Ten months before Chattanooga will elect a new nine-member City Council, the first bid to unseat a current member has been announced.

Chris Anderson, a lifelong Chattanooga-area resident and director of food and beverage services for Bluff View Art District, declared his candidacy for council District 7-currently represented by Councilman Manny Rico-in a news release emailed Thursday. 

Anderson, who is also on the executive committee for District 10 of the Tennessee Democratic Party, recently moved to the Jefferson Heights neighborhood, inside new district lines. The district covers Alton Park, East Lake, St. Elmo, the Southside, the Westside and portions of downtown. 

In his announcement, Anderson said he planned to campaign on a platform of “safe streets, good jobs and strong neighborhoods.” The candidate later said that in talks with District 7 residents, many felt like they were not being represented by Rico. 

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“When you’re in Alton Park and you walk around, a lot of the residents have asked him to recruit jobs and industry there, and it’s not happening,” Anderson said. “There are a lot of hardworking and dedicated folks trying to get jobs over there, but they don’t have any help from their councilman. A lot of them feel like they don’t even have a councilman.”

Attempts by Nooga.com to reach Rico were unsuccessful. 

Anderson plans to hold a campaign kickoff event at The Camp House on May 23 at 5:30 p.m.

All nine of Chattanooga’s City Council members are elected every four years. To be elected, candidates must receive a majority of the votes cast in their districts. 

Updated @ 5 p.m. to correct a last name.

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