Chris Anderson (politician)

Chris Anderson is an American politician and Democratic Party political activist. He was a member of the Chattanooga, Tennessee City Council for District 7, but was defeated in a run-off election on April 11.[1] He was the first openly LGBT individual to be elected to Chattanooga's City Council.[2] He also serves as a member of the Tennessee Democratic Party State Executive Committee.[3]

Chris Anderson
Member of the Chattanooga City Council
District 7
In office
April 15th, 2013  April 11th, 2017
Preceded byManny Rico
Succeeded byErskine Oglesby, Jr.
Personal details
Political partyDemocratic Party

Political career

Anderson started his political career as a Democratic Party activist. He was elected in 2003 as the President of the Tennessee Young Democrats which also gave him a seat on the Tennessee Democratic Party State Executive Committee.[4] He was later elected in 2007 as the Executive Vice President of the Young Democrats of America nationally when that organization would be led for the first time by an openly gay President and Executive Vice President.[5][6] He was elected to the Chattanooga City Council in 2013.[7]

Domestic Partnership Benefits Ordinance

Anderson proposed an equal domestic partnership benefits ordinance which the city council passed on November 12, 2013 in a 5-4 vote in favor of allowing domestic partnership benefits for same-sex couples in the city of Chattanooga.[8] On November 19, 2013, the city council in a final vote, voted 5-3 in favor of allowing domestic partnership benefits.[9] Before the domestic partnership ordinance went into effect,[10] the Citizens for Government Accountability and Transparency, a local segment of the Tea Party, gathered enough signatures to put repeal of the ordinance to a popular vote in August 2014.[11][12] The city council did not repeal the ordinance on its own, allowing the vote to proceed on August 7, the general election date for Hamilton County.[13]

On August 7, 2014, the voters of Chattanooga repealed Ordinance 12781 by a vote of 62.58% in favor and 37.42% against.[14]

2014 recall effort

Anderson was the subject of a controversial 2014 recall effort which failed.[15] Anderson filed a lawsuit to stop the recall accusing his opponents of bigotry because he felt the recall effort was part of a political backlash to his Domestic Partnership Ordinance.[16]


  1. "Chris Anderson, District 7". City of Chattanooga. City of Chattanooga.
  2. Putman, Yolanda (15 April 2013). "Chris Anderson embodies 30 years of progress: Chattanooga's first gay councilman sworn in today". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  3. Daniels III, Frank (28 November 2014). "Tennessee Democrats seek someone with a magic touch". The Tennessean. The Tennessean. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  4. Barrett, Lindsay (18 May 2013). "Chris Anderson Named President Of Tennessee Young Democrats". The Chattanoogan. The Chattanoogan. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  5. "Gay Democrats elected to lead Young Democrats of America". Out & About Nashville. Out & About Nashville. 29 July 2007. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  6. "Past Officers Young Democrats of America". Young Democrats of America. Young Democrats of America. Archived from the original on 25 February 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  7. "Chris Anderson captures District 7 seat, defeating incumbent Manny Rico". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Chattanooga Times Free Press. 5 March 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  8. "City Council Passes Controversial Domestic Partners Ordinance". November 12, 2013.
  9. "In final vote, Chattanooga City Council approves same sex benefits". November 19, 2013.
  10. "City Ordinance Ready That Grants "Domestic Partners" Same Healthcare, Medical Benefits". November 1, 2013.
  11. "Chattanooga Tea Party Hosting Forum on Domestic Partnership Ordinance". November 15, 2013.
  12. "Petitions block Chattanooga's new domestic partner benefits law". December 14, 2013.
  13. "Chattanooga residents to vote on domestic partner benefits". January 8, 2014.
  14. Ordinance 12781 Archived 2014-08-09 at the Wayback Machine
  15. Smith, Joy Lukachick (7 May 2014). "Attempt to recall Chattanooga City Councilman Chris Anderson fails". Times Free Press. Times Free Press. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  16. Lukachick Smith, Joy (19 February 2014). "Chattanooga Councilman Chris Anderson suing to stop recall effort". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
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