Tea Party challenger Marilyn Parker defeated incumbent Metro Councilman Jon Ackerson in a tight Republican primary in the 18th Council District.
The contest caught observers’ attention after most GOP council members endorsed Parker over Ackerson, claiming the incumbent sided with Democrats in key debates. Ackerson led most of the night Tuesday, but final counts showed Parker beating the incumbent by 37 votes.
Parker will face Democrat Teague Ridge in the fall campaign, but the district is heavily Republican, making Parker the early favorite in the general election.
Parker says she wants to see major cuts to council discretionary spending and tighter ethics rules.
“One of the first things that I would like to address is the slush funds since we have a $20 million budget shortfall right now. I would like to address the slush funds, the discretionary spending that each council member has at their disposal,” she says.
Parker is favored to win the heavily Republican registered district, but critics have already pointed out her controversial such as questioning President Obama’s birth certificate. But Ackerson says he will support Parker and help her with the transition if she wins in the general election, but will retire after that.
“I would say I’m done. I’ve done my time, it’s time to get my gold watch and to check out and to move on to other things,” says Ackerson. “I do not see myself running for office in the future. I’ve run for a number of years and I think it’s time to let new people like Marilyn Parker take over,”
The race marks only the second time an elected council incumbent has been defeated. In 2010, Democrat David Yates defeated Republican Doug Hawkins in the 25th District race.