published Friday, March 30th, 2012

Todd Gardenhire officially running for Tennessee Senate

AT A GLANCE


• Name: Todd Gardenhire

• Age: 63

• Family: Single with three adult children, grandfather of three

• Education: Earned bachelor's degree at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1972

• Current job: Financial consultant for MorganStanley SmithBarney

Todd Gardenhire, a financial consultant and lifelong Tennessee Valley resident, this week turned in his qualifying petitions in Hamilton and Bradley counties to run for the state Senate.

He is running for the District 10 seat now held by Andy Berke.

Gardenhire said he's been involved in almost every Republican campaign for the past 42 years, whether it was campaigning door-to-door in 1970 for former U.S. Sen. Bill Brock and U.S. Rep. LaMar Baker, or the 2008 election in which he was elected as a state at-large delegate to the Republican Convention.

In between, he was involved in the Reagan administration, elected as state at large delegate in 1980, and served as the state chairman for Jack Kemp's presidential campaign.

Through his experiences at a national level, Gardenhire has fine-tuned his talents to better serve Tennessee at a local level, he said.

"This Republican primary, Republicans will have to choose the candidate that is most loyal to the party and its principles," Gardenhire said. "The Republicans will see which candidates stood the test of time and operate on principles and not expedience."

Russell King, an attorney in Chattanooga, has been a friend of Gardenhire since high school and supports his friend's decision to run for state office.

"He's just an outstanding public citizen and servant," King said. "He'll do what's needed for the infrastructure of our state. He's got a big heart."

If elected, Gardenhire said he would focus on the juvenile court system, specifically how to help youths avoid ever getting involved in it.

"If kids don't get the well-treated fundamental education at grammar school age, then we've lost that generation," he said. "If we want to attract industries to this state, we have to have a well-educated workforce."

Others who have either picked up qualifying papers or qualified for the District 10 state Senate seat are Republican Greg Vital and Democrats Andraé McGary, Quenston Coleman and David Testerman.

Petitions are due Thursday for the Aug. 2 primary.

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