Republican Art Swann is the new District 8 State Representative after beating Democrat Marvin Pratt by a vote of 9,989 to 2,322 in Blount County.
Swann said he was thankful for the opportunity to return to the State House where he served as District 20 representative from 1985 to 1989, and he praised outgoing State Rep. Joe McCord who is leaving the House after 12 years.
“I’ve got big shoes to fill,” said Swann. “Joe McCord did an outstanding job, and people have the same expectation of me. I am looking forward to serving the people again,” Swann said.
As for his second trip to the state House of Representatives, Swann said, “It has been a while and it is something you don’t necessarily get rusty on, but it is something you have to get back into the process of again and see what the changes have been over the last 20 years but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Swann praised his campaign team, especially coordinator Kathy Wilbanks. “She did an outstanding job. We had lot of team members who also jumped in and coordinated different parts of what needed to happen,” he said. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”
Swann said dealing with the budget crisis and an expected $1.5 billion shortfall will be his first responsibility. “We’ll have to figure out how to deal with it. We’re not going to have any extra money to spend until the economy turns around, so we’re going to be busy trying to patch whatever we’ve got in state government instead of growing it,” he said. “The message across the state is people want a smaller government, and we’ve got to do what we can do to provide services in a more efficient way.”
Susan Mills, Blount County Republican Party chair, was elated with the Swann win. “It’s a great night. Art’s win was huge,” she said.
Mills said the Republican state leaders elected from Blount County are always strong people of integrity. “They always have a huge impact on the State House and Senate, and we’re very fortunate to have the representatives we have in Blount County.”
• In other races, Republican Bill Haslam beat Democrat Mike McWherter for governor by a vote count of 23,775 to 5,448 in Blount County. Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., beat his closest competitor, Democrat Dave Hancock, by votes of 24,402 to 3,697.
• Alcoa residents voted chose three candidates out of five. Incumbents Clint Abbott, Jr., got 1,094 votes; Vaughn D. Belcher received 1,013 votes and Mayor Don Mull garnered 979 votes. The three defeated Steve Marsh, 959 votes, and Chuck Davis, 690 votes.
• In the City of Louisville mayor’s race, Tom Bickers beat Steve Dixon by a vote of 636 to 383 votes. In the race for two seats on the Louisville Board of Aldermen, Angie J. Holley and Bob Gormley won with 662 votes and 601 votes respectively. Scott Anderson garnered 339 votes and Donielle Stone had 403 votes.
• In the City of Maryville, city council incumbents Tommy F. Hunt, Fred H. Metz and vice mayor Andy White were re-elected.
• In the Alcoa City School Board race, Harry B. McClurg and Julie Bramblett Rochelle won the two seats up for election.
• In the Maryville City School Board election to fill three seats, chair Christi H. Sayles got 4,932 votes, Dennis R. (Denny) Garner took 4,867 votes and Bethany Hodson Pope got 4,846 votes.