Marc Gravitt was not only the first candidate for East Ridge City Council to pick up an election packet when qualifying opened Friday for the upcoming election, but he was also the first to return his qualifying papers.
Mr. Gravitt returned to the election office with the qualifying amount of signatures at 11:30 a.m.
Incumbent Denny Manning also picked up papers.
There are two seats open, including the one held by Darwin Branam.
Mr. Gravitt said, “I’m excited about this campaign. Since the last election, I’ve received a tremendous amount of support and encouragement. The citizens of East Ridge want an elected official who values the wants and needs of the people, not special interests.
"My family goes back to the early 1900s in East Ridge, and my passion is for the citizens of this city.”
Mr. Gravitt, whose family owns an auction company, gained 1,490 votes when he ran for the East Ridge Council in 2011.
The remaining members of the council had to name a fifth council member after sitting Councilman Brent Lambert became mayor. Some citizens and council members felt the appointment should go to Mr. Gravitt, who got the next highest number of votes.
However, after a long deadlock, the appointment went to Mr. Branam, a former council member.
The top two votegetters in the election will fill the two open seats.
The qualifying deadline is Aug. 16 at noon. The election is Nov. 6.