(Programming Note: Gentle reader, you are not forgotten. Being a grownup calls for occasionally having to put down the blogging toys for uncomfortable stretches of time.)
Meanwhile, the Chattanooga municipal elections are charging past at a good clip, and I don’t much like not being able to discuss them, and everything else that’s going on in local and state government, with you.
Fortunately for Chattanooga voters, the cool kids over at the Lamp Post Group and Nooga.com have created a new interactive voter guide complete with a social component. It’s called Keen Citizen, and you are advised to check it out.
Oh, my thoughts on the election? Well, I agree with pretty much every editorial writer and pundit who has expressed disappointment in former Sen. Andy Berke, the ostensible far-and-away frontrunner in the mayoral election, for being so light on specifics about his likely future term.
Can he get away with it? Sure. Do I still wish we could have a frank and somewhat detailed discussion about the city’s current issues and future direction? Of course. I’m not discounting the times Berke has held community discussions on crime and other topics; but the campaign message itself could have been clearer about his goals.
The Chattanooga City Council elections merit their own separate posts. Maybe by the time Election Day gets here, we’ll have had a chance to chat about them.
Chattanooga City Councilwoman Deborah Scott has announced that she will not seek re-election after serving a single four-year term in District 1. Scott also wrote a thorough explanation for her decision.
The news has been met with a great deal of disappointment from Scott’s fans, who are united in their admiration for her commitment to accountability despite ideological positions that range across the political spectrum.
The Free Press editorial page today included the topic in its “Drew’s Views” column, saying that Scott’s decision deals a “tremendous blow” to Chattanooga citizens, and that Scott is among “the rarest of politicians.”
It shouldn’t be so extraordinary for ordinary people to seek elective office and to serve with the kind of energy and focus Scott has. Her self-assessment is a detailed reminder of the fact that doing the right thing in the right way is not easy.
Incumbent Chattanooga City Council members Russell Gilbert (5th District) and Peter Murphy (9th District) were among those who dropped by the Hamilton County Election Commission Friday morning to pick up qualifying petitions to run in the March 2013 City of Chattanooga elections.
Chattanooga’s elder statesman, Councilman Jack Benson, will face multiple challengers to his attempt to serve another term.
Chris Anderson is running in District 7 against incumbent Councilman Manny Rico, and Moses Freeman is likely to run in District 8, which is currently represented by Councilman Andraé McGary.
Murphy may face a challenge from Yusuf Hakeem, who represented the 9th District before leaving for a state parole board post.
There has been little to no mention of challenger activity in District 1 (Councilwoman Deborah Scott) or District 6 (Councilwoman Carol Berz). Additional announcements are sure to follow in the coming days.
UPDATE: John Wilson has more. Guy Satterfield is running for mayor, Deborah Scott has a challenger, Tramble Stephens is running in District 7, and Demetrus Menifee in District 9.
This Friday, September 21, is “opening day” for those on the hunt for a seat in Chattanooga’s next government. Qualifying petitions may be picked up at the Hamilton County Election Commission off Amnicola Highway.
While most incumbent members of the Chattanooga City Council apparently are planning to run for reelection, Councilwoman Sally Robinson has announced that she will not. The timing of her announcement gives would-be replacements the full 90-day qualifying period to work on their campaigns.
One cannot help but speculate that there is someone waiting to step right up. This scenario, by the way, is much preferable to one wherein the incumbent waits until late in the qualifying window to step down, and in swoops the well-connected “heir apparent.”
But were I running for mayor (hypothetically!), I would look for a strong ally from this district, and work to get such a person set up to take this open seat. So don’t be surprised by any announcements you might hear in the coming days.
Since 2006, when another blogger and I collaborated to bring you “Battle for the General Assembly” (a guide to that year’s state legislative races), this site has sought ways to pool resources in an effort to bring you the most comprehensive and usable information about your ballot.
In partnership with Nooga.com
This year, I am happy to announce a partnership with Nooga.com to provide Chattanooga and Hamilton County voters with a comprehensive* voter guide for the upcoming August election. I want it to be clear that Nooga’s managing editor and political reporter have put in the lion’s share of the work on it, but that I did contribute significantly.
In addition, I remain committed to the statewide project that comprises the pages below:
Thank you for doing you civic duty: not only voting, but doing your best to find your best fit among the candidates and ballot questions. Continue to let me know how I can increase the value this site brings.
*I realize that, at the moment, the judicial retention questions are not yet included. I’m working on those.