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Glenn Scruggs / Courtesy photo

The following is one in a series of survey responses provided to the Times Free Press by candidates for public office in advance of the Nov. 3 general election. Today we highlight the candidates for Tennessee Senate District 10, which includes most of Chattanooga, as well as East Ridge, South Cleveland, Wildwood Lake and some of Red Bank. The candidates' answers are presented in alphabetical order.


Tennessee Senate, District 10

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Todd Gardenhire / Courtesy photo

Todd Gardenhire

* Affiliation: Republican

* Previous public office experience: State Senate, member of the 108th-111th General Assemblies (2013-2020). Former presidential appointee to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (2006-2010) and appointed by President George W. Bush as chair by executive order (2007-2010).

* Why should voters choose you? I have made a difference for my constituencies in the district I represent and the state. From sponsoring the first reform of the [Certificate of Need] process to protecting the pensions of retirees in the [Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System]. I understand economics and the un-intended consequences of the human and financial cost of decisions.

* What is the biggest challenge facing the office you seek? How to pay for all the services everyone expects without putting a high tax burden on small businesses. Knowing the differences between recurring and non-recurring cost on the long-term budget. You have to be able to weigh the desires of citizens for maximum services and the need to prioritize these within the budget we must balance.

* How will you address this challenge? You have to look at each request on its merits in human cost and financial cost, as well as the benefit of each. Are we giving an industry or citizens group an advantage over another because they have a better lobbying campaign? You have to have the fortitude to tell people no and stick to your word. Just because a governor wants something passed, doesn't mean it is a good bill or idea. I've shown all my life that I can be an independent thinker to stand up for what I believe and think, looking out for every constituency group in the district I represent.

* What policy position of yours might surprise people? I don't think there is one after eight years in the Senate. What you see is what you get.

* What past or current public servant do you most admire? Why? President [Ronald] Reagan. He knew what he believed, and he was true to his word. He had the good of America in his heart. He had no hidden agendas, and he knew when to get 80% of something and get the last 20% later.

* Campaign website:

* Age on Election Day: 72

* Occupation: Retired from financial service industry (43 years)

* Employer: Retired from Morgan Stanley

* Education: Bachelor of science from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 1972. Chattanooga High School (City), 1967. Chattanooga Central Junior High. Glenwood Elementary.

* Family: Wife, and we have four children and five grandchildren.

* City of residence: Chattanooga

* Neighborhood of residence: Tiftonia (Lookout Valley).

* Church/civic involvement: Lookout Valley Presbyterian Church. Former board member at Bethel Bible Village; current board member of Awakening Inc.; National Rifle Association; two terms on the U. S. Department of Labor's ERISA Advisory Board; Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation advisory council (presidential appointment) and chair; and former board member, Hamilton County Air Pollution Board.

* A quote or saying you live by: My decisions I make in Nashville were formed years ago while growing up. I was very fortunate to have a wonderful father and mother, a great example of grandparents that I wanted to make them proud. Other than the Bible, three books that have made a profound impression on me are "The Education of Little Tree," "Fiat Money in France" and "Human Action."

* Best phone number for voters to contact you: 423-413-7497

We may not know results on election night

Election night usually ends with results. This year will probably be different due to record-breaking early voting and the deluge of voting by mail-in ballots. Read more on how the Times Free Press plans to handle this and where we get information on election results.


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Glenn Scruggs / Courtesy photo

Glenn Scruggs

* Affiliation: Democrat

* Previous public office experience: While I have not held elected office, I am the assistant chief of police for the Chattanooga Police Department.

* Why should voters choose you? Throughout my career, I've been dedicated to our local communities, and that will not stop when elected. When elected, I will focus on the issues that affect the people here, rather than on partisan politics. We deserve a representative who will advocate for our communities, someone who will listen to and speak for all their constituents, and I will be that representative.

* What is the biggest challenge facing the office you seek? The COVID-19 pandemic is the largest crisis affecting our communities currently. Tennessee has seen nearly 250,000 cases, over 3,000 deaths, and we currently have a nearly 10% unemployment rate. As people lose their jobs, they lose their health care coverage as well. Tennesseans need better protection from this pandemic and its effects on our communities.

* How will you address this challenge? I will work to secure control over COVID-19 regulations across the state. State-mandated regulations would ensure the safety of Tennesseans and also help protect small businesses that are currently forced to enact their own regulations. I will also explore options to assist these small businesses. Lastly, Tennessee must expand Medicaid to ensure Tennesseans have access to high-quality health care.

* What policy position of yours might surprise people? I've spent over 25 years with the Chattanooga Police Department, but I've learned that some problems can't be solved by law enforcement: we must do more to reform our criminal justice system. We see our Black and brown communities disproportionately impacted by unfair systems such as cash bail and incarceration for minor drug offenses, and it is time we remedy this.

* What past or current public servant do you most admire? Why? I have always strongly respected and admired Ann Richards, former Texas governor. Gov. Richards reminds me of my maternal grandmother in the way she fought for what she believed in. As a former teacher, Gov. Richards understood the problems affecting her communities, and she never stopped championing for women's rights.

* Campaign website:

* Age on Election Day: 49

* Occupation: Assistant chief of police

* Employer: Chattanooga Police Department

* Education: Graduate of Belhaven University and Brainerd High School

* Family: Wife Starla and son Jalen

* City of residence: Chattanooga

* Neighborhood of residence: Heritage Green

* Church/civic involvement: Olivet Baptist Church; Child Advocacy Center, board member; Chattanooga Urban Policy Institute, board member; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.; Fraternal Order of Police; Black Police Officers Union; Heritage Green Neighborhood Association, president.

* A quote or saying you live by: Tough times don't last; tough people do.

* Best phone number for voters to contact you: 615-681-6983.