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Knoxville mayoral race: Mannis, Kincannon heading to the November regular election

The top two vote-getters are moving on to compete in the November regular election.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Eddie Mannis and Indya Kincannon are moving on to the regular election.

Mannis finished with 36.64% of the vote, in unofficial but complete results. It was a tight race throughout Tuesday evening for second place, with Kincannon eventually finishing with 29.13% over Marshall Stair, who came in third with 26.98%.

“If fortunate enough to be elected your mayor in November, I promise you I will work tirelessly and I will never take one single vote for granted," Mannis said to an audience of volunteers, voters and family shortly after the results came in.

Kincannon said she's excited to be moving on to the regular election after narrowly securing second. She said she's not a stranger to tight races.

“In 2004, in my first election for school board, I also came in second,” she said. “But we worked really hard and we won the general.”

Several key precincts made the difference for Mannis and Kincannon.

Mannis had the largest support in Fountain City, where he's from. His key precincts there include Norwood Elementary School, Inskip Rec Center and Shannondale Elementary School.

Credit: WBIR
Eddie Mannis' key precincts

Kincannon had the strongest turnout in North Knoxville and closer to downtown. Her key precincts include the John T. O'Connor Center, Central United Methodist Church and Christenberry Community Center.

Credit: WBIR
Indya Kincannon's key precincts

Stair was a close third, losing his bid to compete in the regular election by 410 votes. He thanked supporters, saying he's going to spend time with his family.

"I'm the luckiest guy in the world," said Stair. "I've got a great family. I've got a great daughter. I've got great friends that were here tonight supporting me, so you know, it hurts tonight, and it will probably hurt for a little bit, but you know, I've got a lot going for me and a lot to smile about."

For both Mannis and Kincannon, Stair's votes represent an opportunity. Each almost certainly will try to court the more than 5,150 people who voted for the outgoing city councilman.

Organization proved key to both of the finalists Tuesday night.

"We’ve had an incredible number of volunteers working at every single polling location across the city," Mannis said.

Said Kincannon: "No matter the outcome, I was confident that our team of volunteers and supporters you know we left it all on the field."


Knoxville Mayor

Eddie Mannis (37%)

Indya Kincannon (29%)

Marshall Stair (27%)

Fletcher Burkhardt (3%)

Calvin Skinner (3%)

Michael Andrews (2%)

Original story

The race for Knoxville mayor is about to shrink from six candidates to -- most likely -- two.

City voters on Tuesday will pick their mayoral favorite in the primary. Figures show 9,331 Knoxvillians cast early ballots and 948 people cast absentee ballots. 

No more than 20,000 city voters are expected to take part in the primary. About 92,000 Knoxville residents are registered voters.

Tuesday is a student holiday for Knox County Schools students, and some schools serve as polling places in the city.

It's possible for one person Tuesday to claim the non-partisan race outright if they get 50 percent of all votes cast plus one vote. Longtime observers doubt, considering the strength of the field, that one candidate will get that many votes.

It's more likely that the top two vote-getters Tuesday will move on to compete in the Tuesday, Nov. 5, regular election.

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The candidates for mayor in alphabetical order are Michael Andrews, Fletcher Burkhardt, Indya Kincannon, Eddie Mannis, Calvin Skinner and Marshall Stair.

Mannis, Stair and Kincannon have led the field in campaign spending, recent reports show.

Mannis has spent $338,000 so far and Stair has spent $378,000. Kincannon has surged in spending in recent months and is now at more than $130,000, records show. Records show Burkhardt has spent $3,913, and reports indicate no spending or are incomplete for Andrews and Skinner. 

It's likely the final contenders for mayor will spend several hundred thousand dollars more in the race to November.

The last time a Knoxville city race featured a complete field of fresh candidates for mayor -- 2011 -- more than 16,500 early and absentee ballots were cast in the primary. More than 21,000 ballots were cast in the regular election in November 2011. 

A quick glance at the candidates:

Michael Andrews, a barber by trade, said his faith has inspired him to run for office. He's a native Knoxvillian.

Fletcher Burkhardt, a native Knoxvillian, is a social media specialist who also cuts hair among other pursuits.

Indya Kincannon is a former Knox County Board of Education member who also has worked in outgoing Mayor Madeline Rogero's administration as special program manager.

Eddie Mannis grew up in Fountain City. He's a businessman, the founder of HonorAir Knoxville and worked as chief operating officer for Mayor Madeline Rogero early in her first term.

Calvin T. Skinner, a minister at Mount Zion Baptist Church and a community organizer, grew up in Knoxville. He also has lived in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, working on faith and policy issues.

Marshall Stair was born and reared in Knoxville and is an attorney. He's completing his second term on the Knoxville City Council.

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