CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Tennessee state Senator Andy Berke took the first official step today by picking up his qualifying papers Thursday at the Hamilton County Election Commission.
This is Berke's formal announcement of his candidacy for Mayor of Chattanooga.
In a press release issued Thursday, Berke said "Over the last few months, hundreds of volunteers and more than a thousand donors have committed to renewing Chattanooga. I look forward to the next phase as voters concentrate on our city elections."
Berke announced earlier this year he would not be seeking re-election to the state senate and would instead run for Mayor of Chattanooga.

First elected to the State Senate in 2007, Berke says he will "... continue to focus on the critical issues that affect the quality of life in Chattanooga – public safety, education, and economic development. We must recognize our common issues and come together to make a positive change for our city."