Republican candidate for Hamilton County Criminal Court Clerk Vince Dean told the Pachyderm Club Monday that incumbent Democrat Gwen Tidwell did not run as a Republican because she backs gay marriage.
He also said, "I don't want to just hold an office, I want to go to work for you."
The District 30 state representative will run in August against the 20-year-incumbentl.
Also a former East Ridge City Council member and mayor of East Ridge, he said he learned how to work on a confined budget and keep it balanced during his time there.
Rep. Dean asked the club, "Why should we replace a clerk that's doing a fine job?"
He then asked, "But is she doing a fine job?" He continued, "The majority of that job is dictated by state law."
He said, "You're going to hear that she's modernized this office. Just within the last three weeks, our criminal court clerk has gone to the County Commission to ask for approval to accept credit cards in the office."
However, he said most other larger cities in Tennessee have been accepting credit cards for years.
He also said he would make the office more financially conservative.
He said, "She says she's a conservative when it comes to financial manners. The top three salaries in that office total to close to $300,000. That doesn't sound like financial conservatism where I come from."
Rep. Dean also said he wanted to improve the way staff at the clerk's office interact with the public.
He said, "If 15- and 16-year-olds can be taught at Chick-fil-a how to treat customers, then grown adults can be taught the same thing."
He said, "I'm going to change the administration. I'm going to change the leadership."