Note: This story was updated at 1:28 a.m. Nov. 5.
Three newcomers and a former member were elected to the Oak Ridge City Council on Tuesday. The winners were Warren Gooch, Rick Chinn, Kelly Callison, and Ellen Smith.
There were four seats available, and two incumbents—Anne Garcia Garland and David Mosby—were unseated. Two other incumbents—Mayor Tom Beehan and Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller—did not seek re-election, meaning a majority of the seven-member body will be new.
“It’s clearly a transitional election,” said Gooch, a lawyer and the top vote-getter.
Gooch finished with 4,545 votes, or about 400 votes ahead of another newcomer, businessman Rick Chinn, who ended with 4,141, according to unofficial results in Anderson and Roane counties.
Business executive Kelly Callison, vice chair of the Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission, picked up 4,014 votes in the two counties, and former City Council member Ellen Smith collected 3,619 votes, returning to the seven-member body two years after a 2012 election loss.
Gooch came into the race with campaign experience; he ran for Anderson County mayor in 2012. So did Callison; he ran for City Council that year, making this year’s campaign his second.
Mosby finished about 500 votes behind Smith, the fourth-place finisher. And Garcia Garland trailed Mosby by about 500 votes.
Mosby has been on City Council since 2001, or 13 years. Garcia Garland served one term; she was elected in 2009. (Council terms were extended on a one-time basis several years ago after Oak Ridge voters agreed to move municipal elections from June of odd-numbered years to November of even-numbered years.)
The other three City Council seats—those now held by Trina Baughn, Charlie Hensley, and Chuck Hope—aren’t open until 2016.
The Council is expected to appoint a new mayor and mayor pro tem during its next regular meeting. There could be several contenders, based upon the candidates’ answers during a candidate forum in September.
Gooch, Callison, and Smith had picked up a key endorsement from the Progress PAC, a new, controversial political action committee.
Another candidate, businessman Eric Tobler, had also previously run for Council. All the others—Gary Love, Pedro Otaduy, and Doc Savara—were making first-time bids.
Here is the final vote tally in Anderson and Roane counties, according to unofficial results with all precincts reporting:
- Garcia Garland—2,614
More information will be added as it becomes available.