Kincannon Elected Mayor; Four Join City Council

Nov 5, 2019

Knoxville Mayor-Elect Indya Kincannon celebrates her victory with her husband, Ben Barton, at an election night watch party, November 5, 2019.
Credit Indya Kincannon, via Twitter

Indya Kincannon is Knoxville’s next mayor, garnering 52.4 percent of the vote. Additionally, Lynne Fugate, Janet Testerman, Amelia Parker and Charles Thomas will be joining the city council. 

Kincannon, the former member of the Knox County Board of Education and special programs manager under incumbent Mayor Madeline Rogero, emphasized her policy experience throughout her campaign against business owner Eddie Mannis.

And for the first time, Knoxville will have a majority female city council, with seven council women. All four newly elected city council candidates join a city council turnover that began in 2017. Due to Knoxville’s two-term limit, the entire city council will now be serving their first terms. 

After trailing eight points behind Mannis in the six-candidate August primary, Kincannon rose to victory in the general election. She earned 35 percent of the absentee vote, almost half of early voters and 56% of Tuesday’s general election. 

She announced her victory Tuesday evening at The Press Room in North Knoxville, following a call from Eddie Mannis conceding the election.  

“We need to be a city where the economy works for everybody and we connect families to opportunity and I can’t wait to get started,” Kincannon said. 

At the Knoxville Expo Center, Mannis told supporters, “This is not the outcome we were hoping for. The voters of Knoxville have spoken…[and] I’ll be cheering Indya on, because I want Knoxville to succeed, and I know all of you do as well.”

Kincannon’s campaign won with only half the campaign donations of her opponent, bringing in around $330,000 compared to Mannis’ more than $600,000. 

Community organizer Amelia Parker’s victory for city council at large seat C comes two years after she received more than 2,000 write-in votes during her city council race in 2017. 400 votes separated her from Amy Midis in Tuesday’s election. 

Parker was one of three candidates promoted by the political organizing group City Council Movement. The other two candidates, David Hayes and Charles Al-Bawi, did not win council seats. Daughter of former Mayor Kyle Testerman, Janet Testerman won city council at large seat B against Hayes with 55 percent of the vote. Charles Thomas defeated Charles Al-Bawi for the District 5 council seat by 30 points. 

Lynne Fugate, the executive director of the Girl Scouts of East Tennessee and former school board chair, won city council at large seat A by just 80 votes against pastor Charles F. Lomax Jr.