Help Wanted: Who'll be next Hamilton County mayor? - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Help Wanted: Who'll be new Hamilton Co. mayor?

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By David Carroll

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)-  When Hamilton County Mayor Claude Ramsey officially resigns on January 11, 2011, it will be up to the nine County Commissioners to choose a replacement. 

At least two of them, Jim Coppinger and Larry Henry have expressed interest in the position.  Former Sessions Court Judge Mike Carter said, "It would be an honor to serve," and is said to have some support on the Commission. District 11 State Senator Bo Watson deflected questions on the topic, but did not deny interest in the job.  

On Saturday, 3rd District Congressman Zach Wamp confirmed via his Twitter account what Channel 3 first reported on Friday. He is not interested in filling Ramsey's seat.  He later released a statement endorsing Carter for the post.  Commissioner Henry said, " I guess Zach feels some sort of obligation to (Carter) for working in his gubernatorial campaign." Commissioner Coppinger expressed similar sentiments, saying, "I know they're friends, so this is understandable."

The Mayor's position pays $146,607 annually. Mayoral hopefuls must apply to the Commission, and would be subject to a public interview process by the Commissioners.

If there is an interim period of time between Ramsey's resignation and the selection of a new mayor, Commission Chair Fred Skillern would be interim County Mayor.

The newly selected County Mayor would serve until the next county general election in August 2012. At that time, the position would be on the ballot for a two-year term, followed by a regular four-year term in the 2014 general election.


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