local campaigns

Nashville Council approves May referendum on $5.4B (or $8.9B) transit referendum

The Metropolitan Nashville Council has voted 34-2 to give final approval to adding Mayor Megan Barry’s transit referendum to the local primary election ballot on May 1, reports The Tennessean.

But bucking the administration, the council tweaked the referendum language to list both the transit proposal’s present-day cost of $5.4 billion as well as the estimated amount of long-term revenue needed for the project, $8.95 billion. The mayor’s office had lobbied for only the lower amount to go on the ballot. 

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Lenoir holds money lead in Shelby County mayor race

David Lenoir, a candidate for the Republican nomination for Shelby County mayor, raised $232,740 over the past six months to keep his financial lead in what will likely be a costly political slugfest, reports The Commercial Appeal.

Lenoir, who currently serves as the county trustee, had $345,438 tucked away in his campaign treasury as of Jan. 15, according to his campaign finance disclosure. Behind him, Republican Juvenile Court Clerk Joy Touliatos raised $125,558 and loaned herself another $115,000 as she tried to close the gap ahead of the May 1 primary election.

Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland, the third candidate hoping to win the Republican primary, raised $32,165 and spent $24,900, leaving him with $16,319.

On the Democratic side of the race, Sen. Lee Harris reported a balance of $92,259 after raising $108,486 and spending $16,227, blowing past primary opponent Sidney Chism, who raised $10,550 and spent $2,442 to end the period at $8,107.

Bank of Bartlett President Harold Byrd, whose disclosure shows only $750 in contributions, confirmed Thursday that he will not enter the Democratic primary after flirting with the idea for months.

Former state Rep. Joshua Evans running for Robertson County mayor

Former state Rep. Josh Evans is running for Robertson County mayor. (Photo credit: Evans campaign)

Former state Rep. Josh Evans is running for Robertson County mayor. (Photo credit: Evans campaign)

Press release from Joshua Evans campaign

SPRINGFIELD – Recognizing a strong future for Robertson County, Joshua Evans launched his bid for Robertson County Mayor in the August election.

With six years of experience, serving the residents of Robertson County in the Tennessee General Assembly, Evans brings an energetic and experienced perspective to Robertson County government.

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Rep. Kevin Brooks won’t seek reelection; running for Cleveland mayor instead

Longtime Cleveland, Tenn., Mayor Tom Rowland announced Thursday that he will not seek reelection to another term and endorsed state Rep. Kevin Brooks to succeed him, reports the Cleveland Daily Banner. Brooks announced he will not seek reelection to his House District 24 seat and will run for mayor.

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TN county Democratic chair resigns after domestic violence dispute

Maury County Democratic Party Chairman Seth James Campbell resigned from the office Tuesday, reports the Columbia Daily Herald. Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini had called for him to do so after reports that he slightly injured his girlfriend in a confrontation, though the woman declined to prosecute and asked that a a domestic violence charge be dismissed. It was.

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Rogero credited with paving the way to majority rule by women in Knoxville government

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero won’t say so out loud, but her election in 2011 and the efforts of a group called Women’s March Knoxville, helped pave the way for a transformation of city government in last week’s Knoxville elections, according to the News Sentinel.

For the first time in city history, four women will sit on the council. With Rogero included, the city’s representation will be five men, five women.

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Domestic assault charge against Maury County Democratic party chair dropped

Charges of domestic assault were dropped against Maury County’s Democratic Party chairman last week despite a police report that described his girlfriend as having a laceration above her right eyebrow after a confrontation with him, reports the Columbia Daily Herald.

Seth James Campbell, 28, was arrested Oct. 5, the morning after the alleged incident, a Columbia Police report said. After stepping aside briefly as chairman, Campbell was reinstated by the Democratic Party’s steering committee and will continue in his role.

“Everything totally was resolved; the DA dropped all charges,” Campbell told The Daily Herald on Saturday. “The party held an emergency executive committee meeting on Oct. 10 and voted to stay the course, pending a full investigation. With the charges being dropped, they have asked me to continue as chair of the party.”

Campbell challenged state Rep. Sheila Butt, R-Columbia, for her seat in the 2016 election as an independent. The Mt. Pleasant High School special education teacher and assistant football coach was named party chairman in March.

The girlfriend told police she did not want to press charges and sent the newspaper an email saying, “The officers may have had the best of intentions, but Seth should never have been arrested.”

Rep. Sherry Jones seeks election as Davidson County Court Clerk

State Rep. Sherry Jones, a Nashville Democrat who has served for more than two decades, has announce she’s running for election as Davidson County Juvenile Court Clerk next year, reports The Tennessean.

Jones, first elected to Tennessee House District 59 in 1994, recently filed paperwork with the Davidson County Election Commission allowing her to start raising money for the open countywide seat to replace Juvenile Court Clerk David Smith, who is retiring.

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Senate Democratic Leader running for Shelby County mayor

State Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris is running for Shelby County mayor and will not seek re-election to the Senate District 29 seat, reports the Memphis Daily News.

“On the campaign trail, I plan to force a real conversation about creating more meaningful opportunities for our students and reducing poverty,” Harris said Wednesday, Oct. 4, in a written statement announcing his candidacy. “It’ll be one of the first times that this has happened in this community.”

Harris, who is also a former Memphis City Council member, was elected to the state Senate in 2014 from the council seat.

He joins former Shelby County Commissioner Sidney Chism in the May (Democratic) primary…  And in the process has started a scramble for his state Senate seat which is on the ballot in the August state and federal primaries.

The Republican primary for mayor, so far, is a contest among Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir, Shelby County Juvenile Court Clerk Joy Touliatos and Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland.

Contenders in the 2018 county elections cannot begin pulling qualifying petitions for the ballot until Nov. 17.

“I’m not in this for layups,” Harris told The Daily News. “I’m in this for real serious challenges.”

Council breaks tie vote in former Rep. Tindell’s favor

The Knoxville City Council voted Wednesday to break a tie in recent Council primary election results and declare former state Rep. Harry Tindell winner of a place on the general election ballot, reports the News Sentinel.

In the Aug. 29 city primary, Tindell, who served 22 years as a Democrat representing House District 13, and community activist Amelia Parker both got 488 votes in the Council District 4 contest.

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