Council's Crafton, Craddock won't rule out mayoral run against Dean

Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 10:05pm

Two of Karl Dean’s fiercest critics on the Metro Council aren’t ruling out launching election bids to unseat the well-financed, relatively popular mayor, signaling a potential insurgent campaign could be brewing.

Conservative council members Michael Craddock and Eric Crafton both told The City Paper Wednesday they aren’t closing the door on potential mayoral runs. Dean is up for re-election in August. Candidates can pick up paperwork to qualify for Metro’s elections on Feb. 18. They have until May 19 to file their petition papers. Dean still lacks an opponent.

“I never close any doors,” Crafton said. “I just have to evaluate and see who else throws their hat into the ring. I want the mayor to have some competition and to have to discuss some issues. I don’t think he’s earned the right to run unopposed with some of the decisions he’s made. So, I think at the very least, he needs to be challenged.”

Craddock and Crafton both ran unsuccessful local campaigns last year for Davidson County Criminal Court clerk and Juvenile Court clerk, respectively. The two council members, who were outspoken opponents of Dean’s Music City Center push, seem to believe Dean has turned more vulnerable following his recent retreat on his desire to redevelop the Metro-owned fairgrounds.

“In the last two or three months, I’ve had a lot of people who have come up to me and encouraged me to do that,” Craddock said of running for mayor. “Quite frankly, I’ve not decided to do it. I don’t know.

“Basically, the way I do things like that, I have to sit down and talk to my family and think through it myself,” Craddock said.

“Never say never,” he added. 

Craddock represents parts of Madison, while Crafton represents segments of Bellevue. As conservative allies on the council, it’s unlikely both would jump in the mayor’s race. However, neither ruling it out seems to validate whispers within local political circles that Dean’s opponents are looking to recruit a candidate to run against the mayor.

“Obviously, you have to determine by the deadline, so that will be my criteria,” Crafton said. “I wouldn’t want to let the mayor run unopposed. There may be a candidate that pops up shortly who is well-funded, articulate and able to talk about issues. We’ll just have to see what happens.” 

On one political issue, Dean has already defeated Crafton. In 2008, a mayor-led coalition helped defeat Crafton’s controversial “English-only” referendum.

Dean also ultimately won his push for Music City Center, though he’s facing a political setback with his thwarted plans to redevelop the fairgrounds. 

Any candidate challenging Dean faces an uphill battle financially. According to the financial disclosure Dean turned in Monday, the mayor has nearly $426,000 cash on hand, the Metro Election Commission’s Joan Nixon said. 

Moreover, as Dean showed in 2007, he always has the ability to dip into his personal wealth to finance his campaign. In defeating a handful of mayoral candidates, most notably former U.S. Rep. Bob Clement, Dean relied on more than $1 million of his family’s own fortunes.  

57 Comments on this post:

By: bfra on 2/4/11 at 12:39

Some post, I am impressed (of what), emphasis on healthy living (when & where)?

By: political1iam on 2/4/11 at 4:24

One is an idiot and the other a crook.
It is hard to figure out which is which.
Neither is serious opposition to a Mayor who showed courage and leadership in Nashville's worse disaster in recent history, the May flooding.
Karl Dean may have made some mistakes along the way (haven't we all!) ,but his leadership in crisis and the unprecedented lack of a property tax hike in his term,will produce a runaway victory no matter who runs against him for Mayor

By: bfra on 2/4/11 at 4:31

Here is another one - What did Karl do during the flood disaster. Several say he did something, but no one has told what he did. He has threatened a property tax hike and if re-elected, the property owners will find out how much. Gotta get that MCC paid for, come hell or high water (not referring to the flood).

By: karlwithak on 2/4/11 at 10:15

By: political1iam on 2/4/11 at 4:24 Neither is serious opposition to a Mayor who showed courage and leadership in Nashville's worse disaster in recent history, the May flooding.
Karl Dean may have made some mistakes along the way (haven't we all!) ,but his leadership in crisis and the unprecedented lack of a property tax hike in his term,will produce a runaway victory no matter who runs against him for Mayor

I'm so glad you said all of that.

It makes you both look all the more foolish with all the eye witnesses with cell phones with cameras and videos post the ones of Karl Dean dancing at the Jimmy Buffett concert drunk....The night of the flood !


By: smartkidz on 2/5/11 at 8:07

Bring it- these two bozos won't get 10% of the vote. Let's go...

By: Shane Smiley on 2/6/11 at 3:25

I have read the comments posted concerning the possibility of someone running against Mayor Karl Dean a couple of times now. I thought that I sensed a theme and wanted to reread to be sure that I was right.

Reading the posts from Dean opposition, I see many comments from concerned citizens about the way the current administration handles issues, public input, and the direction of our city. For the most part, these posts are accurate,respectful, and well thought out.
Posts from Dean supporters are full of hate and slurs. Much like the Dean camp and his followers have treated anyone that would dare speak out against Dean. These people present no facts, no well thought out message, and no respect for anyone with an apposing view.

Psychology 101 will tell you that the actions of Dean supporters is fear based. These type of comments mirror how Mayor Karl Dean leads. If he doesn't get his way, he smears, belittles, and dismisses opposition.
Threats such as the one that he has made concerning property tax hikes if the Fairgrounds stay are uncalled for.
His message concerning the Fairgrounds is fractured. It changes themes and direction as often as the weather this time of year.
The Fairgrounds, unlike any other Metro owned property has yet to cost the tax payer a single dime even though there is mounting proof that the property has been mismanaged for many years.
If the city needs to be so very tight pursed, Can someone please explain how Mayor Karl Dean's office can justify their decision to throw $60,000 at former Bredesen Parks Commissioner Jim Fyke for a 19.5 hour a week position with no clear job description?
IMO, The fears of the Dean camp are justified, He has managed to wake the sleeping bear. The Metro citizens that have not had a reason to vote in the past are signing voter registration cards and Nashville purists have had enough of an outsider trying to steal Nashville's charm for a vision of the Boston of the south.
Make Dean a one term Mayor!

By: justice2003 on 2/8/11 at 8:45

Dear webmaster,I do know that you and members of your team has came down to visit me at the campus.Unfourtually,i was not availabale because i had joined the program at the campus and you came at the wrong time.I have a lot to share with you and i hope that i can now share with the Nashville population on who i think the nest Mayor of Nashville should be,Any body who won't hind or run from the truth when they here it, and not only that,people who won't just be telling the people what he's going to do just for political gain.And a person who's not hooked up to other higher officials to make sure the next person get's elected.Last but not lease,.A person who have our best intrist in heart dealing with issues of false inpresionment,falsifing,thief, and hideing them from the public,along with the davidson couny police.