Indya Kincannon wins Knoxville mayoral election

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Voters in Knoxville elected a new mayor on Tuesday, Indya Kincannon.

Mayor candidate Eddie Mannis conceded the raced shortly before 9 p.m.

She got 52.4% of the vote in the vote tally Tuesday night.

“Our message of connecting families to opportunities and making this city’s economy work for everybody — that’s what did this,” she told her supporter.

“What people want is for Knoxville to be a place where everybody can thrive. And that’s what I want to do as your mayor,” Kincannon said. “I so excited to be your next mayor.”

WATCH: Mayor-elect Kincannon joins Good Morning Tennessee

Kincannon, 48, was first elected to public office in 2004 as a school member and is known for strong grassroots campaigning. And after her victory, she credited that grassroots effort for helping propel her to victory.

She was re-elected in 2008 and 2012. She also served as school board chair for three years.

She left Knoxville in 2014 for a year in Slovenia where she taught at an international school and her husband, Ben, was a Fulbright Fellow.

In 2015, Mayor Madeline Rogero hired her as Special Program Manager for the city.

Kincannon’s full speech:

Wow it’s great to see so many people here… I’ve got some good news – I’ve got some good news – I hear we won!
I just got a very gracious call from my esteemed opponent Eddie Mannis so shout out to Eddie for running a great campaign.
I’m overwhelmed… By the support from the people.
Our message of connecting families to opportunity and making the city’s economy work for everybody – that’s what did this – people want Knoxville to be a place where everybody can thrive and that’s what I want to do as our mayor. And that’s how we made this happen – grassroots – going around and talking to people across the whole city that’s what did this.
When we kicked off this campaign almost a year ago – we did it right here – we started out in that small room – we had to migrate over here because we got a little crowded but we got a lot more people here tonight.
There are so many people who made this effort possible – I’m super grateful for people across the city. I want to thank a special couple – thank you Carter Hall, my field director – and one of the best Carter here was to hire… My campaign manager…
We could not have done this without so many friends and family members – I want to give a special thanks to Kelly Johnson, my treasurer.
I want to give a shout-out most importantly to my daughters … And Georgia… And last but certainly not least – my dear husband.
Everyone, enjoy the food and drinks and I’m looking forward to talking to everyone not from the stage… Thank you so much – I’m looking forward to being your next mayor.

Indya Kincannon in her acceptance speech after Mannis conceded

Mannis, 60, is a Knoxville native, growing up in the Inskip community.

Mannis started Prestige Cleaners in 1985 and has grown it into a business with over 150 employees.

He also started HonorAir more than 10 years ago, which has flown more than 3,500 WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans to Washington.

Mannis also was Deputy Mayor and COO under current Mayor Madeline Rogero for two years.

Mannis’ full speech:

Thank you all for being here. Thank you is the most important thing I can say.
I’m so grateful for the work that everybody has put in to this campaign over the course of the past year. Your passion and enthusiasm make this moment even tougher for me. I have spoke to Indya Kincannon, and congratulated her on becoming the next mayor of Knoxville. This campaign has been civil and respectful and I am so thankful for that. I want to thank every volunteer who has put in hours, hosting events, raising money, putting out signs and knocking on doors. Today alone we had over 100 volunteers working polls. I especially want to thank my campaign team. They have worked so hard over the past year. I’ve learned so much from them over the course of the year, and I would not even be here this evening without them, so I would like to recognize them and give them a round of applause… The outcome of this election is not a reflection on my campaign team. It is not a reflection on my campaign team. I’d like to thank my friends and my family who have been the absolute rock of this campaign for me. Every step of the way they’ve encouraged me and pushed me to keep going and picked me up when I thought I couldn’t go on. While this is not the outcome we were hoping for, we must respect the voters of Knoxville have spoken. This is one of the greatest cities in this country, and I will always say that. I love it with all my heart, and I’ll be cheering Indya on because I want Knoxville to succeed and I know all of you do as well. I look forward to continuing to serve as well, through my business and through HonorAir Knoxville. Now granted, some of my employees at Prestige may be upset because I’m going back there. I’ve always said that throughout this campaign we will leave no stone unturned, and we will work as hard as we possibly can. But if it didn’t come out victorious, I would wake up
the day after the same person I was when we started this process a year and a half ago. And that’s what I’ll do tomorrow. Again, I’m honored and humbled that you would be here. I appreciate your support more than I can ever express, and I will always be eternally grateful to you for that. Thank you for all you’ve done for this campaign, and again, thank you so much for being here tonight. God bless you.

Eddie Mannis, after conceding to Kincannon

While the election is non-partisan, Mannis is a Republican and Kincannon is a Democrat.

It was a race that stuck to the issues in an era of political name-calling.

In a closely watched race because of an extremely close primary vote, Amelia Parker has a slim lead over Amy Midis with over 90% of the vote in for City Council At-Large Seat C.

In City Council At-Large Seat A, Lynne Fugate is leading Charles F. Lomax Jr. with over 90% of the vote in.

In City Council At-Large Seat B, Janet Testerman appears on the way to easily defeating David Hayes.

In City Council District 5, Charles Thomas handily beat Charles Al-Bawi.

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