Helton picks up endorsements
Esther Helton, Republican candidate for the state House District 30 seat, picked up endorsements last week from an early education advocacy group as well as the two previous District 30 representatives.
Tennesseans for Quality Early Education political action committee (TQEE-PAC) said it endorsed Helton for" toughness, perseverance and grace " during a hard-fought Republican primary campaign.
"We look forward to having Esther put those qualities to work for young children in Tennessee who need a high-quality early education," TQEE Executive Director Mike Carpenter said in a news release.
He said Helton, a grandmother of five and a product of East Ridge public schools, supports investing in training and professional development for early grades teachers and work to ensure children can read on grade level by third grade.
Because of her nursing background, "she understands the impact of childhood trauma, like opioid addiction and domestic violence, on the brain development of young children," the release state.
Former Republican seat holders Vince Dean, now Hamilton County Criminal Court Clerk, and Marc Gravitt, now the county's register of deeds, also announced support for Helton.
Gravitt said Helton, an East Ridge City Council member, "has a proven record of empowering job creators — small businesses — and working with them to grow our local economy and create jobs."
Dean said Democratic opponent Joda Thongnopnua "continues to say areas other than East Ridge have been neglected over the years" but cited the widening of Apison Pike and East Brainerd Road among the more than $200 million of infrastructure improvements in the area.
"None of this could have ever happened with the Democrats in charge, but it was fought for and funded from the Republican State Representative from District 30, who happened to live in East Ridge," Dean said.
District 30 includes East Brainerd, East Ridge, parts of Collegedale, Apison, East Lake, Missionary Ridge and the area on the southern side of Brainerd Road.
Early voting continues through Nov. 1 and Election Day is Nov. 6.
District 3 forum canceled
The League of Women Voters has canceled a candidate form set for Monday in the 3rd Congressional District contest in Tennessee.
The nonpartisan voter participation advocacy group had scheduled the forum between incumbent Republican Chuck Fleischmann and Democratic nominee Dr. Danielle Mitchell.
However, the league said in a news release that Fleischmann never responded to an invitation in September to give input on possible dates, although Mitchell did.
"After a month without a commitment, a date was announced last week," the Friday news release stated. "This afternoon Fleischmann's campaign representative let the League know that he will be unable to attend due to another commitment in one of his district's northern counties on October 22."
The forum was to have been sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Chattanooga and Southern Adventist University's School of Journalism and Communication and its History and Political Studies Departments.
Phillips raises most in 4th
Democrat Mariah Phillips, challenging incumbent Republican Scott DesJarlais in Tennessee's 4th Congressional District, said in a news release she raised more than $188,000 in the third-quarter campaign finance reporting period.
Phillips said that's almost $150,00o more than DesJarlais raised, and that it's the third consecutive quarter in which she raised more money than he did.
DesJarlais raised just over $40,000 in the same time period and just more than $479,000 in the entire campaign cycle, about $2,000 less than Phillips.
"Everywhere I go, people in the 4th District tell me they are tired of the division in Washington and are ready for a change. That is evident in the level of grassroots support we have received. As a public school teacher, I am proud to have been able to raise half a million dollars from people who want to bring change to the 4th District. I am inspired and grateful for everyone who has invested in our grassroots campaign," Phillips said in a news release.
Phillips reported just more than $170,000 cash on hand at the end of the quarter, compared with DesJarlais' total of almost $384,000.
The incumbent, seeking his fifth term, has been behind in the money race in previous elections but kept the seat.