Chattanooga Unity Group raises concerns about move to require runoffs in council elections

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Marie Mott carries a Juneteenth flag during the Juneteenth National Freedom Day Parade on Citico Avenue on June 18.

NASHVILLE - Marie Mott, who led local demonstrations in response to the 2020 murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, got the most votes for the District 8 seat on the Chattanooga City Council last week.

But she hasn't won yet.

Mott and appointed incumbent Marvene Noel will face off in a Sept. 15 runoff election, an extra step imposed by a City Council resolution this year, which the Unity Group is questioning.

Mott received 557 votes to Noel's 341. The runoff was triggered because Mott did not secure a majority by receiving more than 50% of the vote.

"While we don't dispute the validity of the need for a special election, we do think the process identified in Resolution 31030 was not adequately conveyed to the voters," Unity Group Co-Chairman Eric Atkins said in an email to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.