Democrat Mike Greer, of Woodmore, announced this week he is running for the Hamilton County Commission's District 5 seat.
Greer, 47, faces three Democrats who have announced their candidacy: Greg Beck, Phylicia Blackmon and Nathaniel Doss. Hamilton County Commissioner Katherlyn Geter, D-Ridgeside, is not seeking re-election.
In a Tuesday phone interview, Greer said his main priorities are public education, economic development and public safety.
"We're spending two-thirds of our budget on schools, so I'm looking at it as a place and opportunity to find common ground with other elected commissioners," Greer said, noting that further investments need to be made in both school infrastructure and teachers.
Greer, who said he is not a politician and emphasized his roots in the district, said he is running because Geter is not seeking another term, adding it is important to have someone in the seat who is familiar with the community, and he has lived in the district for more than three decades.
"It created an opportunity to continue the change," Greer said. "We elected her to go into a different direction. She represented change."
On the issue of public safety, Greer said it's important to recruit police officers who not only have experience in the community but also represent the diversity of the district.
"If you look at the community, if you look at post-COVID, it has become more important," Greer said. "So you need to make sure the community is a safe place where people aren't constantly living in fear."
Greer said he also looks to increase affordable housing in the district.
He works as a financial adviser at Stone Bridge Asset Management in Chattanooga and as an agent and recruiter with Greer Financial Services Inc.
District 5, a majority-minority district, includes all of Ridgeside and a portion of Chattanooga.
After commissioners last year voted to increase the county's previous nine-district map to 11 districts, District 5 lost the area around Harrison Elementary School to District 9, leaving the district with one elementary school.
The voter registration deadline for the May 3 primary election is April 4. Early voting will take place between April 13 and April 28, and the deadline to request an absentee ballot is April 26. The winners from the party primaries will meet in the general election in August.