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Pat Benson Jr.

Pat Benson Jr., the telefund coordinator for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, has announced his candidacy for the Chattanooga City Council's District 9 seat.

The district represents East Chattanooga, Eastdale, Glenwood, Missionary Ridge and Ridgedale.

Councilman Yusuf Hakeem now holds the District 9 seat.

"District 9 has some serious challenges, which have gone unresolved, such as crime, housing, and infrastructure," Benson said in the announcement. "I want to work with neighborhood leaders to improve the quality of life in our community."

Benson, a Chattanooga native and UTC graduate, cites service on the board of the Missionary Ridge Neighborhood Association, Hamilton County Democratic Party and local nonprofit organizations in his experience.

If elected, he will bring "strong leadership and a comprehensive strategy of working together to advance the interests of every citizen," he said.

"The people of District 9 deserve a city councilman that will represent the entire district, work to find solutions to chronic problems, and facilitate discussions that will move the community forward," Benson said.

Elections for the Chattanooga mayor and city council members will be held on March 7, in accordance with the city charter.

Contact staff writer Paul Leach at 423-757-6481 or pleach@times freepress.com. Follow on Twitter @pleach_tfp.

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