The County Commission is deadlocked on the choice for county mayor with Jim Coppinger and Mike Carter getting four votes each.
After two identical votes, it was decided to recess to Jan. 5 for a third vote.
Voting for County Commissioner Coppinger were Jim Fields, Joe Graham, Larry Henry and Chairman Fred Skillern.
Voting for Mr. Carter, an attorney and former General Sessions Court judge who is special assistant to County Mayor Claude Ramsey, were Greg Beck, Warren Mackey, Tim Boyd and Chester Bankston.
After the first vote, Chairman Skillern said there would be a 10-minute recess, then a revote. It had the same result.
It was then decided to postpone the third vote for over a week.
Mr. Ramsey announced on Dec. 9 that he was taking a position in the administration of new Governor Bill Haslam as chief of staff to the governor and deputy governor.
His resignation is effective Jan. 11.
The appointee will serve until the next county general election in August 2012.
There were seven other applicants including Register of Deeds Pam Hurst.
Mr. Coppinger, a Hixson resident who represents District 3, is the former Chattanooga fire chief.
County Attorney Rheubin Taylor said under the law the County Commission "must" make an appointment within 120 days.
If an appointment is not made by Jan. 11, the chairman of the County Commission would serve as county mayor. Fred Skillern is the current chairman.