On Tuesday, Chattanoogans will vote to elect a new mayor and up to seven new council members, setting the tone for at least the next four years in the city.
Every voter will have the chance to support one of 15 mayoral candidates on the ballot to succeed two-term Mayor Andy Berke, who leaves office in April.
Frontrunners for the mayoral seat include Harvard University graduate, entrepreneur and social equality advocate Monty Bruell; former city attorney for Berke and Unum vice president of diversity and inclusion Wade Hinton; business owner and Chattanooga Football Club chair Tim Kelly; and Kim White, former president and CEO of both River City Co. and the Corker Group.
The election could end in history if Bruell, Hinton or another of the eight Black candidates is elected as Chattanooga's first Black mayor, or if White or another of the three women in the race is elected as Chattanooga's first female mayor.
It could just as likely end in an April runoff.
To win any city election, a candidate must earn more than 50% of the total votes cast. In a race such as the one for mayor, with several candidates with significant community support, that's hard to swing, so a runoff is likely.
WHAT TO BRING
All voters must present a federal or Tennessee state ID with the voter’s name and photograph. These IDs are acceptable:
— Tennessee driver license with your photo
— United States passport
— Photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security
— Photo ID issued by the federal or Tennessee state government
— United States military photo ID
Similarly, in Districts 2 and 5, where several candidates are vying for open city council seats, 50% of the vote may or may not be attainable on election day.
In the event of one or more runoffs, an election will be held in April between the top two candidates in any race without a winner.
Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time on election day.
Find your polling place at bit.ly/votechatt.
George Ryan Love
Robert C. Wilson
Dr. Elenora Woods
(Write-in) Jean Howard Hill
City Council races:
District 1 (Hixson, Mountain Creek)
Two-term councilman and current chairman Chip Henderson will run unopposed for re-election.
District 2 (Lipton City, North Chattanooga)
Chemical engineer Tim Gorman, Hamilton County Board of Education member Jenny Hill and business owner Thomas Lee compete for the seat being vacated by two-term Councilman Jerry Mitchell.
District 3 (DuPont, Hixson)
Two-term councilman and current vice chairman Ken Smith is defending his seat against challenger and Libertarian activist Rachael Torrence.
District 4 (Concord, East Brainerd)
First-term incumbent and business owner Darrin Ledford is defending his seat against challenger and Signal Centers Board President Bill Lloyd.
District 5 (Bonny Oaks, Woodmore)
Hamilton County Democratic Party Vice Chairman Dennis Milton Clark, former teacher Cynthia Stanley-Cash, entrepreneur Isaiah Hester, Pastor Alan "A.J" Holman and church administrator Leanne Jones are vying for the seat being vacated by mayoral candidate Gilbert.
District 6 (Airport, Brainerd)
Incumbent and CEO of Private Dispute Resolutions Carol Berz is running unopposed for re-election.
District 7 (Alton Park, St. Elmo)
Community activist Raquetta Dotley and former chief of staff to the mayor Ken Hays are competing for the seat being vacated by mayoral candidate Oglesby.
District 8 (Avondale, Eastside)
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga student D'Andre Anderson and community activist Marie Mott challenge first-term councilman Anthony Byrd.
District 9 (East Chattanooga, Ridgedale)
First-term Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod is defending her seat against challenger and former Hamilton County Election Commissioner Kelvin Scott.
Contact Sarah Grace Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6416. Follow her on Twitter @_sarahgtaylor.