Terry Lee, who has long been active in the Hamilton County Democratic Party, has announced his candidacy for the party chairmanship.
Paul Smith said Saturday he is not seeking a new term.
Mr. Lee said, "It is time to put nonsense issues behind us and use common sense to restore confidence in our governmental process. My mission is to unite our party by setting an open process that builds the trust of our community.
"It is time to build confidence through integrity and hard work.
He said the recruitment of candidates "who are well-qualified, experienced, and above all, who are willing to serve as public servants (who understand that they work for the citizens who elected them) will be a very important aspect of my chairmanship.
"I will include all aspects of the community. One of the persons helping assure this happens will be my vice chairman candidate Jackie Dowell. Ms. Jan Brooks will also be an important member of our team as candidate for treasurer of the party.
"Candidate and volunteer training, better communication, advanced technology, effective fundraising,and more meetings in communities across our city and county will be the cornerstones of establishing winning campaigns.
"We have gone from being the best managed state in the country to being on the wrong end of the fodder of late night talk show hosts. Divisive issues must be pushed aside so that efficient measures can be established to provide affordable healthcare, good paying jobs and safe streets. All these things can be accomplished by providing effective administrative practices to keep taxes in check.
"This is my recipe for winning political campaigns resulting in better government."
Mr. Lee holds a master’s degree in public aAdministration from the University of Tennessee.
He has worked for Hamilton County government for over 36 years.
Mr. Lee served as the chief executive officer for the Mental Health Association of Greater Chattanooga.
He ran a small homebuilding business for 15 years.
Mr. Lee, his wife, Jane Lee (who teaches at Snow Hill Elementary) and their son, Christopher Lee, live in the Snow Hill community.
Mr. Lee has managed numerous political campaigns over the past 20 years. He was awarded the Kefauver Award for lifetime service by the Hamilton County Democratic Party.
Mr. Lee represents Tennessee Senate District 11 on the Executive Committee of the State Democratic Party. He has twice served as executive director of the local Democratic Party.