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Staff photo by Erin O. Smith / Chattanooga Councilman Erskine Oglesby speaks during a release of the final report of the national Superfund Task Force detailing the U.S. government's official plan to remediate America's most toxic locations Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, at Southside Community Park in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Chattanooga City Councilman Erskine Oglesby announced Friday he will run for mayor in 2021.

Oglesby has represented District 7, including Alton Park, St. Elmo and parts of downtown since 2017, and said in a news release Friday that his next four years would be best spent as mayor.

"For most of my adult life, I have been dedicated to serving others, and these last four years serving the public of Chattanooga has brought many successes and opportunities for Chattanooga to grow," he wrote. "I want to see Chattanooga be a place where every citizen has the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential. I believe we can achieve the goals of equality and inclusion that are ingrained in our civic culture.

"As we recover from the challenges that our citizens are currently facing, the next four years of our city will be an important chapter that we have the opportunity to write. Chattanooga has been blessed with many opportunities yet there are many neighborhoods in our city that continue to struggle."

Oglesby, who has served as chairman of the City Council, has experience as chairman of the board of Erlanger's Community Health Centers and has served as vice chairman of Chattanooga's pension board.

He has previously served on the boards of the Creative Discovery Museum, WTCI-PBS Television, 100 Black Men of America, Bessie Smith Cultural Center and Metropolitan Ministries. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., the Chattanooga Downtown Kiwanis and the Tennessee State University National Alumni Association.

Oglesby is one of seven candidates to enter the race to assume outgoing Mayor Andy Berke's seat in March 2021, along with Councilman Russell Gilbert, activist Christopher Dahl and local business leaders Monty BruellTim KellyAndrew McLaren. and Kim White.

Contact Sarah Grace Taylor at staylor@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6416. Follow her on Twitter @_sarahgtaylor.

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