Chattanooga attorney Andy Berke on Tuesday morning officially entered the contest to replace Ward Crutchfield in the Tennessee State Senate with a morning press conference at Normal Park Elementary School, his daughter’s school.
Mr. Berke emphasized his desire "to go to Nashville to work closely with Gov. Phil Bredesen and achieve real results in the areas of care for seniors and fully funding local school districts."
He said, “I am running to give something back to a community that gives me so much. We need a senator for the entire 10th District: black and white, rich and poor, urban and rural, and everywhere in between. We need a senator that is a responsible steward of the people’s money. And we need a senator of character, faith, and values. I am that kind of person and will be that kind of senator.
“When I go to Nashville, I’ll do it with one goal in mind: to get things done for the people of Eastern Tennessee. I will join forces with our esteemed Gov. Bredesen, and elected officials from this area like JoAnne Favors and Tommie Brown to tackle the most pressing issues of our time and get results.”
Mr. Berke said he will make taking care of Tennessee’s seniors one of his top priorities.
"My faith teaches me to respect my elders. In Nashville, our government should do the same and I’ll see to it we put our seniors first. It is wrong that so many of our seniors are forced out of the homes they’ve lived in for so many years. We must change that."
He said, “I will have a fresh perspective as your senator. As the father of two daughters, that starts with education. In the 21st Century, it is not enough that our kids just get by. They must thrive and strive if they want to compete. If my time on the superintendent’s advisory council and working on the PTA at my daughter Hannah’s school has taught me anything, it is that the money we spend on education needs to go straight into the classroom where it can do the most good in the lives of our children. I’ll make sure that school districts in Marion and Hamilton County get their fair share of funding from the state so that the tax dollars we send to Nashville come right back here to our schools.”
Mr. Berke lives in Chattanooga with his wife, Monique. They have two daughters, Hannah and Orly.
Mr. Berke serves on the Parent Teacher Association at Normal Park Elementary School, where his daughter, Hannah, attends first grade. Prior to joining the PTA, he served on the Superintendent’s Advisory Council from 2006 to 2007. He serves on the board of directors for the Siskin Children’s Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping kids with severe disabilities.
Mr. Berke is the managing partner at the law firm of Berke, Berke, & Berke, a family run business in Chattanooga for over 70 years. After graduating law school, he clerked on the United States 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. While clerking, he taught law school as an adjunct professor at the University of Kansas.