mayors

Andy Berke abandons idea of running for Senate; backs Bredesen instead

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, who had been considering a run  for the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate, says he will instead back former Gov. Phil Bredesen, reports the Times Free Press.

 “A strong record raising funding and standards for education, a tremendous environmental steward, a Mayor who brought prosperity to Nashville, a brilliant Governor on fiscal issues — I support @PhilBredesen for #USSenate,” Berke wrote in a tweet (Thursday).

Bredesen, who served two terms as governor from 2003 to 2011, formally announced earlier … in a 2-minute video that he is seeking the seat being vacated by incumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. Corker announced Sept. 26 he won’t seek a third term.

Nashville attorney James Mackler, who formally announced months ago his candidacy, is showing no signs of dropping his bid for Bredesen.

FBI agents asking questions about Knox County Mayor Burchett

FBI agents have interviewed at least four people, asking questions about Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, who is running for the 2nd Congressional District seat, according to the News Sentinel. The people interviewed said FBI agents asked about issues ranging from possible tax evasion to potential bribery and a county contract.

When reached Thursday, Burchett said, “No truth to any of it.”

The USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee obtained a copy of a document drafted by an attorney that states Burchett’s ex-wife, Allison, was a confidential informant for the FBI, with the code name “Carbon,” since 2012.

Allison Burchett said she began working with the FBI in 2012 but declined further comment.

“I’m sorry I cannot comment on an ongoing FBI investigation,” she said.

The three other sources requested anonymity for fear of reprisals.

Federal investigators conducted several interviews this year, including as recently as October, sources said. The interviews were conducted in various locations, including the FBI’s Knoxville headquarters.

One source said an IRS agent also has been involved in the inquiry.

… “I’m not sure what they’re charging, but it’s coming pretty soon,” one source said. “This is very, very serious. It’ll blow Knoxville wide open.”

UPDATE: Burchett responded “defiantly” to the article a day later, reported the News Sentinel and other Gannet newspapers. Excerpted quote:

“I’ve never been contacted by the FBI concerning any of this stuff. I really don’t think there’s any such inquiry… To have a major news story based upon my convicted ex-wife and unnamed sources and for this to be treated as legitimate news, to me is beyond belief,”

Burchett offered check (declined) and apology (accepted) after Saudi teen’s attack

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, a candidate for the 2nd Congressional seat being vacated by Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan, was one of several motorists who came under attack from a Saudi Arabian citizen who recently enrolled at the University of Tennessee to study nursing, reports the News Sentinel. The youth’s lawyer says he suffered “an unexpected mental breakdown” in the episode, which warrants say involved pounding on cars and grabbing at the drivers as they passed him on a street near the UT Knoxville campus.

“Did they screen this guy at all for mental health issues?” Burchett said Friday of 19-year-old Nofl Hassan Alatyah. “I’m not getting any answers, and I’m very frustrated.”

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Nashville mayor joins new national group pushing city infrastructure investments

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, seen by some as a potential Democratic presidential candidate in 2020, is starting a nonprofit group with other mayors, union leaders and business executives to fund what they call innovation investments around the country, reports Politico. Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, who is pushing a $5.2 billion infrastructure investment including a 26-mile light rail system, is one of the members of an initial advisory group.

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Teleconference call begins Berke Senate campaign?

Democrat Andy Berke touted his accomplishments as Chattanooga mayor as he promoted a potential run for the U.S. Senate to about 60 people in a teleconference call Sunday, reports the Times Free Press.

“I wouldn’t be thinking about it unless I thought this was a race that could be won,” Berke said. “It’s going to take effort. No one would say I would be the favorite in the race.”

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Democrats Berke, Yarbro eye run for U.S. Senate

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke and state Sen. Jeff Yarbro of Nashville said separately on Wednesday that they are considering becoming candidates for the Democratic nomination to succeed Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, now that he’s decided against seeking reelection.

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Hamilton County mayor backs Boyd for governor

News release from Randy Boyd campaign

Chattanooga, Tenn. – Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger announced his full support and endorsement for Randy Boyd in his Republican campaign for governor at a news conference today in Chattanooga.  Continue reading

Boyd gets more endorsements from mayors

News release from Randy Boyd campaign

Crossville, Tenn. – After completing his historic run across East Tennessee and his climb up the Cumberland Plateau, Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd has not only racked up more than 216 miles of his historic 537.3 mile run across the state, but also the political endorsement of dozens of East Tennessee mayors.  Continue reading

Autopsy finds several drugs involved in death of Nashville mayor’s son

A Colorado autopsy report released Wednesday says Max Barry, son of Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, died from a combination of several drugs, including opioids, reports The Tennessean.

Drugs found in Max Barry following his death were Xanax, marijuana and two opioids — liquid methodone and hydromorphone. The autopsy also showed that he had recently used cocaine.

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Burchett officially kicks off campaign for Congress

Hundreds of people came out Saturday to hear Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett deliver a speech declaring himself a candidate for the 2nd Congressional District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr., reports the News Sentinel.

“The House was created before the Senate. It was created to represent the people…the farmers, the laborers and the small business owners, people we call our blue collar workers,” he said. “People, who in 2017, go to work every day with their names on their shirts.

“There’s a reason House seats are on the ballot every dad-gum two years, it’s because these seats belong to the people, not to any one candidate or elected official,” he continued.

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