Local campaigns

Complaint: Beavers illegally diverted gubernatorial campaign funds to her mayoral campaign

Former state Sen.  Mae Beavers used $122,123 in leftover money from her abandoned gubernatorial campaign to fund a new political action committee and the PAC then donated $7,800 to her new campaign for Wilson County mayor, according to a disclosure report filed Monday by Patriot PAC. The Tennessean reports that Beavers refunded the contribution on Wednesday, but a a complaint has been filed contending the move amounted to an “illegal conduit” that violated state campaign finance laws.

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Supreme Court declares Nashville mayor’s election to be held in May, not August

Press release from Administrative Office of the Courts

Nashville, Tenn.  The Tennessee Supreme Court held today that Metro Nashville must hold a special election to fill the Office of Mayor. The decision reversed a ruling of the Davidson County Chancery Court that upheld the action of the Davidson County Election Commission (“Commission”) in setting the election to coincide with the August 2, 2018 election. Under state law, the Commission now must set a special election to be held between May 21 and May 25, 2018.

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Rep. Harold Love Jr. running for Nashville mayor

Calling himself a “coalition builder,” Democratic state Rep. Harold Love Jr. has announced he will be running for Nashville mayor at the same time he’s running for reelection to the state House, reports The Tennessean. If he wins both races, Love says he’ll resign from the House District 58 seat.

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Andy Ogles nominated as GOP candidate for Maury County mayor

Andy Ogles, the former Americans for Prosperity director for Tennessee who briefly launched a campaign for the U.S. Senate last year, was nominated to become Maury County mayor at a county GOP convention Saturday, reports the Columbia Daily Herald. Three other candidates for the office are running as independents.

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Mae Beavers running for Wilson County mayor

Mae Beavers, who resigned from the state Senate last year to make a short-lived run for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, has obtained a qualifying petition to now run for Wilson County mayor, reports the Wilson Post.

She will face Incumbent Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto, who has already filed his qualifying petition. Another potential candidate, Bob Richie, has picked up a petition but has not filed, according to the county election commission office.

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Knox County mayor candidate arrested in California

Knox County mayoral candidate Rhonda “Mousie” Gallman is being held in a California jail on $100,000 bond after being arrested as arrested in Los Angeles on charges of preventing a witness from testifying in court, reports the News Sentinel.

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Bill Lee quits business coalition board that endorsed candidate in Nashville mayor’s race

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee resigned from the board of the Nashville Business Coalition Wednesday after the group publicly urged Democrat David Briley to seek election as Nashville mayor and called on other prospective candidates to stay out of the race, reports Tennessee Star. Briley, who had been vice mayor, took over duties as mayor following the resignation of former mayor Megan Barry this week.

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Rep. Jimmy Eldridge will run for Jackson mayor instead of reelection in House District 73

After nearly 16 years representing state House District 73, Republican state Rep. Jimmy Eldridge announced Friday he will not seek reelection and instead will seek election as mayor of Jackson in 2019, reports the Jackson Sun.

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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.