East Ridge resident Tucker McClendon will pick up qualifying papers Monday to run for the vacant District 8 Hamilton County Commission seat. McClendon will also file the necessary documents in order to allow him to begin raising money for his campaign.
McClendon, the current chairman of the Hamilton County School Board, will run to succeed three-term Commissioner Tim Boyd, who opted not to run for a fourth term.
“Despite our disagreements at times, I respect the service that Commissioner Boyd gave to the district we both represent,” said McClendon, a resident of District 8 for 24 years. “He dug into the details on every issue and asked the tough questions. He made a difference.”
The voters of District 8 elected McClendon to the School Board in 2018 at age 23 when he defeated two-term incumbent David Testermann and became the youngest School Board member in system history. He was elected unanimously to the position of chairman in the final year of his four-year term. If elected, he will be the youngest person to ever serve on the Hamilton County Commission.
“I have always felt the call to public service and the voters of District 8 gave me a chance just over three years ago, and that is something I will never take lightly,” said McClendon. “With the experience of the past three years on the board, I now want to move my service to the County Commission where I feel I can best serve my district.”
During his term on the Hamilton County School Board, McClendon helped secure funding for the new East Ridge Field House, acted as lead advocate in securing a new facility for CSLA after 20 years of failure. McClendon also worked diligently to ensure funding of over $3 million in renovation monies for East Ridge Middle School and East Ridge High School, the first such funds in nearly 20 years.
He was part of replacing the bus service and custodial – a $30 million annual expenditure – and promoted more accountability into vendor contracts. He has supported open enrollment, more vocational school options for students and families and has been a strong proponent of school safety by advocating for nearly doubling the number of armed officers in schools.
Prior to being chairman, McClendon chaired the facilities committee and as chairman, led the superintendent search that chose Dr. Justin Robertson.
“I believe in good processes and transparency in government and in getting things done for the people of my district,” said McClendon.
McClendon is a 2013 graduate of Ooltewah High School and received a Political Science degree from UTC in 2018. McClendon started in Republican politics at the age of six when he held signs and appeared in television commercials for Bob Corker’s Chattanooga mayoral campaign in 2001. He served as president of the College Republicans at UTC and has volunteered on numerous campaigns, including those of County Mayor Jim Coppinger, Commission Chairman Sabrena Smedley, Commissioner Steve Highlander and Chattanooga mayoral candidate Kim White.
McClendon is Director of Events and Director of the In the Black program for the Millennial Debt Foundation in Chattanooga. He previously worked as the Market Manager for The Chattanooga Market.
McClendon is engaged to Kaitlin Campbel, a graduate of Soddy-Daisy High School and Chattanooga resident.