KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Voters have spoken, and the make-up of the Knoxville City Council is set to remain the same following the 2021 election. Unofficial results with 100% of precincts reporting across the city showed all five incumbents were re-elected to their district seats by a wide margin
On Tuesday, November 2, Knoxville voters were able to select five candidates to serve on city council for districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6.
Once the unofficial results are verified, councilmembers Tommy Smith, Andrew Roberto, Seema Singh, Lauren Rider and Gwen McKenzie will continue to serve the city and their respective districts for another four years. The five will meet with Mayor Indya Kincannon Wednesday morning for a post-election celebratory breakfast.
Early voting results showed all five incumbents holding onto double-digit leads in their districts early into the night – and they continued to hold onto large leads by the time all 44 precincts reported results.
According to the unofficial results, a total of 21,739 people voted in the election, with a majority of those votes being cast during the early voting period. More than 10,000 voted early, about 9,500 voted on election day, and close to 750 submitted an absentee ballot.
In District 1, incumbent Tommy Smith defeated challenger Elizabeth Murphy with 57% of the vote.
During his campaign, Smith said he would work to improve local economies by supporting small businesses, Black-owned businesses and providing public transportation. He also said he supported homeless-to-work programs and providing supportive housing. He also supports funding for police for improved training, community relations, violence intervention and body cameras. According to public campaign finance data, he has raised nearly $82,000 and spent nearly $74,000 as of Oct. 26.
In District 2, incumbent Andrew Roberto defeated challenger Kim Smith with 56% of the vote.
In his campaign, he has advocated for body cameras in the Knoxville Police Department, a social worker co-response team and expanding the Police Advisory & Review Committee. He has also advocated for permanent supportive housing to address issues related to homelessness and has worked with city leaders to expand green spaces. According to public campaign finance data, he has raised close to $70,000 toward his campaign and spent roughly $53,000 of that as of Oct. 26.
In District 3, incumbent Seema Singh defeated challenger Nick Ciparro with 56% of the vote.
In her campaign, Singh said that she has been an intermediary for diverse constituents across the district and across Knoxville. She also sponsored a resolution to establish a fund for violence intervention and prevention meant to address community conflicts at their roots. She also worked to ensure high-speed internet access was available across the district. According to public campaign finance data, she has raised close to $46,000 toward her campaign and spent roughly $29,000 of that as of Oct. 26.
In District 4, incumbent Lauren Rider defeated challenger Jim Klonaris with 56% of the vote.
Rider said in her campaign she has worked to identify missing segments of sidewalks in the city so that they could be repaired while also advocating for a co-response team between police and mental health professionals for behavioral health calls to 911. She also worked on the redevelopment of the former St. Mary's Hospital, merging city service departments in the building. She has also focused on increasing affordable housing availability and post-pandemic economic recovery. According to public campaign finance data, she has raised roughly $77,000 toward her campaign and spent roughly $54,000 of that as of Oct. 26.
In District 6, incumbent Gwen McKenzie defeated challenger Garret Holt with 58% of the vote.
McKenzie said in her campaign she helped lead a faith leader's initiative to help communities heal after violence while also restoring equity for Black communities. She also said she would focus on creating jobs with living wages while supporting small businesses and Black-owned businesses. She also said she would focus on building relationships with communities to establish "mutual respect and trust." According to public campaign finance data, she has raised close to $37,000 toward her campaign and spent roughly $15,000 of that as of Oct. 26.