County leaders honor Claude Ramsey who died Monday

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CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Funeral services are set for Thursday for longtime Hamilton county political leader, Claude Ramsey, who died Monday.

His political career spanned almost 50 years, and included 16 years as county mayor.

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County leaders took time out at their weekly meeting this morning to pay special tribute.

Commissioner Tim Boyd says “This Commission, our Mayor, his staff, is a living legacy to Claude Ramsey.”

As county executive, and later as county mayor, Claude Ramsey was unbeatable. Few tried. And, his legacy remains to this day…as evidenced by comments from his friends and colleagues.



Commissioner Greg Beck says “He did more for district 5 than any man alive and I can say that I’m proud to have been at the table with Claude, I’m proud to have heard his soft, but powerful voice.”

Commissioner Joe Graham related a story Ramsey told him…after he was first elected. Ramsey’s father was talking…

“His dad looked over at him and he said, “son, you just said it, you spent a year out there asking these people to believe in you, he said now get off my porch and go do this job. And that’s exactly what he did.”

Ramsey is credited with making key decisions back in 2007-2008 that helped Volkswagen decide to put up its billion dollar plant at Enterprise South. Ramsey and then city Mayor Ron Littlefield worked to clear the old TNT plant site. It worked.

Commissioner Warren Mackey says “I wish there were more Claude Ramsey’s to come out of Hamilton County” “He had a vision, and as a result of him staying with that vision, Hamilton County is so much better off right now because of his persistence, as it relates to Enterprise South.”

Mayor Jim Coppinger “I know that he would have had high expectations for all of us sitting up here to continue to move this county forward and do the right things, and that’s certainly my intentions.”

Ramsey left that job to Jim Coppinger when he became deputy Governor under Bill Haslam in 2011.

He retired after 3 years there and went into private business.

This was the day to remember their friend and mentor..Claude Ramsey.