COCKE COUNTY—On Tuesday, Cocke County Mayor Crystal Ottinger announced that she will not seek a third term in 2022.
The mayor released a statement saying she is humbled by the support she has received during her time in office.
“After months of prayerful consideration, I have decided not to seek re-election as your Cocke County Mayor,” Ottinger said.
“I am humbled at all the support you have had in me and trust you have placed in me. The last 7 years have been the most rewarding, as well as the most challenging, of my life and I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve. If you know me, you know I give my all to this position and I will continue to do so until my last day in this office.”
Ottinger decided to make this decision earlier than usual, in hopes that other worthy individuals will announce their candidacy.
“It is my hope that by announcing this a year prior to the primary election that someone worthy of your support and vote will announce their candidacy for county mayor. Again, I thank you for your support, trust and confidence.”
Ottinger started her political ambitions in late 2013 by visiting with citizens at local festivals. She went on to win the Republican Primary in May of 2014, becoming Mayor-Elect of Cocke County.
She defeated incumbent Mayor Vaughn Moore and Jeff “Fud” Ball, both of whom did write-in campaigns, in the General Election that year.
Ottinger faced a tougher challenge as she sought re-election in 2018.
She emerged from a field of five challengers in the primary, besting Roger Stokely by just 64 votes. Ottinger locked up a second term in office that August by defeating William Smallwood and Marcus Mooneyham by sizeable margins.
During her time in office she has completed the Certified Public Manager and Local Government Leadership programs through the UT Institute for Public Service.