Marvene Noel Wins District 8 City Council Runoff by 70 votes

Chattanooga District 8 City Councilwoman Marvene Noel (right) celebrates her win Thursday night with District 7 Councilwoman/Council Vice Chair Raquetta Dotley at the Big River Grille in downtown Chattanooga.
Chattanooga District 8 City Councilwoman-Elect Marvene Noel (center) celebrates with supporters Thursday night at the Big River Grille in downtown Chattanooga.

By Camm Ashford 

Marvene Noel won the City Council District 8 runoff election on Thursday over Marie Mott, receiving 55% of the votes and becoming the first woman councilmember elected in this district. She won 400 votes to 330, with 1 write in. There were 8,295 eligible voters.

“As councilwoman-elect for District 8, I am humbled and honored to continue to serve my community,” she said.

Councilwoman Noel said her priority “is to ensure all residents in District 8 have a voice regarding issues impacting this district. Serving as the interim city councilwoman for District 8 and the Neighborhood Association president for Historic Orchard Knob has allowed me to build strong connections with fellow city councilmembers, mayoral staff, other local officials and stakeholders to continue to build a safer, healthier, more accessible and energy efficient community.”

Noel serves as the current chair of the council’s Education and Innovation Committee. 

On March 8, Noel was appointed by her eight colleagues on the Chattanooga City Council to serve as an interim until the Aug. 4 general election. District 8 became vacant when Mayor Tim Kelly appointed Anthony Byrd as city court clerk on Feb. 1.

Mott beat Noel in the August general election in  a three-person race, but at 46.34%, did not get the required 50 percent-plus-1 votes needed to avoid a runoff. Malarie Marsh, who finished third, endorsed Mott. Mayor Kelly and several of her fellow councilmembers supported Noel.

Mott, an outspoken community activist and leader during the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 and a frequent speaker at city council meetings, came under fire after two controversial videos surfaced a few days before Thursday night’s election.

One showed comments made by Mott years ago about Jews and slavery. The other, a video released by the Chattanooga Police Department on Wednesday, showed Mott during a late night traffic stop last Sunday.

“Now is the time to work collaboratively toward long term solutions for chronic problems that plague our communities, such as crime, housing, and disinvestment,” Councilwoman-Elect Noel said. “It’s past time for District 8 to reclaim its rich heritage of culture, excellence, and community. It’s time for us to truly be the ‘Great District 8.’ Thank you, and let’s get to work!” 

District 8 stretches from East Chattanooga to South Chattanooga, including the Amnicola, Avondale, Bushtown, Courthouse and Eastside precincts.