Mark Padgett and his supporters celebrated the results of the primary election at the Crown and Goose last week. As of Tuesday, Sept. 27, Madeline Rogero held 49.91 percent of the votes, followed by Padgett with 22.64 percent and Ivan Harmon with 22.32 percent.
The race was evidently tight as supporters waited until almost 10 p.m. to hear the results.
“We usually hear the results much quicker than tonight. I’m very disappointed it’s taking so long, but no news is good news,” Padgett supporter Anne Dingus said.
Padgett arrived with his wife and brother at 9:45 p.m., shortly before the results were announced. Event goers crowded around the entrance of the Crown and Goose as Padgett shook hands and hugged many of his supporters.
Padgett cheered as news of a probable runoff was announced.
“I’m just really excited,” Padgett said. “We got what we wanted, which is a forced runoff. Now it’s a whole new race. You can feel the energy in the room.”
Padgett’s brother, Matt Padgett, who has been active in the campaign, was also pleased with the results.
“First and foremost, we’re extremely proud of Mark,” Matt Padgett said. “He has worked so hard. He has a great vision for the city he loves and he’s the right man for the job. Regardless, we are so happy for him and love him dearly.”
Justin Biggs, a campaign volunteer, is confident in Padgett’s drive to keep campaigning and win the race.
“He has worked harder than anyone I know,” Biggs said. “He’s worn out five pairs of shoes from walking door-to-door campaigning, and now in the next six weeks we’re going to make it 10 pairs.”
Biggs also commented on what he feels Padgett can do for Knoxville if he wins.
“We had the Haslam administration really do some great things, and now we need Mark to keep Knoxville moving forward,” Biggs said. “He’s a good businessman. He’s really set on creating jobs. In my opinion, he’s the only candidate for the job.”
Election results became official after 29 provisional ballots were counted on Thursday at 2 p.m. Provisional ballots occur when a voter’s eligibility is in question. These ballots are not always counted, but in a race as close as the primary, the count is necessary.