ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Staff File Photo By Robin Rudd/ Dennis Clark, who has run for several previous area elective offices, hopes to win a Chattanooga City Council seat in Tuesday's runoff.

Unlike the two candidates in District 2, the candidates for the District 5 seat on the Chattanooga City Council have little to distinguish between them.

Both Dennis Clark and Isiah Hester say they are small businessmen, while Clark is also vice chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party and Hester is also a minister.

They both seek to replace the retiring Russell Gilbert in the district which includes the Bonny Oaks, Dalewood, Eastgate, Kingspoint, Lake Hills and Woodmore voting precincts.

We supported Clark with some hesitancy in the March 2 primary and wish we could give him a ringing endorsement for the runoff, but we cannot.

He, we feel, is the better prepared of the two for the office, having worked in previous campaigns and being knowledgeable about the ministrations of elected office.

However, two incidents give us pause.

In the first, during the primary, Clark misunderstood the efforts of a Chattanooga policeman in removing one of his signs to make a roadway safer and, though he wasn't present for the incident, filed a complaint with the police department. Body camera footage and a subsequent investigation show the officer acted properly.

In the second, during the runoff, Clark said during a livestream that mayoral candidate Tim Kelly, if elected, planned to replace Chattanooga Police Chief David Roddy with a Black female (which Kelly said is false).

Both incidents offer insight into the candidate's judgment, but we have supported him in previous races for public office and know him to be willing to work collaboratively.

On the other hand, we harbor no ill will against Hester and believe he and Clark would see eye to eye on most issues that come before the council.

Both, after all, have said they want find solutions to a "food desert" created in the district with the closure of a Walmart Market, both have said they believe the Black community isn't getting its "fair share," both say they want to push up wages for city employees and both say there is a need to reform police practices.

In the end, we lean slightly toward Clark in the hope that his experience in previous campaigns, his ability to be collegial and his knowledge of the workings of government can serve him well on the council.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT