Oak Ridge City Council member Chuck Hope, the one incumbent running for re-election in the November 8 election, has responded to the endorsements by the Progress PAC political action committee.
The Progress PAC endorsed Jim Dodson, Joe Lee, and Hans Vogel, who are all making their first runs for seats on the seven-member City Council. The endorsements were announced last week.
Hope was not endorsed. You can see his response here.
The PAC was established two years ago by the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, and it operates autonomously from the Chamber’s Board.
All six of the candidates endorsed by the Progress PAC two years ago were elected, although one candidate who wasn’t endorsed, Rick Chinn, was also elected.
The PAC endorsed a total of five candidates this year. Besides Dodson, Lee, and Vogel, they include Angi Agle and Keys Fillauer for Oak Ridge Board of Education.
Hope’s non-endorsement by the Progess PAC surprised some voters. Besides being an incumbent, Hope is a business owner and former chair of the Chamber board.
Here’s what the Progress PAC said about its City Council endorsements this year:
“From a crowded field of seven outstanding City Council candidates, these three (Dodson, Lee, and Vogel) most clearly met the committee’s criteria, which includes support of the mission, vision, and legislative priorities of the Oak Ridge Chamber and a willingness to work closely with the Oak Ridge Board of Education,” Progress PAC Chairman Stephen Whitson said in a press release. “Our city has an extraordinarily well qualified group of candidates to choose from and our committee is very appreciative to those who participated in our process and the willingness of every candidate to serve the community.”
Progress PAC only supports candidates who submitted written answers to committee questionnaires and who later participated in interview discussions with PAC members. Nine out of 10 candidates for the Oak Ridge Board of Education and the Oak Ridge City Council went through that process, Whitson said.
The other three candidates running for Oak Ridge City Council are Wende Doolittle, former City Council member Anne Garcia Garland, and Mark LeNoir. Council members Trina Baughn and Charlie Hensley are not seeking re-election.
There are three City Council seats up for election in the November 8 election.
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