Local businessman David Sharpe is running for the Hamilton County Commission.
Sharpe said Thursday he will seek the Democratic nomination for the District 6.
That seat is now held by Republican Joe Graham, who so far has no primary opposition. The filing deadline is Feb. 15.
In his campaign announcement, Sharpe said District 6 needs a change in leadership.
"It is time to move past the politics of complacency and obstruction and elect leaders who are committed to do the hard work it takes to get things done," Sharpe said. "Hamilton County is a community on the rise and I believe in our potential—that is why I am running. We simply cannot afford to continue electing politicians who block progress and stand in the way of success."
Sharpe, 41, who is married and has three children, said his campaign will focus on quality public education and efforts to modernize county government.
"One of the most critical obligations the County Commission has is ensuring our public schools have the resources they need to be successful — the success of our entire community starts there," Sharpe added. "We will not be able to continue to thrive and grow as a community if we continue electing politicians who do not take this obligation seriously. The path to a good job begins at the doorstep of a great public school."
Sharpe was born in Hamilton County and is a seventh-generation Tennessean. He attended St. Andrew's-Sewanee School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He began his working life at Big River Grille & Brewing Works, where he started out as a line cook and worked his way up to become a regional brewer, supervising two dozen employees across three states. He served on Chattanooga's 21st Century Riverfront Steering Committee, working with other community leaders to help revitalize Chattanooga's waterfront. He also served as co-chair of the Southern Brewers Festival, an event that has raised more than $1 million dollars for local charities and draws thousands of visitors to Chattanooga.
"We need to ensure that we are doing all we can to help our kids, our schools, and our community be successful. Hamilton County cannot continue to grow and prosper without broader success in public schools, safe streets, and a modern government with an eye on the future," Sharpe said. "I am running because I want to move us forward and make sure that our community reaches its potential as a world-class destination for families and businesses."
The voter registration deadline in Hamilton County primary elections is April 2. Early voting is April 11-26 and primary day is May 1. The county general election and state and national primary is Aug. 2.