courthouse, where he will be introduced by Phillip Fulmer, former coach and athletic director at the University of Tennessee.

"We haven't put the first cent of our own money into this effort and don't plan to do so," Hullander said in a statement, responding to unspecified "misinformation" about how his campaign will be funded.

In a follow-up interview Tuesday, Hullander said his opponent, Weston Wamp, R-Chattanooga, had suggested Hullander was using his own money to fund his campaign.

Hullander said that if needed, he could use his own money. But that's not necessary at this point because of how much support he is receiving from constituents.

Wamp denied ever accusing Hullander of funding his own campaign. Wamp's campaign earlier this month did, however, tell supporters that it's likely Hullander would do so, he confirmed.

(READ MORE: Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger announces he won't seek re-election)

"Matt's commitment not to self-fund is great news, and I'll hold him to it," Wamp said in a statement. "Hamilton County voters deserve a campaign based on substance and the differences between candidates. I look forward to these discussions in our first debate."

Hullander, son of Hamilton County Trustee Bill Hullander, on Tuesday also said he has no "higher political aspirations" beyond his mayoral candidacy.

Hullander has described himself as a conservative with Christian values. He also has said he has wanted to run for mayor for years but has not previously had the time.

Then in April, he sold HullCo to West Shore Home, based in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. He declined to say how much the company was sold for, citing the terms of the sale.

(READ MORE: Matt Hullander enters 2022 Hamilton County mayoral race)

In his candidacy announcement earlier this month, Hullander said his priorities include working with school districts to improve career technical education, investing in economic development and jobs that keep workers in the county and working to improve staffing levels at the Silverdale Detention Center.

He also said he would like to use funds from the American Rescue Plan to invest more in the Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority.

Hullander, a first-time political candidate, chairs the Hamilton County Board of Zoning Appeals and serves on the board of Scenic Land Co., First Horizon Bank and the Hunter Worley Foundation.

(READ MORE: Weston Wamp announces run for Hamilton County mayor)

He and his wife also run the Hullander Family Foundation, which aims to support local charities and nonprofits.

Hamilton County Commission chair Sabrena Smedley, R-Ooltewah, is also considering a run for mayor but has yet to announce her candidacy.

Last month, Mayor Jim Coppinger, R-Hixson, announced he would not seek re-election.

Contact Logan Hullinger at lhullinger@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @LoganHullinger.