Thanks in part to the hard work and committment of SEIU members, all of the candidates endorsed by SEIU Local 205 won their races in the Chattanooga city council and mayor’s elections on March 5.
In the Mayor’s race, Andy Berke won with 73% of the vote against two other candidates. Berke, who was first elected to the state Senate back in 2006 (again with help from Local 205 members) takes office to succeed outgoing mayor Ron Littlefield.In the council districts, the Union’s endorsed candidates made a clean sweep after the votes were counted. In addition to Russell Gilbert and Carol Berz, who ran unopposed, Jerry Mitchell in District 2 won with 53% of vote in a three way race. Mitchell was supported by Local 205. In District 8, the Union’s endorsed candidate, Moses Freeman, easily defeated incumbent Andrae McGary by winning over 60% of the vote.
And after what appeared to be an election headed for a runoff, the Hamilton County Election Commission certified Yusuf Hakeem as the winner in District 9 over incumbent Peter Murphy.
The election victories demonstrate that when union members get involved and get committed to candidates’ campaigns, we win. Several of the winning candidates have said that they could not have won their elections without our members’ efforts. Chattanooga union members knocked on over 2,000 doors of voters and made over 1,500 calls in one month to help our candidates win their elections.
Thank you to SEIU members Steve West, Sharron Pryor, Blondel Garner, Tom Slaten, Alonzo Strickland, Devin Cotton, and Cindy Workman for campaigning on weekends and many evenings after work to make these victories possible. A special thank you goes out to our Nashville members Recco Seay, Lill Russell, Nancy Orrin, Michelle Hardy, and Sherrell Williams who volunteered their time by travelling to Chattanooga to help their SEIU brothers and sisters on the campaigns.