Despite landslide win, Dean fails to swing two council races

Friday, August 5, 2011 at 1:46pm

Mayor Karl Dean struck out twice, but has one more chance to prevail, on the three key Metro Council races he put his political weight behind. 

When the dust cleared on election night, District 28 Councilman Duane Dominy and District 24 Councilman Jason Holleman had won their races, overcoming Dean’s opposition. Meanwhile, District 33 Councilman Robert Duvall is heading to the Sept. 15 runoff, squaring off against Page Turner, whom Dean backs.

In the final weeks of campaigning, Dean had dabbled in other races –– popping up on various campaign mail-pieces –– but these three races were his first political plays and biggest gambles.

“Most of the folks I spoke to out here weren’t pleased with Dean,” said Dominy, recollecting on the mayor’s support for his opponent, Tanaka Vercher. “My job is to represent this district, and last time I checked, Karl Dean’s address is not inside this district.”

Still, in a landslide, Dean won 79 percent of the vote in his election, a figure not far from former Mayor Bill Purcell’s 84 percent in 2003 when he defeated a crop of no-name candidates.

Dominy, who finished with 54 percent of the vote in his race, has been one of Dean’s most outspoken critics on his handling of the fairgrounds issue. The Antioch-area councilman took pleasure in seeing the fairgrounds charter amendment approved overwhelmingly.

“I disagreed with what his position was, as did obviously the people in this city, and this district,” Dominy said.

Garnering the most headlines had been council’s District 24 race, a contest that saw Dean and some of his most prominent backers rally behind attorney Sarah Lodge Tally to try to unseat Councilman Jason Holleman. The Sylvan Park-area councilman had voted against financing the city’s convention center and questioned the mayor’s fairgrounds stance. He beat Tally by a 59-41 percent margin.

“I think at the end of the day, district races are decided on neighborhood issues, and for the last four years I’ve worked very hard to communicate with our neighborhoods and advocate for their interests,” Holleman said.

When asked if Dean’s backing of his opponent would complicate his relations with Dean’s administration, Holleman said he hoped not: “We have a lot of important work to do.” 

Heading to a run-off is the District 33 race between Councilman Robert Duvall and challenger Page Turner, who Dean supported on a campaign mail-piece. Duvall claimed 46 percent of the vote on election night, while Turner took 40 percent.

Many will watch to see whether Dean continues to offer Turner his political help. 

“I don’t not see any reason to believe he wouldn’t,” Duvall said of that scenario. “I will overcome it.” 

Dean also appeared on campaign flyers for District 25 Councilman Sean McGuire and District 35 Councilman Bo Mitchell, who both won convincingly. But both incumbents were considered heavy favorites to win re-election.

Both District 18 candidates –– Burkley Allen and David Glasgow –– also featured Dean on campaign material. Allen won narrowly.

Moving forward, some observers may speculate whether Dean could have made a greater difference in the District 16 race in which one of his council allies, Councilwoman Anna Page, lost to Tony Tenpenny.

Page, who lost by just 12 votes, had beaten Tenpenny in prior elections, but the force of the fairgrounds issue may have been too much to overcome. The 117-acre fairgrounds borders her district. Page voted in line with the mayor on its redevelopment.

“I do believe the fairgrounds issue hurt me,” Page said. “And I believe that the lack of education on the fairgrounds hurt me.”

Asked if she could have used more help from Dean in her campaign, Page said, “I needed to stand on my own record.”  

6 Comments on this post:

By: titansjoe on 8/5/11 at 1:12

“I do believe the fairgrounds issue hurt me,” Page said. “And I believe that the lack of education on the fairgrounds hurt me.”

Wow! She still doesn't get it.

By: titansjoe on 8/5/11 at 1:24

Maybe Page was talking about her own lack of education on the fairgrounds,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,nah

By: dwight14 on 8/5/11 at 2:25

now maybe the way has been cleared so that the historical and best short track ever can make some headway..the superspeedway stole both the nationwide,the trcuks and the arca series from us..i dont think it will be hard to get at least the truck series and the arca series back..that alone will be a great boost to the area and the track...revenue for the city and for the track itself...and if they could get the nationwide back for at least one of the 2 dates from the lebanon track,well,talk about a rapid one wanted to go to the big speedway because it wasnt a track that allowed for exciting racing..heck after the first race their we knew it would be facing attendance problems..if the racing isnt exciting,you cant sell tickets...never had that problem at the fairgrounds..historically one of the most exciting race tracks in the entire world...and for anyone that doesnt follow or know much about racing,the fairgrounds doesnt require 40 thousand people to make it profitable to run an event like the nationwide or truck series...the overhead is much,much lower than the superspeedway so the ticket sales of 15,000 and the race sponsorship will provide enough to have those races and be a profitable venture...heck maybe even have to purchase temporary seats for the events if we get em much rather spend 45 bucks to watch them at the fairgrounds than at the other exciting racing vs the spectacular racing...goooooooooooo nashviles fairgrounds speedway...bring back the greatest racing on earth..more tickets sold means more money for all..yes naysayers,that means davidson county...those fans that come in from all around buy hotel rooms,they shop in your stores,go to your malls,eat at your resturants..they buy your music souvys,will go to the opry house etc...the economic impact is why other citys fight to keep their dates...big revenue...didnt work out there at the big track because it didnt have great family didnt go but 2 times..hey,you want peoples money,show them some great racing...its proved each weekend where the racing is good...over all,the economy has been so bad that attendance is down..but the short tracks arent hurting as bad because they can put on the event without charging an arm and a leg like the bigger tracks...the price at the superspeedway was about what a short tracks prices are but couldnt sell because of their product...wont be like that at the fairgrounds..

By: truthisfun on 8/5/11 at 2:33

Dean had reverse coattails, if anything. The fairgrounds, while treasured, also showed how much Dean is loathed. There is little doubt that if Dean had drawn a credible opponent, we would have a new mayor. My prediction is Turner asks Dean not to campaign for her and she still loses because of his previous involvement in her race.

This will be a much more hostile council to Dean. I also predict this will be the most disastrous second term ever for a Nashville mayor, and that would include the previous bad mayor, Boner.

By: richgoose on 8/6/11 at 7:57

I agree fully with TRUTHISFUN.

By: TTS on 8/11/11 at 1:15


I can't believe district 16 actually elected an asshole low-life like Tony Tenpenny.

REALLY? He's has a reputation of being a crooked assed car salesman that makes a living from lying and cheating people every day, and he's an alcoholic, he's a drug addict, and he likes to slap women around apparently. All these magnificent qualities are according to his police record that dates back as far as the 80's. And now we have this jagoff to represent us in council? I think this has gotten me over the hump to wondering if I should sell my house and move out of Nashville!

Rutherford County here I come!