published Friday, November 15th, 2013

East Ridge City Councilman Marc Gravitt aims to hold two posts

East Ridge City Councilman Marc Gravitt said this week he will not leave his local post if he's elected to a state seat. He will just do both jobs.

Gravitt announced Monday he would seek the District 30 seat being vacated by Rep. Vince Dean, R-East Ridge. Dean has said he'll seek the position of Hamilton County Criminal Court Clerk. He hopes to unseat 20-year incumbent Gwen Tidwell.

Gravitt said Tuesday he would fulfill his obligations.

"If I am blessed enough to win this state Legislature seat, I will fulfill my term on the City Council. ... But I will not seek re-election. I'll fill out my obligation to the citizens, but I will not run again. I have a problem with doing that," Gravitt said.

His four-year East Ridge post is up for re-election in 2016. The District 30 seat, a two-year post, is elected in November 2014.

On Monday, Hamilton County Elections Administrator Charlotte Mullis-Morgan said East Ridge would have to appoint someone or hold a special election to fill Gravitt's council seat, but that's not the case, according to East Ridge City Attorney Hal North.

The city's charter doesn't address council members holding other state elected offices, he said. And the Legislature only prohibits county officials from holding so-called dual seats.

"There are various [legal] opinions from across the state that a municipal officeholder may hold a state position as well," North said.

Gravitt planned to announce his intention to remain on the City Council at Thursday's meeting.

Contact staff writer Louie Brogdon at lbrogdon@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6481.

about Louie Brogdon...

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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