KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville city council member has announced her intentions to run for Gloria Johnson‘s seat in the Tennessee State Assembly.

Seema Singh has served as City Councilwoman for the 3rd District since 2017. According to the city of Knoxville website, she is the first South Asian-American to be elected to any public office in East Tennessee. In addition to serving on the city council, she is the Executive Director of Healing the Home, a nonprofit agency serving families impacted by domestic and intimate partner violence.

She announced her plans to run for Tennessee House of Representatives in September following Gloria Johnson’s announcement that she was running against Marsha Blackburn for her seat in the U.S. Senate. Singh shared the following statement with WATE.

The TN State Assembly is in chaos. The extremists have become drunk with power and greed. They no longer represent us, regular folks.

What we want for ourselves and our families, are the benefits from the taxes we pay. We want affordable healthcare, good jobs that pay enough to pay our bills, fully funded public education, so our children thrive. We want to feel safe again in our homes, in our schools, in our communities.

I am running to represent people in my district, that desperately want, some common sense and real American values.

Seema Singh

Singh graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1996 with a degree in Psychology, specializing in Clinical, Counseling and Applied Psychology. She was born in Varanasi, India, and moved to Knoxville in the mid-’70s when her father was hired as a professor at UT. She became an American citizen at 13 and attended West Hills Elementary, Bearden Middle School and Bearden High School.