The Daily Pulse:

Madeline Rogero's Victory Speech

(Madeline Rogero's remarks to her supporters Tuesday night at the Foundry, shortly after Mark Padgett had conceded the Knoxville mayor's race to her.)

Wow. Thank you so, so much. This is unbelievable. Look at this crowd. I want to shake everybody's hand before you leave, okay? Give you a hug. So don't go until we do that.

Well, a few minutes ago, I received a call from Mark Padgett. He was very gracious in congratulating me on winning tonight's election, and I congratulated him on running a very long and hard race. And I know we all wish him the best in life going forward, with his wonderful family. And I hope that he will stay involved in the community, continue to make positive contributions in the years to come, and I told him that I look forward to working with him to make Knoxville better.

And to the people of Knoxville, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am truly, truly humbled and gratified by your confidence. It was just over a mere 350 days ago that we started this campaign. That evening, and many of you were here, I said, for those who are willing to work hard with me to build, collaborate, and create solutions for a vibrant, inclusive, sustainable Knoxville, then I am your candidate. I hope that I have lived up to that during these long 11 months. And I promise you that I will work just as hard to live up to it in the next four years. To those of you who supported Mark or the other candidates, and to those who did not vote, I intend to be a mayor for all of Knoxville--not just for the people who voted for me. Your voices, all voices, will be heard in my office and my administration.

And together we will work to achieve all the things that we've campaigned on: a vibrant, growing local economy with profitable businesses and opportunities for good jobs for everyone; a city with great neighborhoods, a thriving downtown, and a high quality of life; a city that celebrates our arts and culture, preserves our historic and natural resources, and provides parks and greenways and bike lanes and access to blueways, so we can enjoy this beautiful place in which we live. 

And we will work for a greener Knoxville that continues to grow while preserving our environment. Not only is it the right thing to do in the fiscally responsible way, it's also the right thing to do for this planet, and that's what we'll do.

We will work on a city with meaningful public participation and transparency, and a city with reliable, efficient city services and solid stewardship of taxpayer dollars. A great city that will become even greater.

And tonight we come together, as we did throughout this campaign, representing a broad and deep cross-section of Knoxville residents. We ran a campaign of inclusiveness, from white collar to blue collar, from labor to management, from every neighborhood north, south, east, west, and downtown. We welcome people of all races and colors, gay and straight, people of all abilities, people from the youngest to the oldest. We have Miss Kelly here who's 103 years old. I met Miss Kelly 21 years ago when I ran for County Commission, that's when we first started spending a lot of time together at political events. And you haven't aged a bit. 

From the youngest to the oldest, from the richest to the poorest, because all of us are Knoxville. And Knoxville will only become greater if all of us are involved. 

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