Candidates line up for August primaries, races become clearer

Friday, April 6, 2012 at 1:44am

The field of candidates for Davidson County’s state legislative primaries, which includes a trio of open contests following retirements of three Democrats, and Metro school board races became clearer Thursday after the candidates’ qualifying deadline passed.

The list is still unofficial, however.

Candidates have seven days to withdraw from races, meaning the final election roster could still change. Election Day for both party primaries and school board races is Aug. 2.

Democratic District 50 Rep. Gary Moore announced Thursday he wouldn’t seek re-election in August, ending a four-term career in the legislature and joining Sen. Joe Haynes and Rep. Janis Sontany as other Nashville Democrats who have opted to not run again following the Republican-led redistricting. Statewide, 11 Democrats aren’t seeking re-election this year.

Shortly after Moore made his decision public, Metro Councilman Bo Mitchell, who represents parts of Bellevue, confirmed to The City Paper he plans to run as a Democrat for the open seat. He will run unopposed in the Democratic primary.

“It’s a great opportunity to continue to serve more of Davidson County and help where I can,” Mitchell said.

Republicans running for the District 50 seat are D.J. Harris, Dave Hall and Charles Williamson.

Republicans Steve Dickerson, a doctor, and Rob Mortensen, a businessman, had already made it clear they intend to run for Haynes’ departed District 20 seat. David Hall has also qualified to run as a Republican. On Thursday, attorney Phillip North and perennial candidate James Baxter both qualified to launch Democratic runs for the dramatically altered senate district, which stretches from Goodlettsville, across the western border of the county to parts of Belle Meade and Oak Hill.

Running for Sontany’s District 53 House seat are Democrats Jason Powell and Metro Councilman Jason Potts. Competing in the GOP primary are Tonya Miller and Ben Claybaker.

In House District 60, Councilman Darren Jernigan is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. He will face Rep. Jim Gotto in November. Republican Councilman Robert Duvall is running unopposed in the Republican primary to challenge District 59 Rep. Sherry Jones.

The school board election includes races for two open seats following the decisions of Mark North and Kay Simmons to opt against re-election. School board chair Gracie Porter is facing three challengers to hold onto her East Nashville-area seat. Because of redistricting, board members Ed Kindall and Sharon Gentry are running against each other, and four candidates have qualified to run for a District 7 seat that features no incumbent.

Among those who submitted papers to run for school board are former council members Eric Crafton and Anna Page, as well as Will Pinkston, an aide under former Gov. Phil Bredesen.

Verified candidates in the state house, senate and school board races are:


Senate District 20

Democrat: James Baxter, Phillip North

Republicans: Steven Dickerson, Rob Moretensen and David Hall


House District 50

Democrat: Bo Mitchell

Republicans: D.J. Farris, Dave Hall and Charles Williamson


House District 51

Democrat: Mike Turner, incumbent (No Republican)


House District 52

Democrat: Mike Stewart, incumbent

Independent: Daniel Lewis (No Republican)


House District 53

Democrats: Jason Powell, Jason Potts

Republicans: Ben Claybaker, Tonya Miller


House District 54

Democrat: Brenda Gilmore, incumbent (No Republican)


House District 55

Democrat: Gary Odom, incumbent (No Republican)


House District 56

Republican: House Speaker Beth Harwell, incumbents (No Democrat)


House District 58

Democrats: Mary Pruitt, incumbent; Harold Love; Steven Turner (No Republican)


House District 59

Democrat: Sherry Jones, incumbent

Republican: Councilman Robert Duvall


House District 60

Republican: Jim Gotto, incumbent; Democrat: Darren Jernigan


School board District 1

Sharon Gentry, Ed Kindall


School board District 3

Jarod DeLozier, Free Lee Jr., Jill Smith Speering, Rick Williams


School board District 5

Gracie Porter, incumbent; John Haubenreich; Elissa Kim, Erica Lanier


School board District 7 Anna Page, Will Pinkston, Hillyard Wilkins 


School board District 9 Eric Crafton, Margaret Dolan, Amy Frogge, Julie Lamb, Ronnie Osborne, Bob Bogen

2 Comments on this post:

By: yucchhii on 4/7/12 at 11:20

yucchhii Just a line of of people who want to be rich and spend money NEEDLESSLY and compete for the BIGGEST LIAR award!! That's what politicians do!! The day I believe a politician is the day I start to believe the supermarket tabloids!!! They say it's joke when it comes around saying "How do you know when a politician is lying?...When they open their mouths!" That's no joke, that's REAL!!

By: 742180 on 4/9/12 at 8:29

Ran across an acquaintance the other day who told me he was considering running for an open seat. I asked why, he said if he can stay in the council for two terms he will have free Health Care For Life.
I didn't know this did you? Once again, the politicos legislate themselves 'special' consideration. Things that their positions don't warrant and things that most taxpaying citizens will never get 'free'.
His interest in the position had nothing to do with helping the people in the district, it was complete selfish motivation of getting 'FREE HEALTH CARE FOR LIFE'. I was in awe of his comments but upon reflection they fit his MO for life. What and who can I use next!!
And Politician's wonder why they are not trusted, hold little esteem, and are under the scrutiny of all the TV stations. Man.....