Seven months before citywide elections take place, a candidate for Chattanooga City Council is touting the amount of funds raised for his campaign in the most recent quarter.
Chris Anderson, director of food and beverage services for Bluff View Art District, announced he had garnered more than $7,500 in his bid to unseat District 7 Councilman Manny Rico. Anderson, who is also on the executive committee for the Tennessee Democratic Party, recently moved inside district lines.
Calling his figures a "bold statement" of support and comparing them to the $450 raised so far by Rico, Anderson described the tally as indicative of "significant fundraising momentum." Anderson also took the opportunity to criticize Rico for his votes, specifically with regards to the recent passage of the city budget.
"More than anything, this says that folks in this city and my district want safe streets, good jobs and strong neighborhoods, and I'm so excited by their support and the opportunity to represent them on City Council," Anderson said. "My opponent has consistently voted against the interests of the people in our district, most recently voting for a budget which includes raises for city department heads making over six figures a year while doing nothing for the police officers and firefighters who put their lives on the line daily. We need change in City Hall."
Rico told Nooga.com he has not even begun to actively seek funds for his campaign, citing his self-funding of his successful council bids in 2005 and 2009. Rico said he would not be actively seeking big contributions and would hope that voters looked to his record and presence in the community when voting.
"I've run two campaigns, and each campaign has been less than $4,000," Rico said. "It's not as much about money; it's about getting people out to vote. I don't need money, I need votes. And I figure every day if I'm doing my job, I'm campaigning. I don't have fundraisers, I don't have a campaign manager, I'm a one-man campaign ... I don't think you can buy this election."
Anderson is the only candidate so far to have officially declared a bid against a sitting councilman.
City Council elections are next March.