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Wade Hinton, vice president of diversity and inclusion for Unum and the former attorney for the city of Chattanooga, announced Thursday his candidacy for the mayor of Chattanooga.

Hinton made his announcement from the steps of his former elementary school, James A. Henry School on the West Side of Chattanooga, where Hinton was born and raised.

In his announcement speech in front a small, socially-distanced crowd of family members, friends and supporters, Hinton said these trying times in our country and in the city have pushed him back into public service.

"Despite working in business and government and with our nonprofit partners, this trying time has forced me to recommit myself to service," Hinton said. "As communities across this country are suffering under the weight of a pandemic and other systemic issues, I felt an urgency to work as hard as I can to build a better city for future generations."

From 2013 to 2018, Hinton served as Chattanooga's first African American city attorney. He previously was the deputy general counsel for Volkswagen Group of America's Chattanooga operations after working in private practice at the local law firms of Miller & Martin; Snipes Roberson and Hinton; and Shumacker & Thompson.

He also was a former director of the Hamilton County Title 6 program and served as a consultant to County Mayor Claude Ramsey on issues related to diversity and minority business programs.

Hinton said he wants to lead Chattanooga as a city that doesn't just recover "but becomes a model for equity and diversity and inclusion in city government."

Hinton is the eighth person to announce his candidacy for mayor. The other seven are Monty Bruell, Christopher Dahl, Russell Gilbert, Tim Kelly, Erskine Oglesby, Andrew McLaren and Kim White.

Contact Patrick Filbin at pfilbin@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.

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