Chattanooga businessman and Democrat David Jones announced Monday that he will challenge Republican state Rep.Gerald McCormick in the 2018 election for House District 26.

McCormick has held the seat since 2004.

Jones was born in Chattanooga and graduated from Chattanooga High School in 1972 and from UTC in 1976. He has lived in District 26 most of his life, according to a news release from his campaign.


Jones categorizes himself as a “free-market Democrat.”

“I believe that free-market capitalism is the greatest man-made development in the history of the civilized world,” he said in a prepared statement. “But it is ruthless in its effectiveness. We need to have adequate safety nets in place to mitigate the damage to workers who, through no fault of their own, become victims of our economy’s overall success.”

In a news release, Jones emphasized his background in the Chattanooga small business community. In addition to owning several businesses, he was a commercial lender for many years, assisting dozens of small businesses in borrowing money.

From 2002 to 2006, he was chief financial officer of a 75-employee manufacturing business. He has a master’s degree from Louisiana State University-Shreveport.

He is a former board member of the downtown YMCA, North Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, Volunteer Community School, Fortwood Mental Health Center, Jobs Plus of Chattanooga, Southeast Community Capital, 28th Legislative District CDC and the North Chattanooga Neighborhood Association.

Jones was initially inspired to run by his knowledge that statewide redistricting will be required after the upcoming 2020 census. His view is that Republican-led redistricting in Tennessee after the last census (in 2010) resulted in state districts that are blatantly gerrymandered, according to a news release.

Jones has been married for 18 years to his wife, Laura, who is a schoolteacher. He has a son, Luke, who lives in Chattanooga and is currently in barber school.