Most observers are thinking the only suspense in the Knoxville mayoral primary is whether Madeline Rogero can get above 50 percent and win without a runoff—and if there is a runoff, will the opponent be Ivan Harmon or Mark Padgett?
Rogero needs to win the primary and avoid a general election fight, on the off chance that the non-Rogero voters in the primary might combine for one opponent. Old-timers remember when Kyle Testerman led the primary handily, but didn’t get 50 percent, and challenger Randy Tyree came back to win in the general.
The greatest threat to Rogero’s winning at this point is… Joe Hultquist. Hultquist is from Rogero’s South Knoxville area and has served with her in city government, and his voters might have been Rogero voters. If Rogero falls 3 to 5 percent short of getting to 50 percent, the Hultquist voters are likely the reason.