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Chris Anderson will be running for District 7 City Council next year. The seat he seeks is held by Manuel Rico.

Chris Anderson, a District 7 City Council candidate, publicly told the media Wednesday that he is gay.

"I'm not really coming out because I've been open for years," he said.

Anderson, the first openly gay candidate to run for elected office in Chattanooga history, said he wants his campaign to be transparent and he wants the contest set for March 2013 to be honest. Anderson is running against current City Councilman Manny Rico.

He said he expects some amount of backlash due to his sexual preference.

"I'm sure there will be people to use it as such," he said. "But I think the voters are smart enough to see through that."

He and his partner, Phillip, have been together almost 10 years, he said.

Rico said Wednesday that he does not see Anderson's sexuality as important to the race.

"I wasn't going to make an issue of it," he said.

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