Tag Archives: runoff

Runoff Elections? ‘It’s Never Been Done Here’

As Georgia prepares for runoffs in primary elections that didn’t produce a clear majority winner, some Tennesseans wonder why their state isn’t doing the same thing, according to Chris Carroll.
“I got elected in 2004, and I’ve never heard it discussed in the Legislature,” said state Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Bo Watson, R-Hixson. “My suspicion is because it’s never been done here.”
(Chuck) Fleischmann isn’t the only one who benefited from a low-end plurality on Aug. 2. Gary Starnes captured a nonpartisan Hamilton County General Sessions judgeship with 37 percent of the vote, and notorious Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Mark Clayton achieved victory with 30 percent, allowing him to face U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., in November.
…Timing, tradition and “voter fatigue” are the main barriers between Mayfield and another bite at the apple, Watson said. But ask Hamilton County Elections Administrator Charlotte Mullis-Morgan why runoffs haven’t gained traction, and she’ll answer with one word.
“Money,” she said.
The tab for the Aug. 2 primaries in Hamilton County was $245,971, she said. “[A runoff] would cost a little less. To pin me down as to how much, I can’t tell you exactly.”
Experts said runoff elections are the product of Southern racial politics around the turn of the 20th century. States that enacted runoffs were controlled by Democrats unfriendly to the idea of “minority factions being able to win” with a small percentage of the vote, according to Bruce Oppenheimer, a political science professor at Vanderbilt University.
“Did Tennessee [refrain from runoffs] because the Republican Party was slightly more viable in Tennessee than other Southern states?” Oppenheimer wondered aloud. “Was it because Tennessee had a smaller African-American population? I don’t know. But it probably played a part.”

Barb Tossing Begins in Knoxville Mayor’s Runoff Race

One day after a close primary, the two remaining Knoxville mayoral candidates were back on the campaign trail, this time ready for a faster pace, reports the News Sentinel.
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The remarks they made about each other also turned pointed, with Mark Padgett saying Madeline Rogero had run out of supporters and Rogero accusing her opponent of lifting some of his new proposals from ideas already in existence.
“Some of my opponents’ campaigns have been about fuzzy rhetoric and they’ve been about yesterday and the policies of old,” said software businessman Mark Padgett, a first-time office seeker. “I’m about looking to the future. I want a better tomorrow.”
As he unveiled a more detailed 28-page policy plan, Padgett said he was not concerned about Tuesday’s narrowly decided election in which Madeline Rogero missed winning outright by 16 votes in a field of five candidates.
“I started with no name recognition. I started out knowing about 50 people, but I got (22.64) percent of the vote,” said Padgett. “But look where Madeline started and ended from eight years ago (during her unsuccessful mayoral campaign against Bill Haslam). She’s maxed out her votes.”
Rogero’s response?
“He wishes,” she said, pointing out that the 2003 election featured only two candidates and she raised a quarter of the money Haslam brought in.
Rogero also scoffed at the “Padgett Plan” presented earlier in the day.
“I don’t know if it’s much of a plan,” she said. “Part of it is plagiarism. There’s stuff the city is already doing, stuff we’ve been talking about from the very beginning and things I worked on as (the city’s) community development director. There’s also things in there that would raise the city’s budget. And frankly some of it is frivolous.”

Haslam Not Endorsing in Knoxville Mayor Runoff

Gov. Bill Haslam said Wednesday he will not endorse either candidate for election as his successor in Knoxville’s runoff election for mayor, though “obviously I care a lot” about the governance of his home city.
But Haslam said he “most definitely” will be supporting Becky Duncan Massey, who won the Republican nomination for a Knoxville-based state Senate seat on Tuesday, in her follow-up general election race against Democrat Gloria Johnson.
The Republican governor noted that both candidates in the mayoral runoff election, Madeline Rogero and Mark Padgett, are Democrats.
But he said that’s understandable.
“Knoxville, within the city limits, is not a Republican city,” he said.

Rogero Vs. Padgett in Knoxville Mayor Runoff Election

In a nailbiter of a contest, Madeline Rogero narrowly missed Tuesday becoming Knoxville’s first female mayor, coming up 16 votes shy of an outright, winner-take-all victory over four opponents, reports Mike Donila.
Instead, Rogero and Mark Padgett will vie in a Nov. 8 general election that pits experience against youth.
“At the end of the day, we see a Knoxville that comes home to great neighborhoods and a great quality of life,” Rogero, flanked by family members, told several hundred supporters. “Today’s primary sets up a clear choice in November. Six weeks from today, we have a clear choice — which of two candidates have the experience and vision to get the right results for our city.”
Rogero, a former director of the city’s Community Development Department, garnered 49.91 percent of the vote, falling just short of the requisite 50 percent plus 1 vote needed to win outright, according to unofficial election results from the Knox County Election Commission.
Software business owner Mark Padgett came in second place, squeaking by longtime politico Ivan Harmon by 53 votes, according to unofficial returns.
“If the citizens give us six more weeks, give us a real head-to-head, then we’re going to see a real race,” said Padgett, 33, president of eGovernment Solutions LLC, as the votes trickled in Tuesday.
Former Knoxville Councilman Joe Hultquist and local E-911 operator Bo Bennett came in fourth and fifth, respectively, yielding a combined 5.13 percent of the vote.

See also Georgiana Vines’ analysis of the mayoral campaign.

No Surprises in Nashville City Council Runoff Elections

Nashville voters on Thursday resoundingly rejected a former Metro councilwoman’s attempt to reclaim the seat they had recalled her from less than two years ago, electing her opponent by a large margin in a runoff vote, reports The Tennessean.
Scott Davis won the District 5 council seat over Pam Murray, who was recalled in 2009 amid complaints that she was unresponsive to her East Nashville constituents and often worked in Detroit. Davis received 805 votes compared with 328 for Murray.
…Davis is advertising director and part owner of Nashville Pride, an African-American newspaper. He was one of five council members elected in runoffs Thursday, joining the 35 who were voted in outright on Aug. 4.

See also the City Paper:
Other winners were Brady Banks over Dave Patterson in District 4; Peter Westerholm over Dave Rich in District 6; Josh Stites over Marilyn Robinson in District 13; and incumbent Councilman Robert Duvall over Page Turner in District 33.