KNOXVILLE - UPDATE 6:30 PM WEDNESDAY: The Knoxville City Council voted 9-0 to advance candidate Harry Tindell to the general election.
Tindell tied for second place with Amelia Parker in the race for the District 4 City Council seat. Tindell will now face top vote getter Lauren Rider on the ballot in the general election in November.
At the meeting, candidates Parker and Tindell were each given five minutes to speak to City Council about why they should be chosen to move forward in the race. Then, two supporters from each side were given the opportunity to speak on the candidates behalf.
Parker said during her time at the podium, "I decided to run for City Council because I wanted to represent voices that have been left out or underrepresented in our city government."
When it was Tindell's turn, he said, "I believe in working together. I believe in inclusiveness. I believe in dialogue, in collaboration."
City Council discussed how to break the tie, even talking about a coin toss, but ultimately decided to take a roll call vote to name the second place candidate for District 4.
Tindell said afterward, "Once confronted with it [the tie], we had to get through it, and I was pleased with council's decision tonight."
Outside the City-County building after the vote, supporters of Amelia Parker did not back down. Parker said she will continue her campaign as a certified write-in candidate on the November ballot.
"I'm feeling energized by the supporters that came out tonight and who are supporting my campaign moving forward," Parker said.
Tindell said he believes City Council his experience as a leader in the community and history in government may have led to them voting for him. He said he his just thankful for the second chance to be on the November ballot.
"It's not often in life you get a do-over," Tindell said. "You know, the vols got one Monday night. I got one tonight, and the voters are going to get the chance to do it again in November."
UPDATE 8:30 PM TUESDAY: It's too late to change the law now, but Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero says she's exploring how to address any future tie votes like the one two City Council candidates now face to reach the November general ballot.
"My staff and I are exploring options that could require changes to both state law and the City Charter," Rogero said in a released statement Tuesday. "Although tie votes are extremely rare, the current circumstances have highlighted the inadequacy of existing law."
Rogero argues it should be up to voters, not council members, to resolve a tie.
On Wednesday night, council is expected to resolve a primary that saw District 4 candidates Amy Parker and Harry Tindell get exactly the same number of votes on Aug. 29. They're vying to join candidate Lauren Rider for a spot on the November ballot to represent the North Knoxville district.
For now, council members will have to resolve the dispute. Rogero said Tuesday that Vice Mayor Duane Grieve agrees with her that voters should have the say in the future.
Such a change would require a charter amendment vote on a future ballot. State legislators also would have to change state law addressing such circumstances.
Rogero said she plans "in the near future" to present recommendations to City Council.
Anyone with ideas can send them to email@example.com.”
PREVIOUS STORY: Knoxville City Council will meet Wednesday to decide who will be moving forward in the race for the District 4 seat.
Candidate Lauren Rider collected the most votes in the District 4 primary race with 889 votes, but candidates Amelia Parker and Harry Tindell tied for second place with 488 votes each.
Only the top two candidates in each district move from the primary election to the general election in November.
According to Vice Mayor Duane Grieve, Knoxville City Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday to decide how to break the tie.
Grieve said each candidate will give a five-minute presentation.
If you want to check out state rules about choosing a winner in this tiebreaker, you can find that information here.
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