(WBIR-Newport) Two rare write-in campaigns are happening in Cocke County.
The Republican nominee believed she would be county mayor after winning the primary, with no Democratic challenger. But Crystal Webb Ottinger is now up against two write-in candidates, including the current mayor.
Current Cocke County Mayor Vaughn Moore lost to challenger Ottinger by less than 200 votes in the Republican primary. But he then came back with a write-in campaign.
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"There were several people in the county who came to me and asked me to run because of what we've accomplished since I've been in office," Moore said.
Ottinger responded with, "It's not something I personally would have done if I hadn't won the primary."
Ottinger beat Moore and two other candidates.
"A lot of people didn't think that I stood a chance because I'm young and, more so, because I'm a woman and Cocke County had never had a woman. A woman had run before but had never won the primary election," Ottinger said.
Ottinger's name is the only one on the general election ballot for Cocke County mayor. However, besides Moore, Jeff 'Fud' Ball started his own write-in campaign in June.
"It's very interesting. After the primary election in May I had people coming to me the day after the election saying, 'We want you to write in for that.' And I thought about it and like I said, it took me to the middle of June to decide whether to do it or not," Ball said.
In the past eight years, Cocke County Election Commission said there has been two other write-in campaigns. One took place in 2008 to fill a school board vacancy. The other, in 2006, when write-in candidate Mike Gilbert lost to incumbent Mayor Iliff McMahan, Jr.
"Of course, it is hard to win a write-in campaign and we'll just let the majority of the voters rule," Moore said.
All three candidates have strong roots in Cocke County.
Moore said he is seeking re-election because of what the county's accomplished during his term, as well as what he hopes to accomplish in the next four years.
"Our debt's been reduced by about $5 million," he said.
Moore would like to address the overcrowding issues at the county's jail.
Ottinger would like to see more accountability in local government.
"For as long as I've lived here there's been some exclusion of the people in county government and they're not as familiar and has not always been made a part of the government, and I want to change that," she said.
Ball decided to run after he was not pleased with either choice for county mayor. Two of his daughters recently graduated from college and want to find jobs in Cocke County.
"I'd like to see some better jobs, better paying jobs," he said.
He also would like better roads saying, "We're working on them but they still need a lot of improvement."
Early voting ends August 2. The general election will be held on August 7.