Madeline Rogero came within a thread of gaining the required 50 percent vote to become Knoxville’s next mayor outright during the city’s primary election Sept. 27.
However, a funny thing happened when all but 29 provisional ballots were counted, Rogero came up 15 votes short of gaining a majority, thus avoiding a runoff.
It wasn’t meant to be as Rogero, a Democrat, and Republican Mark Padgett, the top two vote-getters, will face each other in a November runoff, thus extending their campaigns for six more weeks.
Rogero won 49.91 percent of the vote, while Padgett took 22.64 percent. Ivan Harmon took 22.32 percent, while Joe Hultquist and Bo Bennett took 4.23 percent and .90 percent, respectively.
The provisional votes were to be counted Sept. 29.
Rogero, 59, a former county commissioner and community development director under then-mayor Bill Haslam, still could win a majority once the provisional ballots are counted, but she told her supporters during her election party that she expects to be campaigning for six more weeks.
“We are ready for it,” Rogero said. “I want to congratulate Mark for making the runoff, and I want to thank you, Knoxville, for having an outstanding showing.”
Padgett, 33, a local businessman, said their goal was achieved, regardless of the result.
“We knew we came from nowhere, and to come to where we have tonight, we always said all we want to do is force that runoff and come in second place, then it starts a whole new campaign,” Padgett said. When you’re running head-to-head, with someone, it’s a whole different race. We’re really excited about these next six weeks.”