Voters in Lenoir City collectively signaled that they were not
ready for a change in leadership in the two contested races Tuesday, as three councilmen, Harry
Wampler, Bobby Johnson Sr. and Eddie Simpson kept their seats on City Council against the lone
challenger, Rebecca Watkins. Incumbent Recorder/Treasurer Jim Wilburn III also won in his race
against Randall Brown.
In the City Council race, Wampler received the most votes with 1,548,
while Simpson garnered 1,492. Johnson was in third place with 1,398, edging Watkins by 42
"I think that says that people believe we're moving in the right direction and doing
good things for the city," Simpson said about the results.
Simpson said that as chairman of
the city transportation committee, he would like to work toward completing the various road projects
that are currently under way.
"I want to continue to get all the different projects that
we've started already. I want to see them through (to) fruition, and I think that's the most
important thing right now to be able to handle the traffic that we've accumulated over the years,"
Wampler said he thought the current Lenoir City Council made a good team since he's
served on the board.
"I think we'll have a good council, and we've worked together real good
the two years that I've been on it," Wampler said, noting that he had four areas in which he wanted
to focus when he began his new tenure, including moving city hall to the SunTrust building, adding
turn lanes along portions of Highway 321, renovating the War Memorial Building and driving commerce
He said he thought the three incumbents won because of their collective
commitment to cooperation. In the recorder/treasurer race, Wilburn beat out challenger Randall
Brown by picking up more than 53 percent of the vote.
"I feel like I worked real hard,"
Wilburn said about his campaign. "It was a lot of work. I had a lot of people helping. I really
appreciate those people that voted for me, that showed the confidence in me."
Wilburn said he
planned to continue running the office in the same manner that he has in this current
"I've got a lot of consistency in the smoothness and the operation," Wilburn
Mayor Tony Aikens ran unopposed in Lenoir City, while Rosemary Quillen was unopposed
for a seat on Loudon County Commission that was vacated earlier this year by Austin
Lenoir City Board of Education members Rick Chadwick, Roy Mitch Ledbetter Jr. and
Glenn McNish were also unopposed.
In the Philadelphia mayor's race, John Drinnon collected 51
percent of the vote to edge out Jimmy Russell. In a race for four city councilmen spots, Christopher
Miller and Jeff Marlow were the top two candidates. Three candidates, Lynne Marlow, Michael McGinnis
and Laura Standridge got 73 votes each.
According to Loudon County Administrator of Elections
Susan Harrison, the final results for the city council seats in Philadelphia would not be decided
for a couple days.
In Greenback, Delmar Davis, Dewayne Birchfield, Polly Evans and Becky
Andrews won the four city council seats that were up for grabs.