Lemon C. Williams is running as a Republican for the District 28 House seat in the Tennessee General Assembly.
The incumbent, Democrat JoAnne Favors, is not seeking re-election. Four Democrats so far are competing in the May 1 primary. The qualifying deadline is April 5.
In a news release, Williams called himself a conservative who believes he can make a difference.
"I am a father, a son, a brother, an uncle and a small business owner in Chattanooga, but I am NOT a politician," Williams said in the release. "Most people want the best for their family and community and I feel I can help make a difference by empowering individuals."
He believes the "Gig City" is one of the greatest cities in the country and feels that common-sense leadership and fiscally responsible management is the key to a safer community and state.
Williams is a cybersecurity and operational risk management professional with extensive energy-industry experience in implementing cybersecurity programs for state and federal agencies and public utilities.
He graduated from Chattanooga's Central High School and received his degree in logistics and transportation from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1996. He remains active in the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, and he is vice president of the UTK Black Alumni Council, where he is an active supporter and fundraiser for causes and activities to improve overall student and alumni engagement and success.
After graduation, Williams worked in the oil and gas industry and then in enterprise security for an electric utility in Chattanooga. In 2014, he founded The Ionado Group, a cybersecurity and emerging-technologies consultancy providing advanced security solutions, services and mitigation strategies against cyber threats facing leading industries.
Williams faces no opposition so far in the Republican primary. He will face the winner of the Democratic primary in the Nov. 18 election.
The four Democratic hopefuls are Jackie Thomas Anderson, Dennis Clark, Yusuf Hakeem and Brandon D. Woodruff.
The voter registration deadline for the Aug. 2 primary is July 3. Early voting will take place from July 13-28.
This story was updated Feb. 6, 2018, at 11:59 p.m.