Educator withdraws as Chattanooga mayor candidate, backs Berke opponent

Longtime educator Gail Francis has dropped out of Chattanooga’s mayoral race to support Larry Grohn’s bid for the seat, reports the Times-Free Press.

Francis was one of five candidates who qualified to seek the mayor’s seat, but she withdrew Thursday, the deadline to pull out.

Mayor Andy Berke, former three-time councilman David Crockett and businessman and former builder Chris Long remain in the race with Grohn, the councilman in District 4.

The Grohn campaign released a statement by Francis on Thursday.

“I had the opportunity to meet and speak to Councilman Grohn, and believe that the issues that are important to me, issues that pushed me into this race are issues that Councilman Grohn is standing on,” Francis said. “It is time for change in our city. It is time for action and a new direction.”

Grohn said he was honored to have her support, citing her work with Orange Grove, service on boards across the community and “a heart that loves our inner city and the drive to see the change we need.

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