Chattanooga Elects Tim Kelly as the New Mayor

Photo by Olivia Ross

By Regina Baker, Assistant News Editor

The Chattanooga runoff election results are in and the candidates for mayor and city council have been determined. 

Tim Kelly surpassed Kim White at the polls by more than 5,000 votes. Kelly will be sworn in on April 19 following the leave of current mayor Andy Burke. 

Kelly said he has plans for immediate action in Chattanooga. 

“In the coming days, I will announce the members of my leadership team that will help advise me as we prepare to govern and act on day one. Our city’s public health and the health of our economy are linked together, that’s why my administration will prioritize ensuring our vaccination efforts are effective and don’t leave our most vulnerable communities behind,” Kelly said. 

“As we get vaccines into arms, the City will quickly transition to a recovery plan to jumpstart our economy and make sure that good jobs and economic opportunity remain the cornerstone of our economic development strategy,” he continued. “Tomorrow, the work starts to build a better economy than the one we left behind – one that includes all Chattanooga’s.” 

In the City Council District 2 race, Jenny Hill won against Thomas Lee by 950 votes. Isaiah Hester defeated Dennis Clark by 266 votes for District 5. 

Each elected council member said they plan to endorse and help their districts in every way that they can, both parties will take their seats on the City Council ahead of the next meeting. 

The mayoral race was the closest Chattanooga has seen in years but from previous election results, Kelly felt that the momentum he has would carry into the runoff. 

After the results were in, White said she was pleased with the impact of her campaign. 

“As hard as it is to stand here tonight without the outcome we wanted, I stand here saying that this campaign has truly been a highlight of my life. I am proud to have been part of this journey where I got to meet and engage with people all across our community,” White said. “People who love this city and want to be part of making it better. That’s what this campaign has been about – our city, what makes it special, and how together we can build on what we have. We may be disappointed in the outcome, but we share an optimism for our wonderful city. I thank you deeply for your support.” 

All candidates in the runoff election have earned their positions and stated there will be a great change for the city of Chattanooga.

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