KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – An unprecedented tie happened in Knoxville’s city council primary elections.
“I have never known there to be a tie in an election in the city of Knoxville,” City of Knoxville Law Director Charles Swanson said.
Lauren Rider took the lead in the fourth district race, but two candidates tied for second place with 488 votes each.
“I was pretty pleased,” candidate Harry Tindell said. “All of us worked hard, all five candidates, and we increased the vote collectively about three times what it was in the last election. And so I think we can all take a victory lap in that we increased the participation.”
The two candidates with most votes are supposed to advance to the general election, but with the second place candidate unclear, the state law leaves the decision to the city council.
“The city council is required to cast a ballot to decide the outcome of the tie or in the alternative, they can adopt a resolution, calling for a runoff election,” Swanson said. “The opportunity to call for a runoff election in this particular instance is probably not a very practical outcome.”
Front runner Lauren Rider said everything about the election, including her victory, was unexpected.
“I was actually surprised by last night’s results,” Rider said.
As for who she’d prefer to face off against in November? She’s putting her trust in City Council.
“I just want to rely on the process for figuring out who my opponent is,” Rider said. “I’m going to leave that to the process. It’s in my place and I hope that the best, just decision is made going forward.”
Tindell said he expected Rider to lead the race, but he was also expecting to advance with her to the general. Despite the tie, he said any of the top three candidates would serve Knoxville’s fourth district well.
“I knew I was going to be second place yesterday so that doesn’t bother me at all,” Tindell said. “I just want the voters to have a choice and I think we’ll be different in some ways but we all have positive agendas to make Knoxville better and I have no doubt that whoever wins whether it is Amelia Parker, Lauren Rider, or myself, we’ll do a good job.”