Note: This story was last updated at 12 a.m.
The four incumbents—Mayor Warren Gooch, Council members Kelly Callison and Ellen Smith, and Mayor Pro Tem Rick Chinn—were re-elected to four-year terms on Oak Ridge City Council on Tuesday, according to unofficial election results in Anderson and Roane counties.
The final results mirrored the results of early and absentee ballots in Anderson County.
There were four City Council seats up for regular election and five candidates for those seats.
Gooch had the most votes Tuesday, a total of 7,916 in the two counties (6,774 in Anderson County and 1,142 in Roane County). Gooch also had the highest number of votes in the transitional 2014 election, his first City Council election.
Callison had 7,665 votes Tuesday (6,479 in Anderson County and 1,186 in Roane County). He finished third in 2014, which was his second campaign but his first successful election.
Ellen Smith, who previously served one term on City Council before losing in 2012 and returning with a 2014 win, had 7,132 votes (6,067 in Anderson County and 1,065 in Roane County). She finished fourth in 2014.
Rick Chinn had 6,616 votes Tuesday (5,615 in Anderson County and 1,001 in Roane County). He finished second in 2014 in his first City Council campaign.
Challenger Tim Stallings, who served on City Council from 1991-1995, received 6,219 votes (5,296 in Anderson County and 923 in Roane County).
Neither Gooch nor Chinn are assured of another two-year term as mayor and mayor pro tem. The City Council selects one of its members to serve as mayor and one to serve as mayor pro tem, someone who serves in the mayor’s absence, after each municipal election every two years.
These were the least competitive City Council and Board of Education races in recent years. There were 10 candidates for four seats in the 2014 election for City Council, or twice as many as this year. There were seven candidates for three seats in 2016.
A few people interpreted the smaller number of candidates for City Council and Board of Education this year as a sign that many people were generally pleased with the city’s direction, especially after the redevelopment of the former Oak Ridge Mall as Main Street Oak Ridge and with the city and schools having a good working relationship. Unlike some past elections, there weren’t any significant divisive issues that emerged during this year’s campaign.
Council member Derrick Hammond was unopposed in a special election on Tuesday to serve the second two years of a four-year term vacated when former Council member Hans Vogel resigned for a new job in Idaho in June. In July, Council appointed Hammond to the seat through the special election on Tuesday.
Like Hammond, the three Board of Education members running for three seats on the school board also ran unopposed. They were Laura McLean, Ben Stephens, and Erin Webb. McLean was first elected in 2014. Stephens was appointed in March and ran unopposed in a special election in August to fill the remainder of former school board member Bob Eby’s term through Tuesday’s election. Eby had resigned to serve on the state school board. Then, Webb was appointed to fill the remainder of former member Paige Marshall’s term. Marshall had resigned in August to take a new out-of-state job.
McLean had 8,705 votes Tuesday, Webb had 8,416, and Stephens had 8,336.
In the race for Tennessee House of Representatives in District 33, John Ragan, an Oak Ridge Republican, had 13,557 votes (61.3 percent), compared to 8,560 (38.7 percent) for Richard Dawson, a Clinton Democrat. The district includes most of Anderson County. Ragan was first elected in 2010. Dawson is a former chair of the Anderson County Democratic Party.
See the Anderson County results here.
See the Roane County results here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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