Chattanooga Mayoral Race Heads to Runoff on April 13


Chattanooga’s mayoral race dropped down from 15 official candidates to only two following Tuesday’s election, with the top vote-getters preparing for a runoff election.

Tim Kelly and Kim White will run off on April 13, The Chattanoogan said. Kelly, a former car dealer, received 8,562 votes, or 30 percent, compared to White’s 8,289, or 29 percent. White is former president of River City Co.

They were among 15 official candidates; there was also a write-in candidate waging a campaign. The runoff was required because no one received 50 percent of the votes.

Incumbent Andy Berke was term-limited, The Tennessee Star reported last May.

Former City Attorney Wade Hinton finished third with 6,108 votes, or 22 percent, so he is not in the runoff, WDEF reported.

Last May, Kelly drew only 6 percent in a poll of potential mayoral candidates, in a poll paid for by Nick Macco and Adam Boeselager of Legacybox, a Chattanooga company that converts camcorder footage into DVDs, according to a story by WRCB.

“The purpose of the survey was to elevate the views of Chattanoogans and spur a discussion about our future,” said Macco, who says the pair funded the project and has no specific affiliation with any of the names floated in the survey as potential candidates.

Kelly gave an emotional speech to supporters Tuesday, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

“I’ve never run for anything before in my life. And so, not having anything to compare to, I was sure of one thing only and that was that, because of the COVID pandemic, it was really going to be tough,” Kelly said before a moment of silence for those lost to the virus. “And I was prepared for that … but I was not disappointed in the enormity of that challenge.”

On Tuesday, Kelly tweeted, “We love you, Chattanooga! I sincerely appreciate each and every person who helped us get here. Let’s move Chattanooga forward, together!”

White, who seeks to be the city’s first female mayor, also addressed supporters, the Times Free Press said.

“I am ready, and I am so excited to be continuing this campaign and being the next mayor of Chattanooga,” White said to the screaming room. “And I couldn’t have done it without you. We’ve seen amazing momentum.”

White on Tuesday tweeted, “IT AIN’T OVER! We’re ready to keep fighting. The runoff is set for April 13, and I’ll need you with me.”

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Photo “Kim White” by Kim White. Photo “Tim Kelly” by Tim Kelly. Background Photo “Chattanooga Downtown” by Imilious. CC BY-SA 3.0.











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3 Thoughts to “Chattanooga Mayoral Race Heads to Runoff on April 13”

  1. Jay

    Tim Kelly moved his business to another municipality to save taxes. Now he wants to be mayor. Tell me who the liberal is.

  2. EdC

    Choose wisely Chattanooga. You don’t need or want liberal blue failure. Look at California or NY for the results of a bad choice.

  3. JB Taylor

    Kim White sounds too liberal to do the job properly. Good Luck Chattanooga, and pay attention to what liberals are doing to to the country since Biden came into office. Destroying jobs, causing the loss of personal freedoms, pushing small businesses into bankruptcy. Don’t let them destroy your city.