Kincannon wins big, Parker pulls upset

Sandra ClarkGossip and Lies

Indya Kincannon overcame money, big-name endorsements and conventional wisdom to trounce hometown entrepreneur Eddie Mannis on Tuesday. Kincannon will succeed Mayor Madeline Rogero in mid-December.


Kincannon will govern with a 7-2 female majority on Knoxville City Council and three council members of color – both historic firsts.

Amelia Parker topped Amy Midis to join Seema Singh as members of the City Council Movement who have won election. Two others from the group lost. Winners Tuesday were Charles Thomas (District 5), Janet Testerman, Parker and Lynne Fugate (at-large).

Steve Drevik, writing on Facebook, said it best: “Congratulations to Indya Kincannon for her well-earned victory, and thanks to Eddie Mannis for his hard work and all he’s done for this city. Knoxville had two great people to choose from, and we should realize how fortunate we are. Two very great people we are fortunate to know and who both do so much (and both will continue to do much) for our community. #Blessed

State Rep. Gloria Johnson’s endorsement was huge for Kincannon, helping her overcome teacher dissatisfaction with Kincannon’s support of former Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre during her 10 years on the school board.

Ironically, former mayor and governor Bill Haslam’s endorsement of Mannis did not help. The endorsement was late, coming with early voting half over. But Mannis won both absentee and early voting. Kincannon’s margin came on election day – the result of targeted get-out-the-vote telephoning.

The endorsement by U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett actually hurt Mannis, by tying him to President Trump. You know the “logic,” Tim likes Trump and Eddie likes Tim; therefore, Eddie likes Trump. Donald Trump is as strong as onions with Knox County Republicans, but he’s underwater among voters inside the city limits.

Eddie Mannis was the choice of Republican activists, home builders and real estate professionals, fire and police associations, homeowner association officers and a surprising number of black leaders. Kincannon had support from most of Mayor Madeline Rogero’s administration and $1,000 from Rogero’s husband.

Mannis is a no-nonsense businessman – a get-to-the-point and get-it-done sort of guy. Kincannon wore a wonder woman costume on Halloween and rode away from a formal dedication at the Cal Johnson rec center on a scooter.

The new council has no curmudgeons: no Nick Della Volpe or George Wallace or even Marshall Stair. Hang on, folks. It could be a wild ride.

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today. Reach her at 865-661-8777.

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