mayors

Trio mentioned as possible candidates to succeed Roe demur — at least for now

The Johnson City Press contacted state Reps. David Hawk and Matthew Hill, along with Washington County Mayor Dan Eldridge, after their names were mentioned in a Washington report as prospective candidates for the 1st Congressional District seat, should incumbent U.S. Rep. Phil Roe decide not to seek reelection. Perhaps predictably, the newspaper reports none of them said yes to a run at this point; but they didn’t give an absolute no, either.

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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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Nashville mayor’s office releases statement on travel amid affair

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry’s office has released a lengthy statement addressing media questions about travel with her police bodyguard with whom she was having an extramarital affair. Spokesman Sean Braisted said the mayor paid for her own hotels and meals on the occasions she spent extra days in cities she was traveling to, but that the city covered the costs for her bodyguard.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Multiple media outlets have requested documents and asked questions related to the travel schedule of Mayor Megan Barry and Sgt. Rob Forrest. Below is a statement from Mayor Barry’s Communications Director, Sean Braisted, outlining the facts and information as best we know them at this time. We will continue compiling information and documents as requested and release them to media in a timely fashion:

“We appreciate the patience of the media and public as we have been working to compile information and records that have been requested by the media. We wanted to get the information out as quickly as possible but also as accurately as possible, and that has taken some time.

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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.

More on Nashville mayor’s extramarital affair

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry says her extramarital affair was with Metro police Sgt. Robert Forrest Jr., who heads her security detail, and began in the spring or summer of 2016, just months after she entered office the previous fall, reports The Tennessean.

Forrest submitted his retirement papers Jan. 17. His final day was Wednesday.

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Nashville mayor acknowledges extramarital affair

Press release from Nashville mayor’s office

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 31, 2018) – Mayor Megan Barry has released the following statement regarding an extramarital affair:

“Today, I have acknowledged publicly that I have engaged in an extramarital affair with the former head of my security detail.

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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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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,”