Coppinger announces reelection bid for Hamilton County Executive

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger says he plans to run for reelection. (Image: WTVC)

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger announced on Wednesday he plans to seek re-election to another four-year term.

Coppinger made the announcement during the Friends of Hixson breakfast, a non-profit community group that meets monthly.

“I could never imagine when I grew up on our family farm that I would have the true honor to serve as the mayor of one of Tennessee’s leading counties and the absolute privilege to represent some of the finest people in our state,” Coppinger said. “I am asking for the opportunity and honor to continue to serve the residents and voters of Hamilton County.”

Mayor Coppinger said his tenure has been marked by his strong advocacy of public education and workforce development that parallels his priority of creating an environment that supports job creation and economic growth of existing businesses, large and small, and development of new industry.

Coppinger says he oversees a county budget of almost $725 million with more than 1,700 employees. Under his leadership, he says Hamilton County government has consistently featured a balanced budget with a focus on essential services. Since 2011, Coppinger says this approach has helped create more than 14,628 jobs and brought more than $2.2 billion in new investments into Hamilton County from 98 companies that have expanded and 47 new businesses that have located in Hamilton County.

“My pledge to Hamilton Countians remains to treat each of your tax dollars with care and good stewardship, serve our community to the best of my abilities and work with our area leaders to create the best place to live, work, play and retire” noted Coppinger, whose time in office has featured a population growth of almost 22,000 Hamilton County residents. “We’ve worked hard to make our area a chosen location for families and companies. This is why we must continue the work of an effective and efficient government and prepare for more growth.”

Coppinger’s campaign staff highlighted the projected 10,038 new homes to be built in Hamilton County by 2022 and the need for vision and planning. The allocation of $248 million for school construction projects and the increase of local school funding by $33.7 million were cited by Coppinger as a priority to facilitate and prepare for new growth, with an additional $45 million devoted for new wastewater treatment plant to support the expected construction and residential expansion.

“Taxpayers know, like I do, that government has no money. It’s the people’s money,” concluded Coppinger. “The need for our county government to serve the needs of our citizens and provide value is my priority, whether the infrastructure projects support new schools, new roads or the ability to address public safety.”

Last August, Coppinger proposed increasing property taxes to help pay for county schools and county projects. The move was met with opposition by homeowners and the Chattanooga Tea Party. The Hamilton County Commission approved the property tax hike in September.

Coppinger served as a City of Chattanooga Firefighter for 28 years and was appointed to the leadership post as Fire Chief beginning in 1997. Jim Coppinger was first elected as Hamilton County Commissioner for District 3 – which includes Hixson, Middle Valley and Lakesite – and served from 2006 through 2011 before being appointed mayor in January 2011. Completing his first full term as mayor in 2014, Mayor Coppinger handily won re-election with almost 82% of votes cast in August 2014.

The Republican primary election will be held on Tuesday, May 1, and the General County Election is set for Thursday, August 2.

Depend on NewsChannel 9 to keep you posted.

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