Former auto dealer Tim Kelly and former River City Company president Kim White are headed for a runoff election for mayor of Chattanooga.
Mr. Kelly finished with 8,562 votes, while Ms. White polled 8,289.
It was Kelly 30 percent and Ms. White 29 percent.
Former city attorney Wade Hinton was third with 6,108. He had 22 percent.
There has to be a runoff if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote.
The runoff election will be held on April 13.
Monty Bruell was a distant fourth, followed by City Councilman Russell Gilbert and former NAACP leader Elenora Woods.
Monty Bruell: 2,407
Russell Gilbert: 889
Elenora Woods: 805
Fifteen candidates were on the ballot for mayor, and Jean Howard-Hill was waging a write-in campaign.
Erskine Oglesby, current City Council member, had 332, behind Chris Long's 491.
Other finishers were:
Monty Bell 157
Robert C. Wilson 136
Andrew McLaren 61
D'Angelo Davis 60
Christopher Dahl 53
George Ryan Love 18
Lon Cartwright 10
There were 38 write-in votes.
If she wins, Ms. White will be the first female mayor of Chattanooga.
The Kelly campaign said:
"Tim Kelly announced the launch of his runoff campaign to become Chattanooga’s 63rd mayor on Tuesday after securing more votes than any other candidate in Chattanooga’s mayoral election. While none of the 15 candidates in the crowded field garnered the majority needed to be declared Chattanooga’s next mayor, Tim Kelly’s independent campaign brought together voters from both sides of the aisle that share his vision for One Chattanooga."
"Mr. Kelly will continue to focus on Chattanooga’s neighborhoods, ensuring a great education no matter your zip code, and bringing good-paying jobs to the city. Tim Kelly is the only candidate with a 100-day action plan to hit the ground running on day one, and published more than a dozen key policies in partnership with community groups across the city."
Mr. Kelly said, “One of the pleasures of running for public office is getting to know a lot of interesting people along the way, particularly people who share my passion for this city. While we may have disagreed on an issue or two here or there, we shared a common passion for Chattanooga that made this race feel constructive rather than divisive, and for that I hold a tremendous amount of respect for each of them. I look forward to working with the other candidates to move Chattanooga forward in the weeks, months, and years ahead.
“This campaign was built on the premise that Chattanooga can come together as one to take on our biggest challenges. It was a big bet that we could overcome partisanship and divisiveness in service of a different kind of politics. Tonight’s results show us that it is absolutely possible. In the final weeks of this campaign, we are going to be laser-focused on talking to Chattanoogans about our vision and plan to lead on day one. At the same time, our team will be preparing to govern, and we will begin creating a budget that reflects the values of One Chattanooga.”
“We are so excited to welcome volunteers and supporters of other candidates to join us on the campaign trail over the next 42 days,” said Rachel Hanson, campaign manager for the Kelly for Mayor campaign. “Together, we will reach out to thousands of our neighbors and let them know they’ve got one more ballot to cast to realize our vision of One Chattanooga.”