Weston Wamp announced on Friday he was running for mayor in Hamilton County.
In a video shared on YouTube, the former congressional candidate and founder of the Millenial Debt Foundation said he was excited to write the “next great chapter” in Hamilton County history.
“As a father of four young children, the future of Hamilton County concerns me every day,” said Wamp. “With the retirement of Mayor Jim Coppinger after three terms of exceptional public service, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to write the next great chapter in our county’s 202 year history. A Conservative approach by government has served Hamilton County well for decades, paving the way for our region’s vibrant economy and high quality of life. It is up to us to protect and strengthen this heritage.
Coppinger announced earlier this week that he would not seek re-election in 2022.
(READ MORE: Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger announces he will not be running)
If elected, Wamp, 34, said he would focus on expanding opportunities for businesses to thrive in the county, workforce development, affordable housing and community safety. .
It’s also important for Wamp to get young people interested in their education and the opportunities available to them at local technical and vocational schools like Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Chattanooga State Community College. future “would ultimately lead to better results in many other areas he hopes to tackle.
In particular, he said he believed that better public education in the county would attract more new businesses and new residents. Wamp said he has heard from many people wishing to relocate to Hamilton County over the past decade or so that they want better schools closer to town where they can afford to send their children.
“I think right now there is a misnomer about public education in Hamilton County. Some people think it’s not good. The truth is we have several failed schools that can fail consistently. We have a few dozen mediocre schools, but we ‘”We also have a few dozen elite public schools in this community. If you get these things right from the start and guide the school system to make young people do well, everything changes, “he said.” … We should see our public schools as competitors of private schools. . Some of them are already at this level. “
In an interview with The Times Free Press, Wamp added that education can help deal with issues such as gun violence.
“I don’t think violence is a funding issue. There are things the government can’t do in people’s family lives. In the public sector though, the deepest thing I think we can do is to do is refuse to accept failing schools in most of the difficult neighborhoods in our county. It would be transformative if these schools started to operate at the same level as some of our other schools, “he said.
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Wamp said that if elected he would like to create a “Mayor’s Apprenticeship Program” that invites students from “Hamilton County’s most at-risk schools” to work in county offices or businesses, where they could benefit from mentoring and experience in jobs that they might not otherwise be exposed to. After participating in this program, he said he hoped the young participants would graduate from a four-year college or take advantage of Tennessee’s myriad of technical and college education opportunities.
With a family as well-known in local politics as his own, Wamp said he hopes county residents will see him as more than his last name as election season approaches. His father is former US Congressman Zach Wamp and his sister Coty Wamp is challenging outgoing President Neal Pinkston with a bid for district attorney. Although he is proud of both of them, he said he is running for tasks that are very different from the ones they did and hopes to be judged on his own merits.
“I hope people will judge us both based on our qualifications and visions for the jobs we are applying for, not our last names,” Wamp said.
When asked how the fundraiser envisions this early date, Wamp said he was encouraged by the community’s response, adding that money would not be the deciding factor.
“I’m going to raise enough money to win, but I’ll win or lose depending on whether my post is a post that people care about or believe in. That’s what matters to me.”
(READ MORE: Hamilton County Commission Chair Sabrena Smedley considering running for county mayor)
Contact Kelcey Caulder at kcaulder @ timesfree press.com or 423-757-6327. Follow her on Twitter @kelceycaulder.