Laurin Wheaton earned the most votes in the Cookeville City Council election, making her the prime candidate for the mayorship.
Wheaton said that she was excited about the opportunity to take on the challenge. She said that Cookeville is in a great spot, and it’s not only because of her previous work on the council.
“That is because of what previous councils have done and have worked together to do,” Wheaton said. “But I do think there are probably going to be some challenges, which I expect, it’s what I signed up for. But I know how well the city works together.”
Wheaton said she believes working together with council members, department heads, and the community will bring the city success.
Eric Walker is the other incumbent returning to the City Council. He said he believes it’s his honesty and good character during his time on council that earned him the re-election.
“Making sure you look into certain things that a lot of people worry about,” Walker said. “So if you just kind of listen to the people, and look into things, and making sure that you’re serving them, I think that it tells.”
Cookeville City Council will seat three new members for the coming term.
Luke Eldridge received the second highest vote total. Eldridge came in with just over 12 percent of the votes. Among the issues facing the city, Eldridge said he hopes to increase pay and increase the quantity of emergency personnel.
“Because we’ve still got the same amount of individuals working number-wise that we did in the 80s from the police department,” Eldridge said. “So seeing if we can beef up our system a little bit. So, that’s what we’re hoping for.”
Eldridge said while city employees have just recently gotten a raise, he hopes to continue that trend.
Candidate Ali Bagci won 10.9 percent of the votes. He said he believes he’s ready to tackle the learning curve.
Candidate Chad Gilbert won almost 10.6 percent of the votes. He said one issue he plans to tackle is Cookeville’s growth, using his experience on the Planning Commission and his business experience to facilitate that.
“The growth that we’re experiencing is inevitably either firsthand or immediately responsible for the issues that we have to deal with,” Gilbert said. “And I think that will be meeting one.”
Mark Miller finished with 9.31 percent of the vote, the incumbent finished sixth.
Other candidates include Jordan Iwanyszyn who finished with 7.6 percent, Dee Prince with 7.1 percent, Brian Jones with 5.3 percent, Lynda Marie Loftis-Webb with 4.1 percent, and Jeremy Michael Bowman with 3.0 percent.