published Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Council District 7 race starts to heat up

by Cliff Hightower
  • photo
    Chris Anderson will be running for District 7 City Council next year. The seat he seeks is held by Manuel Rico.
    Photo by Tim Barber /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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Chris Anderson is wasting no time attacking his opponent in the District 7 City Council election.

Anderson, who announced in May he would run for City Council, has spent the summer trying to make sure the public knows the perceived mistakes his opponent, Councilman Manny Rico, has done.

"I won't stop," Anderson said. "He provides me ammunition."

Anderson, director of food and beverage at the Bluff View Art District, announced in May his intentions of running against Rico.

Rico said this week he expected attacks from Anderson.

"When you haven't done anything and don't have a record, that's all you can do," he said.

On Anderson's Web site -- -- he has blog posts out posted in July that attack Rico for votes he made on the budget. The City Council approved a budget giving a 3 percent increase to civilian employees, but did include a career ladder boost, which rewards officers for any outside training.

The mayor's office contends the career ladder is a raise.

Anderson is raising money. When the last financial disclosures came out, he had raised more than $8,000. He said he has now raised more than $10,000.

The last financial disclosures show Rico raised $450.

But Rico said he is not worried about raising more money than his opponent. He said residents of the district already know him.

"If people in my district don't know who I am, I have some problems anyway," he said.

Rico was voted onto the council in 2006.

Ed Jackson, who lives in St. Elmo, was coming out of the Bi-Lo in St. Elmo this week after grocery shopping.

He said he has heard of both Anderson and Rico, but "not a whole lot about Anderson."

Jackson said he wants someone who will represent and take care of the district.

He said he could be convinced to vote for either candidate and is keeping his options open.

But he does know Rico better between the pair.

"He does a decent job, but there's always room for improvement," he said.

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