House, school board candidate forum set

A political forum for Tennessee House candidates and seats on the Hamilton County Board of Education is set for July 9, according to a news release.

The Chattanooga chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women will host the forum at Orchard Knob Missionary Baptist Church, 1734 E. Third St., from 5-7:30 p.m. The moderator will be Chattanooga City Attorney Wade Hinton.

Candidates will briefly describe their platforms and respond to audience questions.

For more information, email or call 423-698-0029.


Mason favors anti-sanctuary law

Jonathan Mason, seeking the Republican nomination in House District 30, said he supports an anti-sanctuary city law that passed the Tennessee General Assembly this session.

Mason said in a news release that the legislation, sponsored by Rep. Jay Reedy and Sen. Mark Green, is "a common-sense law that protects our citizens and those here legally."

He said, "Federal immigration laws are useless when cities and states refuse to assist in enforcement," and added, "I will always stand to protect the rights of the law abiding and fight against those who choose to break the law."

He thanked Hamilton County Reps. Mark Gravitt, Mike Carter and Gerald McCormick for co-sponsoring the bill.


Democrats set candidate record

Tennessee Democrats have candidates running in 96 percent of state House races this year, up from 52 percent in 2014, according to the Tennessee Democratic Party.

In a news release, Executive Director Mary Mancini quoted The Wall Street Journal report saying Tennessee had "the biggest improvement in candidate recruitment in the country."

"Democrats are on track to have more general election candidates than Republicans for the first time this decade, and there are early signs of progress," the Journal wrote Thursday. "[In] five Trump states with Senate races this year — Indiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas— Democrats have recruited general election candidates for least 25 percent more state legislative seats than they did in 2014."


Wood seeks state committeeman post

Veteran local Republican and former state representative Bobby Wood is a candidate for state executive committeeman of District 11.

In a news release, Wood said the position is "an opportunity to share and apply the wisdom gained by years of service in the political arena."

He said his 28 years in the General Assembly, service as Hamilton County GOP party chairman and past service on the state executive committee qualify him for the post and added, "I am asking you the voters of District 11 to give me this opportunity once again."

Wood called the executive committee the board of directors of the state Republican Party. Its members comprise two people from each of the 33 Senate districts, who work with county-level parties to organize, operate and ensure an effective Republican presence.


Humble names campaign team

Gary Humble, a candidate for town judge in Signal Mountain, has named Bill Sonnenburg to head his campaign team, according to a news release.

Sonnenburg has lived on Signal Mountain for more than 35 years and is retired as U.S. Bankruptcy trustee and assistant U.S. attorney, the release states.

Matthew M. Williams Sr., another longtime Signal resident, will serve as treasurer, and Humble's sister, Rebecca Humble, will be his secretary and public information officer.

Humble, 63, is a practicing attorney with nearly 40 years' experience trying criminal and civil cases, including service as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee.


Black pushes 'build the wall' petition

U.S. Rep. Diane Black, a Republican candidate for governor, is asking Tennesseans to sign a petition supporting President Donald Trump's push to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Black said in an email, "President Trump will be in Nashville on Tuesday, and I need your help showing him the support he has in Tennessee."

She said she will "talk with him about how our state is being impacted by the immigration crisis and the immediate need for the wall to be built" and said she would deliver the petition to him.


Marion Democrats to hold fish fry

The Marion County Democratic Party will hold a fish fry from noon-2 p.m. CST Saturday at Marion County Park.

The public is invited for fun, food and to learn about Democratic candidates for office, according to a news release.

Admission is free but donations are welcomed to support local activities and campaigns. To learn more or to volunteer, call Katie Tillman at 423-680-9964.


Corker, Biden win leadership awards

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and former Vice President Joe Biden received Freedom House's annual Leadership Award last week in Washington, D.C.

A news release said Corker, a Chattanoogan who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was honored for his work to end modern slavery and human trafficking worldwide.

"Today we have 27 million people in the world that live in slavery on a daily basis; now that certainly is living without human rights," Corker said at the ceremony, according to the news release from Freedom House. We have so many disparate efforts by so many wonderful people, many of them saints, like so many of the people here in the room that have toiled so hard. ... I played a small role in this, because I happen to be chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but there are people in this room who played a much larger role. I thank you so much for honoring their work and the work being done by people around the world by honoring me as just a symbol of what they are doing."

Freedom House President Michael J. Abramowitz said the organization "was proud to recognize Sen. Corker for his dedication to democracy and the United States' continued engagement in the world."

"He has authored significant legislation to combat human trafficking, and to promote freedom and basic rights, especially for people most in need of American help."

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.