KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – It was the most competitive district race in Knoxville’s primary election. Now, two candidates have been chosen by a margin of less than a hundred votes.
Gwen McKenzie took 22 percent of votes, with 314 votes total. Jennifer Montgomery had 17 percent of votes, with 244 votes total.
“Hard work and actually just connecting with the people, that’s what it’s going take. Going citywide we’ve got a lot more people to connect with. I’ve got a lot of people waiting in the wings, we’ve got supporters already,” said McKenzie.
McKenzie’s campaign held an election party at Ebony Lounge in “the heart of the sixth district,” as she called it.
“Sincerity, commitment and accountability. Those are the things that you have to have and you have to be passionate about what you’re doing and about your community,” said McKenzie.
Just around the corner, Montgomery celebrated with friends and family at her home. She said the campaign was more work than she anticipated, it was worth it and she’s excited to continue working for the community.
“I’m sure that it will be a different campaign with just one other candidate. I’m looking forward to the ideas, and interests that will come out of the regular election,” said Montgomery.
Montgomery says when it comes to her campaign, she hopes voters remember her as “the right candidate for right now.”
This race wasn’t just the most competitive, but has the potential to be historic.
For nearly 50 years, an African American has held Knoxville’s sixth district city council seat. Knoxville leaders say the seat was created in the 1960s to help ensure minorities have a voice on the council. In response, both candidates had the same perspective: voters should vote for the best candidate.