Jean Howard-Hill, a longtime political activist, college professor and speaker, said she is jumping into the 3rd Congressional District primary race to offer East Tennessee residents "someone with common sense, compassion and a willingness to represent them."
The poisonous, paralyzing atmosphere in Washington, D.C., won't change unless the players change, Mrs. Howard-Hill, a Republican, said Tuesday in announcing her candidacy.
"The bickering must stop," the Chattanooga resident said. "Instead of representative government, we will have politics as usual, politics that serves those in office, not the people."
Mrs. Howard-Hill is among several candidates who hope to succeed U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., who has held the seat since 1995. Rep. Wamp is giving up the seat to run for governor.
Several key issues confront the people of the 3rd District, Mrs. Howard-Hill said. Among her priorities, if elected, are focusing on job creation, improving K-12 education, making sure veterans' services are accessible and affordable and restoring faith in government, she said.
"I will not be shy about talking about these issues, and others," she said.
Mrs. Howard-Hill is no stranger to local politics and campaigning. In 1980, she ran as a GOP candidate for the 29th District state representative seat. In 2002, she was a write-in candidate for the Republican primary in the District 7 County Commission race. In 2008, she ran against Rep. Wamp as an independent because of the "Republican climate at that time," she said.
Well-known for her community involvement, she generated a flurry of headlines in 2008 when she launched her "Pull Up Your Pants and Dress for Success Campaign" to improve the appearance of black males.
* April 1: Deadline for filing nominating petitions
* Aug. 5: State primary and county general election
* Nov. 2 : State and federal general election
Source: Tennessee Division of Elections
* Age: 57
* Education: Bachelor's degree from Wheaton College, law degree from University of Tennessee College of Law
* Occupation: Educator, consultant; served as adjunct professor at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
For more info: Visit www.jeanhowardhillforcongress.com
Longtime supporter and Harrison resident Grace Williams, who has known Mrs. Howard-Hill for 31 years, said the candidate is well-qualified, well-educated and has the work experience to serve in Congress.
"She can get more done than anyone I know," Mrs. Williams said. "You could not find a better voice for the people of the 3rd District."
Mrs. Howard-Hill has taught a number of courses on American government, international politics and cultures of nonwestern countries at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. In 2006 she was voted outstanding professor of the year, according to a news release from her campaign.
She joins a crowded GOP primary field in the 3rd District race. Other candidates include former state GOP party Chairwoman Robin Smith, Chattanooga attorney Chuck Fleischmann, Bradley County Sheriff Tim Gobble, businessman Tommy Crangle and attorney Van Irion, among others. Businessman Mark DeVol is running as an independent.
The 3rd Congressional District includes all or part of 11 counties -- Hamilton, Bradley, Polk, Meigs, Rhea, Roane, Anderson, Union, Claiborne, Grainger and Jefferson -- and stretches from Georgia to the Kentucky and Virginia state lines.