Local business owner and longtime Chattanooga resident Thomas Lee is running for the District 2 City Council seat to provide an even playing field for all residents, he said.

According to a release, Lee, co-founder of Goodhew LLC, has successfully built a range of businesses employing hundreds of people, volunteers with multiple nonprofits, and has raised three children in the Scenic City, but it’s his love for Chattanooga that makes this businessman with zero political experience ready to bring legitimate solutions to the challenges Chattanooga faces.

“I have watched all of city politics over the years with interest and I really felt like we’re at a point where it made a lot of sense for me to bring my experience and enthusiasm for Chattanooga and take a run at city council,” said Lee, a Memphis native who has lived in the district for more than two decades. “As a city we have accomplished amazing things since I moved here in 1992, but at the same time I think we’ve got a good bit of work left to do, and a lot of exciting work left to do, to make Chattanooga an even better place to live.”

If elected, Lee says that he will prioritize equitable opportunities across the city.

“We’ve had some tremendous advancement here in the city in terms of improving our neighborhoods, but we have certain neighborhoods that feel like there has not been enough focus on what’s important to them,” he said Thursday, naming education and job training as a top priority.

“All of our citizens need to have the opportunity to be able to be prepared for the work opportunities in the 21st century that, frankly, are going to be where someone can earn a living wage,” he said. “I think we need to, as a city, figure out how to make sure that our vision of the city includes everybody, not just the traditional downtown and associated neighborhoods that have, by virtue of their relationship with downtown, seen that dramatic growth and revitalization.”

Lee also says he will use his business savvy to create a better city.

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Thomas Lee / Photo submitted by Sanwell Public Relations

Priding himself on eagerness to listen to all perspectives, Lee says he will bring his problem-solving skills to address those issues that matter most to District 2 residents — like improving infrastructure, growing small businesses, and supporting public safety — and promises to work collaboratively to solve the challenges the district faces.

“If there is one thing I have learned in my business career, it is the importance of people working together towards a common purpose,” he wrote in the release.

Lee says he looks forward to bringing his business experience and problem-solving skills to the challenge of building a better Chattanooga, adding that his “innovative mind for improving operations and adding efficiencies to processes will be important components to improving the city for all Chattanoogans.”

He is one of three candidates running for the seat being vacated by Councilman Jerry Mitchell in the March 2 election.

Contact Sarah Grace Taylor at [email protected] or 423-757-6416. Follow her on Twitter @_sarahgtaylor.