Hamilton County Commissioner Warren Mackey will run for re-election in 2022, he announced Friday.
The Lake Vista Democrat has represented the county's District 4 for 16 years — or four terms — and represents one of two majority-minority districts in the county, where he received more than 80% of the vote in 2018. His priorities have been promoting jobs and economic growth, as well as curbing violent crime, he said.
"Right now, I think we need seasoned people who can make the decisions that are going to encourage growth," Mackey said. "And as a result of that growth, it will help mitigate many of the problems. It will strengthen the public schools, cut down the violence and crime and attract into the city even more progressive-minded people and companies."
Most recently, one of Mackey's priorities has been addressing gun violence in Chattanooga. He has offered strong support for funding the Light House Collective, an organization that aims to mentor and protect the city's youth.
The commission on Wednesday will vote on whether to give the organization $300,000 over a three-year period using funds from the American Rescue Plan.
Although Mackey has touted his close ties to his constituents, he is potentially positioned to lose neighborhoods in his district because of a new 11-district map approved by the commission earlier this month.
If the state signs off on the map, Mackey would lose Alton Park, Piney Woods and Oak Hill, some of his most loyal communities. He would also split Glenwood with council member Katherlyn Geter, D-Ridgeside. The dividing line between the two areas would be Glenwood Drive, and Mackey would get the west side.
The district would be comprised of 52% minority residents under the new map.
"I am concerned [about losing the neighborhoods], however, as I've said, I have very strong Republican support. I feel really comfortable that I will be returned to office."
In the District 4 race, Montrell Besley, director of community engagement at Chattanooga Preparatory School, is the only individual who has filed some form of paperwork to run for the seat, according to records on the election commission website.
All of the commission's seats are up for grabs in 2022.
Contact Logan Hullinger by phone at 814-319-5158 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @LoganHullinger.