Incumbents carry Lenoir City election

Incumbent Glenn McNish, left, speaks with challenger Ron Jordan on Nov. 3 before results begin coming in for the Lenoir City Board of Education race.

Lenoir City elections were dominated Nov. 3 by incumbents.

Eddie Simpson and Jennifer Wampler, seeking reelection on Lenoir City Council, won two of three available seats with 1,810 and 2,097 votes, respectively. Mike Henline, a former councilman and school board member, earned the third seat with 1,403 votes.

David Cole, Todd Kennedy and Steve Shoemaker fell short with 941, 1,175 and 1,182 votes, respectively.

According to the Loudon County Election Commission, 29,459 Loudon County registered voters cast ballots in the General Election.

Wampler, who was appointed to council four years ago to take her late husband’s seat, said she’s proud to continue Harry’s legacy.

“Because of Harry is the reason I got involved with the city, but, once you become involved like that, you take such pride in all the accomplishments,” she said. “I feel responsible for not just the city, but for the well-being of the city. It’s been just such a weird time through COVID. It’s been so strange. But I’m elated. I’m very proud of everything we’ve accomplished and looking forward to everything we’re going to accomplish.”

Simpson, a councilman since 1999, described himself as “very fortunate” the community supported him for another term.

“I’ve always had a lot of good friends and family, and I’m elated that I was able to get another seat,” Simpson said. “Our city is moving in a good direction. I’m glad to be a part of that in the past and glad to be a part of that in the future.”

Due to coronavirus concerns, he scaled back some campaign efforts.

“I was hesitant to knock on doors,” he said. “I sent out fliers and left mailbox fliers and talked to everybody that I possibly could. If I caught them outside, I would talk to them, but, as far as knocking on the doors, I just thought it was better not to do that.”

Henline, having served a previous term, said he will work well with council and Lenoir City Mayor Tony Aikens, who was unopposed. He looks forward to “continuing to serve the people” despite the unknown challenges posed by COVID-19.

“Who knows about COVID. We just have to do the best we can with that,” Henline said. “There’ll be challenges with growth, and the city’s growing so fast. New homes are being built, so new roads will have to be built. There’s a lot to do in the next four years.”

Lenoir City Board of Education’s three seats were filled by incumbents Mitch Ledbetter, Rick Chadwick and Glenn McNish over newcomer Ron Jordan. Total votes for Ledbetter, Chadwick, McNish and Jordan were 2,173, 2,016, 1,979 and 1,845, respectively.

McNish will serve a fourth term on the school board.

“It was a very close race,” he said. “Of course, we had three incumbents in the race and then we had a new challenger this time running for public office for the first time, Ron Jordan, and he certainly did an outstanding job because he made it a real close race for all three of us.”

With voters favoring incumbents, McNish took that as a sign the community is pleased with where Lenoir City Schools is headed. He credited administrators and teachers for the district’s success.

“The way I get it is the children are our future and our schools are the doors that open up to that future,” he said. “If we can prepare our kids to walk through those doors into the future and be successful then I think we’ve done our job and our teachers and administrators have done their job.”

McNish thanked those who voted for him.

“I think it’s a vote of confidence and I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart,” he said. “I will do the very best I can to continue to help our students, their kids, everybody’s future.”

Races for mayor and city aldermen were unopposed in Greenback and Philadelphia.

In the presidential election, Republican Donald Trump was largely favored in the county with 21,676 votes to Democrat Joe Biden’s 6,929.

In state races, Republican Bill Hagerty collected 21,854 votes to Democrat Marquita Bradshaw’s 6,046 for U.S. Senate. Incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., received 22,397 votes to Democrat Renee Hoyos’ 5,877 for U.S. House of Representatives District 2. State Reps. Lowell Russell, R-Vonore, and Kent Calfee, R-Kingston, ran unopposed.

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