Andraé McGary will seek a second term on Chattanooga City Council, he said Thursday.
McGary, who had previously said he would not wage another bid for the District 8 seat, regardless if he won or lost his recent, unsuccessful bid for state Senate, said he decided to run again after being encouraged by individuals in his district to reconsider.
“I’ve been humbled,” McGary said.
The councilman touted new jobs brought to the area by Volkswagen and Amazon, the addition of 87 officers to the Chattanooga Police Department and relationships established within the community as primary reasons why voters should allow him another four-year term on the city’s legislative body.
“It’s important that we have individuals who understand the issues,” he said. “I am that person; I am that bridge builder.”
The councilman also said part of why he had changed his mind was because he had become convinced that the only candidate to have formed a run for the district seat so far, Moses Freeman, was not adequate for the job.
Freeman, a 74-year-old former city administrator and longtime volunteer in communities surrounding District 8, announced his bid in August. McGary suggested that Freeman had become “bored” after retiring and had no reasons to challenge him other than a desire to maintain a status quo rather than move forward.
“Moses Freeman is a retiree who got bored and now decides he wants to jump in the race,” McGary said. “The people I’m talking to clearly have said that Moses Freeman needs to stay retired. And by the way, if a 74-year-old retiree thinks he can keep up with me, I welcome him in the race, and he better put on his running shoes because we’re going to have a race.”
Attempts by Nooga.com to reach Freeman on Thursday were unsuccessful. On Wednesday, Freeman issued a statement prior to McGary’s announcement, saying that his interest in the seat was not driven by the need for a job, but rather out of a desire to serve the community better.
“I did not make the decision to run for this office because my first choice of service did not work out or I just needed a job,” Freeman said. “I chose to run because I think I can represent the district better than it has been represented recently.”
Freeman did not make any specific criticisms directed toward McGary in his announcement.
McGary, a father of five who left a job as the host of the “Live and Local” afternoon talk show on WGOW FM when he ran for state Senate, also said he was not running out of need for a job.
“This is not a job; this is a passion,” he said.
The district includes areas of downtown, Amnicola, Avondale, Bushtown and Eastside.
Municipal elections are March 5.