Chattanooga Mayoral candidates Tim Kelly and Kim White will meet for an in-person runoff debate


    CHATTANOOGA, TN— Chattanooga Mayoral candidates Tim Kelly and Kim White will meet for an in-person runoff debate to be filmed at WTCI studios and to be aired for public viewing on Friday, March 26 at 8:00 p.m. EST, a non-profit coalition announced today.

    Partnering organizations include the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, Chattanooga 2.0, the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, the League of Women Voters of Chattanooga, the United Way of Greater Chattanooga, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and Venture Forward. WTCI and WUTC are presenting media partners.

    The runoff debate will be moderated by Ray Bassett, host of Scenic Roots on WUTC 88.1 FM. After brief introductory statements are made by each candidate, the debate will follow a standard format in which candidates will have up to two minutes to respond to questions, followed by up to one minute of response from the opposing candidate.

    “Continuing this collaboration for the runoff debate will allow our members to deepen their understanding of these two candidates, especially as it relates to advocacy for the business sector,” said Christy Gillenwater, President and CEO of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber remains committed to advocating for growth in our community,which is a guiding force for us as we participate in this effort.”

    Viewers and listeners should expect candid discussions about our community’s challenges and opportunities and the varying visions and ideas each candidate brings. The focus will remain on substantive issues and solutions.

    “Chattanooga is met with a unique and compelling opportunity not seen in this city since 2005, in which two dedicated community leaders will be debating one-on-one ahead of a runoff,” said Bob Culkeen, President & CEO of WTCI – PBS. “As with the Forums we broadcast earlier this month, broadcasting this debate and creating partnerships with agencies of service to provide a community platform of information is important work.”

    Candidates will once again take questions submitted by a range of supporting partners and community leaders, including the Chattanooga Interagency Council on Homelessness, Chattanooga 2.0, ArtsBuild, the League of Women Voters, and others.

    “We look forward to deepening our shared understanding of these two candidates’ perspectives on key issues for our city. We’re proud to be part of this partnership,” said Lesley Scearce, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Chattanooga. “We know solving community challenges requires creative leadership from nonprofits, business, neighborhoods and government.” Both candidates were duly qualified by the Hamilton County Election Commission before being invited to the debate. Neither candidate received more than fifty percent of the vote in the mayoral election on March 2, 2021, leading to a runoff election scheduled for April 13, 2021. After broadcast, the forums will be posted online. For more information on the Mayoral Candidate Forums, visit WTCI on Facebook at