published Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Roger Tuder raises $20,000 for council race

by Cliff Hightower
Roger Tuder
Roger Tuder
Photo by Staff File Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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Roger Tuder, candidate for City Council District 2, said he has raised more than $20,000 in three weeks for his campaign.

Tuder made his announcement Friday after turning in his qualifying petition to the Hamilton County Election Commission.

"I've got a goal of about $35,000," he said.

Tuder, president and CEO of the Associated General Contractors of East Tennessee, said in a news release that his campaign had raised $21,600 since he picked up his petition three weeks ago.

He's not the only candidate raising large sums in the months before the March 2013 election.

State Sen. Andy Berke, D-Chattanooga, announced his candidacy for mayor months ago and in July announced he had raised close to $400,000.

The District 2 council seat will be open after incumbent Sally Robinson said she would not seek re-election. So far, two candidates besides Tuder have picked up papers -- George Jackson, a Hamilton County Jail employee, and Priscilla Simmons, a retired city financial administrator.

Simmons could not be reached for comment.

But Jackson said he thinks Tuder could raise money just by "going to the ATM." He questioned how much money had come from Tuder's own wallet.

"Roger can raise $20,000; I plan on shaking 20,000 hands," Jackson said.

Jackson, who is president of the Hamilton County Young Republicans, said he also thinks there is proof money isn't everything in local elections. He used Todd Gardenhire's Republican primary win over Greg Vital in the state Senate District 10 race as an example.

"I think some things can't be bought, and I think people are tired of people buying elections," he said.

Tuder said the only personal contribution so far has been a $1,400 gift from his wife.

He said about 16,000 people live in District 2 and he plans to talk to as many voters as he can.

"I expect to not only shake their hands, but represent them, as well," he said.

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