State Rep. Vince Dean is saying goodbye to state politics and getting back to the local scene.
Dean, R-East Ridge, announced Wednesday at the Hamilton County Courthouse that he would not seek re-election to the District 30 seat, which includes the southern part of Hamilton County. Instead, he will seek the Republican nomination for Hamilton County Criminal Court Clerk post, now held by 20-year incumbent Gwen Tidwell, a Democrat.
Dean has been in the House since 2006, but he said Wednesday he wished to stay closer to his home and family.
"I love serving in the state House. It's been one of the most humbling honors I've had. But it's taxing on the traveling. I've got teenage girls at home and I'd like to see more of them," Dean said. "More importantly, I saw a need in the clerk's office."
Dean said his law enforcement and political experience qualify him for the job.
"I spent 27 years with the Chattanooga Police Department, and a large portion of that was spent in property crime division, which had a lot of interaction with the clerk's office," he said.
Dean said he felt he could do a better job of leading the office and collecting court fees, but said he wasn't running against Tidwell just yet.
"Right now, I'm running for the Republican nomination to run for the seat. I have much respect for Ms. Tidwell. I just think the office is ready for some fresh leadership," Dean said.
Tidwell, who took the post in 1994 after serving as Chattanooga City Court clerk and practicing law, said she would definitely seek re-election.
She has not officially announced her candidacy, but that's because she's been working, Tidwell said.
"I'm going to keep on doing what I've been doing, which is running the office and collecting fees and working with various agencies to make the system better," Tidwell said. "That's what I've been doing for 20 years. I guess while he's running for office, I'll be running the office."
It's unclear who will seek Dean's House seat.
Contact staff writer Louie Brogdon at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 423-757-6481.
Louie Brogdon began reporting with the Chattanooga Times Free Press in February 2013. Before he came to the Scenic City, Louie lived on St. Simons Island, Ga. and covered crime, courts, environment and government at the Brunswick News, a 17,000-circulation daily on the Georgia coast. While there, he was awarded for investigative reporting on police discipline and other law enforcement issues by the Georgia Press Association. For the Times Free Press, Louie covers Hamilton County ...
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