By David Carroll

dcarroll@wrcbtv.com

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) Hamilton County Commissioners were unable to reach agreement on a new County Mayor.  A postponement was made after commissioners failed to get a majority vote for either of the two nominated candidates, former Sessions Court Judge Mike Carter and District 3 Commissioner Jim Coppinger.

The first two votes were split in a 4 to 4 tie between Carter and Coppinger.  Commissioners Chester Bankston, Greg Beck, Tim Boyd and Warren Mackey voted for Carter.  Commissioners Jim Fields, Joe Graham, Larry Henry and Fred Skillern voted for Coppinger, who was unable to participate in the vote.

The selection of a new County Mayor was made necessary earlier in December when Mayor Claude Ramsey announced his plans to join the administration of Governor-Elect Bill Haslam as Chief of Staff.

Both Carter and Coppinger say they like and admire each other, and plan to maintain a positive tone as they lobby commissioners for their votes.  Chairman Fred Skillern says although he wishes the issue could have been decided, he said one good thing came out of it.  "All those people who thought it was an done deal, cut and dried, they can't say that now."

The Commission will vote again on Wednesday January 5th.  Mayor Ramsey's resignation is official on January 11.  If neither Carter nor Coppinger can get five votes on January 5, Skillern would become interim County Mayor until a decision is made.