2 incumbents win in Pigeon Forge; Robinson out; Jay Ogle elected to City Commission

May. 15, 2013 @ 06:32 AM

The City Commission will have one fresh face starting at the end of the month.

Jay Ogle and incumbents Joyce Brackins and Kevin McClure defeated incumbent Randal Robinson, Jess Davis and Don Denney in the Pigeon Forge Municipal Election on Tuesday and will serve the next four years on the commission. The trio will join David Wear and Commissioner Howard Reagan on the five-member board.

Ogle was the top vote-getter with 713 votes, closely followed by McClure with 710 and Brackins with 639.

Robinson received 497 votes, while Denney for 287 and Davis 193.

Brackins, McClure, Ogle and Denney, along with their supporters, were among those gathered at the Civic Center to hear the results announced after the polls closed at 8 p.m. Robinson and Davis were absent.

Election commission chairman J.B. Matthews announced early-voting results, which indicated favorable leads for the eventual winners. When election-day results were announced, adding the numbers was not necessary. The room erupted with cheers and applause.

"I'm overjoyed at the trust that the voters have put in me. I really appreciate it and am happy for Pigeon Forge. I'm very, very grateful," Ogle, a Planning Commission member, said amid handshakes and hugs. "I think this is going to mean a very cooperative board that gets along and works together to do great things for Pigeon Forge."

"I'm certainly proud to go back in, and I'll continue serving our people just like I have done since 2001," Brackins said. "I'm not really a politician — don't want to be — I'm just here for our people."

McClure said that this campaign, his third, was the hardest he's had to work.

"I'm just ecstatic," he said. "The people of Pigeon Forge spoke today, and I'm relieved that it's over. It was a hard-fought campaign, a clean campaign. I wish Jay and Joyce luck, and I'm ready to move Pigeon Forge forward. We've got a lot of growing to do, but I'm looking forward to it."

Denney, the only defeated candidate present, was humble about the loss.

"As far as I'm concerned, it's one of the cleanest campaigns, the first campaign I've been involved in, and one of the greatest campaigns I've heard about," Denney said. "I think everybody put forth a good, hard effort. We had some good candidates, and I'm glad that the folks who won, won. I think we can get back to healing our community now and moving forward."

Robinson did not return messages left on his cell and home phones by deadline. Davis did not campaign although he was on the ballot.

Brackins, McClure and Ogle will serve 4-year terms and will take office at the May 28 commission meeting, according to city officials.

rhargett@themountainpress.com