Mayor Rogero Congratulates New Council Members

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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News item

Mayor Rogero Congratulates New Council Members

Posted: 11/08/2017
Mayor Madeline Rogero today congratulated the five winners in Tuesday’s City Council races: Stephanie Welch, 1st District; Andrew Roberto, 2nd District; Seema Singh-Perez, 3rd District; Lauren Rider, 4th District; and Gwen McKenzie, 6th District.

New City Council Members

Mayor Rogero also praised voters for their year-long engagement with the candidates and issues.

She invited the newly elected Council members to breakfast this morning in the Mayor’s Office. They will be sworn into office at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, in the Main Assembly Room of the City County Building.

The five sitting Council members are term-limited and could not seek a third four-year term. So the newly elected incoming members will comprise a majority of the next Council.

“Congratulations to the new incoming Council members,” Mayor Rogero said. “We've enjoyed great community dialogue throughout the campaign season. The 11,735 votes cast represent one of the biggest voter turnouts in the past quarter century. There was a significant increase in voter engagement.”

The right tone was created by the energy and ideas of the 30 candidates who entered the primaries, and continued by the 11 candidates who advanced to Tuesday’s General Election, the Mayor said.

The City's Go Vote! Knoxville initiative was created last summer to encourage more people to get to know the candidates and then to vote. Family-friendly Go Vote! Knoxville meet-the-candidate events were held in all six Council districts, and the City created a website to make it easier for citizens to get election information, connect with the candidates and compare where the candidates stood on issues.

Turnout in Tuesday's election was up by 47 percent from the 2009 General Election, the last time these same races were on the ballot and there were no incumbents running.

Turnout in August was the biggest in a non-mayoral primary election since term limits took effect in 2001. Before that, you’d have to go back to 1989 to find a City primary without candidates for Mayor on the ballot in which more votes were cast.

Similarly, turnout in yesterday’s General Election was historically large. It was the largest vote count since 2011, when a race for mayor spiked the number of November votes cast above 27,000.

For additional context, going back to 1990: Yesterday’s voter turnout was larger than the General Election turnouts in 2015, 2013, 2009, 2007, 2005, 1999, 1997, 1995, 1993 and 1991. Only non-mayoral General Election turnouts in 2001 and 2003 (the Mayor’s race was decided in the primary that year) were bigger than this year’s.