Mayor Jim Coppinger will not seek reelection in 2022
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – At a press conference on the front steps of the historic Hamilton County Courthouse, Mayor Jim Coppinger broke the news.
“I will not seek reelection. I think it’s important that the public knows that, particularly people that are interested in running for county mayor,” said Mayor Coppinger.
To many in Chattanooga city government, it came as a shock.
“I wish he were staying but listen he’s earned his rest. I’ll make the most of the nine and a half months I’ve got left to work with him,” responded Tim Kelly, Chattanooga Mayor.
Citing his reasoning behind his decision, the Mayor said it was personal.
“You got other things that you’ve just forgotten about because you’re making that next deal, you’re trying to keep that expanding company here. Trying to get that new company here. You’re trying to buy property. You leave a lot of the things that you love the most behind,” Coppinger says.
He also spoke on the divisive partisanship that has seeped it’s way into our politics.
“We see on the national level of how divided we are. We even see some issues in Nashville thare going on right now of how divided we can be.”
Looking towards the future, some state representatives are hopeful that the partisanship will end.
“We have our differences but I do see the potential or possibility of something like that happening again in the Chattanooga, Hamilton County area,” commented Representative Yusuf Hakeem.
“People like Claude Ramsay, Jim Coppinger, they have absolutely made our county a better place and we look forward to welcoming the next county mayor and I will just extend my friendly hand to whoever that may be,” added Representative Robin Smith.
And for whoever might want his job, the Mayor had some advice.
“You better not spend time talking about your opponent. You better tell people what you’re going to do. I certainly encourage people to do that, we’ve done that and we’ve been pretty successful doing it.”