published Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

2 Hamilton County officials file papers for election

  • photo
    In this file photo Jim Coppinger speaks to reporters after taking the oath of office to become Hamilton County Mayor on Jan. 11, 2011.
    Photo by John Rawlston /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Two interim Hamilton County officials, District 3 Commissioner Mitch McClure and Mayor Jim Coppinger, have signaled their intent to run in a special election for their current posts.

Both have filed treasurer’s reports with the Hamilton County Election Commission so they can begin raising funds for the primary on March 6, 2012.

McClure submitted his form Monday while Coppinger filed his form earlier, rolling over about $2,900 he had raised for previous commission races, said Charlotte Mullis-Morgan, administrator of elections.

“They’re both their own treasurer at this point,” Mullis-Morgan said.

The two interim positions were created in January when Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam named County Mayor Claude Ramsey as deputy governor.

Commissioners appointed Coppinger, who previously served District 3, as county mayor, then selected McClure to fill Coppinger’s commission seat.

Mullis-Morgan said no other potential county candidates have submitted treasurer reports.

Coppinger said he intends to pick up his candidate’s petition on the first day he can, Sept. 9.

“I’ve had people that have started donating,” said Coppinger, adding that he plans to eventually name another person as his campaign treasurer.

McClure said he, too, is raising funds to gear up his campaign.

“Even in a county commission race, it takes money to buy advertising and signs and do the things you need to do to send out letters,” McClure said.

The General Assembly increased contribution limits in its most recent session. Individuals can now donate up to $1,400 per election to a candidate, Mullis-Morgan said.

about Ansley Haman...

Ansley Haman covers Hamilton County government. A native of Spring City, Tenn., she grew up reading the Chattanooga Times and Chattanooga Free Press, which sparked her passion for journalism. Ansley's happy to be home after a decade of adventures in more than 20 countries and 40 states. She gathered stories while living, working and studying in Swansea, Wales, Cape Town, South Africa, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn. Along the way, she interned for ...

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