Early primary voting is over, candidates push on to election day

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Knox County Administrator of Elections reported 9,331 early votes cast Thursday and 948 absentee ballots collected.

Primary election day for the City of Knoxville races is Tuesday, August 27.

Kristen McBee said Thursday she votes no matter what issues are at the forefront; however, in this city primary, she’s focused on homelessness and gun violence, and which candidates have the best solutions to the issues.

She said the decision was tough, because many of the candidates have similar stances on certain issues. Through more in-depth research, looking at the candidates body of work before running for public office, she was confident in her candidates she early voted for Thursday.

She also wants the city’s next mayor to hold concern for the entire city.

“I don’t want them to just pay attention to west Knoxville because that’s where the money is. i’ll be honest, we’re ok here. it’s paying attention to Knoxville as a whole, particularly east Knoxville,” she said.

Richard Hollow voted Thursday and said the election is important because it determines “the direction that the city’s is going to take in the next four years and beyond. the things we do now will have ramifications in the near term and the future.”

Tim Sykes is most concerned about issues like infrastructure and a business-friendly Knoxville. He said his candidate has a mix of city service, business experience and a philanthropic background, which he believes is important.

“I was basically born and raised here,” he said. “Basically I want us to stay on track which I think we’ve been on for quite some time.”

Eddie Mannis spent the final day of early voting putting up signs in South Knoxville, making calls and meeting with volunteers. He said his message to voters, still unsure about who to support, should look at the job description of Mayor and City Council to best determine which candidate is best suited to fill the position.

“To be an effective mayor, you have to have the mind of a CEO and the heart of a social work. i try to live by those words and really nothing puts it into more perspective than those words,” Mannis said.

Calvin Taylor Skinner spent part of the day at the Love Kitchen early voting location, thanking supporters and making sure everyone he came across cast a ballot.

“There’s a renewed sense of energy. Typically, folks aren’t involved on the local level when it comes to voting. So to have people wanting to be engaged in this way, it’s an awesome feeling,” he said.

Indya Kincannon reflected on the campaign she’s run throughout the primary, saying she’s proud of it and calling it a “great honor” to run for Mayor. She also spent the final day of early voting making calls to undecided voters. In fact, when we caught up with her, she was having an in-depth discussion with an elderly woman, who by the end of the call, pledged her support to Kincannon.

“People know that the mayor doesn’t have a magic wand to fix poverty, the mayor doesn’t have a magic wand to fix the opioid epidemic, but they do want someone who cares and someone who has the collaborative spirit to get things done.”

Knoxville Councilman Marshall Stair believes voters are enthusiastic about his campaign because of his experience in city leadership, which he believes is better than experience, but rather the right experience for taking the helm as mayor.

“It’s an exciting process. you put yourself out there. you put your message and now it’s the time for voters to have their say. we’re looking forward to it, we feel great about it but we know there’s a lot of hard work today and through next Tuesday,” Stair said.

Fletcher Burkhardt said he felt good about support so far. Thursday, he said he spent the day calling and texting supporters, reminding them to vote early. Burkhardt also said he heard from many first-time voters who said they’d already voted.

WATE 6 On Your Side could not reach Michael Andrews for comment.

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