This story was updated at 11:17 a.m. on Thursday, July 23, with more information.

Hagerty, like Trump, has no backbone

Loud-mouth Trump-type Republicans have no backbone. Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty resigned his board seat at R.J. O'Brien & Associates. Why? Because R.J. O'Brien & Associates posted on social media its support of African Americans and the Black Lives Matter movement. Some, and maybe all, of the chicken-livered Hagerty billboards have the following words: "Endorsed by Trump."

Does candidate Hagerty recognize that Trump has a problem with truthfulness, mental stability and racism, or is he just another Republican with Trump characteristics?

Tom O'Neal

Signal Mountain


Perez's background best for District 2

Marco Perez is extremely well qualified to represent the people of school board District 2. As a successful businessman, he's had hands-on experience in eight high schools: Tyner, Central, Brainerd, Red Bank, East Ridge, Howard, Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy and Chattanooga State advancement classes (STEM). That's impressive.

He was vice president of operations and business coach for "LAUNCH Chattanooga." He taught entrepreneurship to students in these high schools. He used curricula developed by LAUNCH, which teaches business fundamentals that help students develop business ideas using thinking strategies concerning marketing and finance. He cares about the future of our children.

Being involved in our schools, he has talked to students, teachers and administrators about problems facing education. He listens and knows what's best for the future of Hamilton County. He's been active in educational matters in our community. He's no "Johnny come lately" guy.

If you still question who's best qualified for the school board in District 2, ask a teacher. An overwhelming number believe Marco Perez is. They say the future of education in Hamilton County depends on people like Marco. I am voting for Marco Perez on Aug. 6.

Gina Bowen Soltau

Signal Mountain


Endorsement raises red flags about Perez

Both Signal Mountain District 2 Board of Education candidates, Tom Decosimo and Marco Perez, have good qualities. But there are red flags.

One is that Perez has received thousands of dollars from UnifiEd's wealthy Lookout Mountain backers and their friends. Among them are four founding UnifiEd board members, two of whom were also board members of the foundation that provided $600,000 a year to UnifiEd. By the way, their children went to private schools.

That group is after Decosimo because he valiantly stood in support of children, parents and schools the last time this cabal attempted to shove UnifiEd down your throats. We all owe him a debt of gratitude for exposing the UnifiEd charade those Lookout Mountain folks are now trying to resurrect, along with their 2019 $34 million tax increase "for the children."

Frankly, Tom Decosimo wants to ensure all Hamilton County parents and their children have school options that are at least as good as local private schools. That is going to require a majority of board members who are committed to much more than business as usual. Tom has the proven community leadership record and ability to help move HCDE in that direction.

Mark Caldwell