Our First Million-Dollar Mayor

UPDATE: Please see correction here.

Like any increasingly rare commodity, Knoxville voters are getting expensive.

For the first time, the combined spending in this year’s mayor’s race topped $1 million. As of final filings this week, Mayor-Elect Madeline Rogero reported spending $486,375.19 on her successful campaign. Her opponent, Mark Padgett, reported spending $524,775.10, for a total between the two of $1,011,150.29. With just 21,268 voters turning out on Nov. 8, out of more than 99,000 registered, that means an average cost of $47.54 per vote. Rogero got better bang for her buck: Her 12,441 voters cost her $39 apiece. Padgett’s 8,827 ballots cost him $59 each.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just buy everyone a pizza and a six-pack?

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