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Contributed Photo / Thomas Lee, candidate for a District 2 seat on the Chattanooga City Council, is shown in his Sockwell warehouse.

Both candidates for the Chattanooga City Council seat from District 2 are small business owners, spouses, parents and decent people who have chosen to make this city their home and want to give back to it through public service.

However, our choice between Jenny Hill and Thomas Lee to fill the seat left open by the retirement of Jerry Mitchell is Lee.

Lee has lived in Chattanooga 28 years and 12 years ago co-founded Goodhew to produce a line of lifestyle performance socks called Sockwell. The company's commitment was not only for sustainable sourcing, modern design and continually investing in technology but also for the hosiery's manufacture in the United States (and largely in Chattanooga).

Doctors we have encountered, unbidden and irrespective of the District 2 race, have recommended the company's products and said they use them themselves.

But Lee won't be making socks on the city council. Nevertheless, we believe his background in manufacturing gives him a leg up in understanding what impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the business sector locally and where the council can be involved in improving the climate for businesses and their employees going forward.

We also trust him to be a partner in right-sizing growth for the booming North Shore area, which is part of his district that is bordered by Red Bank and the Tennessee River and extends north into Hixson.

The North Shore area, we feel, has seen too much development too soon and now suffers from a lack of proper infrastructure. We count on Lee to strike a proper balance, not eschewing growth but making sure it is done carefully and only if proper and sensible regulations are in place.

We supported Hill in her 2018 race for the Hamilton County Board of Education and know her to be studious of the material that comes before that body. But she wants to keep her school board job and serve on the city council, and that — though no law prevents it — we cannot support.

Even though both governmental bodies are considered part-time, no one should kid themselves in believing someone who serves in either position singularly — if they're doing their job well — doesn't put in a lot of extra hours.

Lee, we believe, is the right choice — and the more conservative voice — in the race. We urge his election on Tuesday.

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