Cocke County elects first female mayor

Cocke County elects first female mayor

Posted:
Crystal Ottinger, 34, barely pulled out the win over incumbent mayor Vaughn Moore by just 184 votes. Paul Cogburn and Charles Moore were third and fourth. Crystal Ottinger, 34, barely pulled out the win over incumbent mayor Vaughn Moore by just 184 votes. Paul Cogburn and Charles Moore were third and fourth.
Ottinger tied the knot at the height of her campaign alongside her two teenage daughters and new stepson. (source: Crystal Ottinger) Ottinger tied the knot at the height of her campaign alongside her two teenage daughters and new stepson. (source: Crystal Ottinger)
Crystal Ottinger ran on a platform of accountability, with a unique vision for the future of Cocke County. Crystal Ottinger ran on a platform of accountability, with a unique vision for the future of Cocke County.
By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

NEWPORT (WATE) - History was made Tuesday night in Cocke County as voters elected their first female mayor. The Republican primary decided the race because there was no Democratic challenger.

Crystal Ottinger, 34, barely pulled out the win over incumbent mayor Vaughn Moore by just 184 votes. Paul Cogburn and Charles Moore were third and fourth.

Ottinger says she was nervous about taking on the three men in this election, including the current mayor. She was born and raised in Cocke County, but had no political experience before this campaign.

"I don't want to be a career politician," she said.

That's a change for some in Cocke County, added to the fact that she's a woman, and a fairly young one.

"Some wanted to make sure I had a husband at home. When I started off, I didn't. We were engaged, but we weren't married," she said.
 
Ottinger remedied that last month, tying the knot at the height of her campaign alongside her two teenage daughters and new stepson.

Her resume includes an associate's degree in business management, plus being the assistant director and then interim director of the 911 center.

"We have the reputation of our county government only working for a select few people," she said.

Ottinger ran on a platform of accountability, with a unique vision for the future of Cocke County.

"Somewhere a cross between Gatlinburg and Mayberry," she said.
 
Only time will tell if Cocke County's new mayor will be able to achieve that.

"Changes are good and I think this will be a great change for our county," said resident Polly Webb.

"I think people, especially moving into this area, are tired of the 'good old boy network,' and that might be a part of what contributed to her victory," said resident Jonathan Webb.
 
The city of Newport had a female mayor during the 1990's, but Ottinger will be the first female mayor of Cocke County.
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