KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Incumbents made a clean sweep Tuesday in the Knoxville City Council elections. The challengers banded together and earned the backing of the Knox County Republican Party.

Voters chose to stay with the status quo.

Councilman Tommy Smith, representing the 1st District, said he’s glad to see partisanship lost out.

“I don’t think we need that in a city election,” Smith said. “I don’t think it’s healthy. I think people care about what’s near to their home. They care about other people in the city.

“You don’t have to have party representation to do that. You just have to be good listening to folks, collaborating well, and getting things done for people. I think that’s what won the day.”

Seema Singh agreed. She defeated Nicholas Ciparro to retain her spot representing the 3rd District.

“Partisanship does not seem to serve anybody at this time period,” Seema Singh said. “I haven’t been a fan of the two-party system for a very long time. When things like this happen it proves to me why I don’t care for it. It divides us into an us and them and we’re all for this city.”

Any city voter had the chance to vote in any and all of the five races.

With 44 of 44 precincts, as well as early and absentee votes, reporting:

  • In District 1 incumbent Smith defeated Elizabeth Murphy, 11,723-8,886.
  • In District 2 incumbent Andrew Roberto defeated Kim Smith, 11,431-9,164.
  • In District 3 incumbent Singh defeated Ciparro, 11,443-9,127.
  • In District 4 incumbent Lauren Rider defeated Jim Klonaris, 11,617-9,255.
  • In District 6 Vice Mayor Gwen McKenzie defeated Garrett Holt, 11,971-8,845.

After the votes were cast Rider was already looking forward to continuing to continue her work.

“Obviously Knoxville wants to keep focusing on real issues and real solutions not unnamed solutions,” Rider said. “Knoxville knows what we’ve been doing. We’ve been working on low-barrier shelters and other solutions that actually address people’s problems and trying to make sure we get to competitive pay for the police (department) and the fire (department) and the other city employees that provide services the city wants.”

Despite the losses, Knox County Republican Party Chairman Daniel Herrera said this election has energized GOP voters who’ve traditionally voted in fewer numbers for the city elections.

“The Knox County Republican Party is proud to have gotten involved in city elections,” he said. “Tonight was the start. Next, we focus on taking back the mayor’s office and running more candidates for City Council. We are not going to stop.”