Lifetime Hixson native Marty Haynes swept every precinct in County Commission District 3 on Thursday night.
Haynes, a Republican Hixson High School booster and Porter Warner industrial salesman, won with 82.31 percent of the special election vote over Democrat Mitzi Yates, a BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee claims representative.
"It's been a long road, but we've had a lot of help and a lot of support from the people in the district," said Haynes, 53, who will serve the remaining two years of now-Mayor Jim Coppinger's four-year term representing Hixson and Middle Valley.
Haynes will be sworn in once the elections are certified to a seat now occupied by Commissioner Mitch McClure.
Commissioners appointed McClure in January 2011 when Coppinger became mayor. Commissioners appointed Coppinger to replace Claude Ramsey, who left to become Tennessee's deputy governor.
"To be voted on and elected by the people is a humbling experience," Haynes said. "I never thought I'd feel this sort of humbled, this gratitude for all the people that have supported us."
Haynes challenged McClure in the March 6 Republican primary, winning 56.8 percent of votes. McClure won 42 percent.
Haynes isn't entirely new to politics. He ran unsuccessfully for the District 3 school board seat in 2010 and served as president of the Hamilton County Pachyderm Club.
Yates, a political novice, also grew up in the Hixson area.
"This is an absolutely golden opportunity for Marty to go in and stand for a new kind of leadership," she said Thursday. "He's got this wonderful opportunity, and I'm sure he'll take it."
Haynes will make $21,368 a year as a commissioner and will be sworn in after the election is certified.
Ansley Haman covers Hamilton County government. A native of Spring City, Tenn., she grew up reading the Chattanooga Times and Chattanooga Free Press, which sparked her passion for journalism. Ansley's happy to be home after a decade of adventures in more than 20 countries and 40 states. She gathered stories while living, working and studying in Swansea, Wales, Cape Town, South Africa, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn. Along the way, she interned for ...