District 18 candidate Glasgow voted in Republican primaries

Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 1:53am

David Glasgow, one of the candidates for the vacant District 18 Metro Council seat, voted in three Republican primaries since 2002, according to voting records provided by the Davidson County Election Commission.

The district leans heavily Democratic and in fact is considered one of the most liberal voting blocs in Nashville. In Tennessee, primary elections are open and voters may choose to vote on either a Republican or Democrat ballot.

Glasgow, who is openly gay, voted in the 2002 Republican state primary, the 2006 Republican state primary and, most recently, in the 2008 Republican presidential primary last year.

Asked to explain his choice to vote in Republican primaries, Glasgow told The City Paper he had also voted for President Barack Obama, Gov. Phil Bredesen and Mayor Karl Dean, all Democrats.

Glasgow said his decision to vote in Republican primaries was a strategic one so he could vote against a particular candidate. For instance, Glasgow said he was satisfied with either Obama or then Sen. Hillary Clinton in last year’s Democratic primary. So, he voted in the Republican primary to specifically vote against Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Voting records show Glasgow never voted in a Democratic primary.

Asked which party he would typically affiliate himself with, Glasgow described himself as a “progressive independent.”

Glasgow pointed out that one of his leading advisers is former Council member Betty Nixon, whom he considers a leading progressive voice in District 18.

“I don’t like being told by either party who I should vote for. So that’s why I have [to] consider myself an independent,” Glasgow said.

Besides his voting record — which can be downloaded here — Glasgow also has a history of working for Republican administrations. He worked under Anne Pope during Gov. Don Sundquist’s administration. Pope was appointed by Sundquist as his commissioner of commerce and insurance and as commissioner of film and music, Glasgow said.

Glasgow works as the communications director for the state office of the U.S. Rural Development Agency. Glasgow was hired to that post by an appointee of President George W. Bush, he said.

Along with a stated goal of serving as a pro-neighborhood voice on Council, Glasgow opposed the English Only charter amendment that failed at the ballot in January.

Glasgow is one of four candidates on the ballot for the March 26 special election to replace previous District 18 Council member Keith Durbin. The others are attorney John Ray Clemmons, neighborhood activist and after-school program coordinator Stephenie Dodson and Belmont professor Kristine LaLonde.

There will be two open forums this weekend to give voters the opportunity to meet the candidates. The Nashville Neighborhood Defense Fund will host a forum Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Belmont Mansion.

There will be another open forum on Sunday from 3 to 5:30 p.m. at Belmont United Methodist Church. That forum is sponsored by the Belmont Hillsboro Neighborhood Association, the Hillsboro West End Neighborhood Association, the Hillsboro Village Merchants, West End businesses, Belmont University and Vanderbilt University.

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By: gravy on 12/31/69 at 7:00

"Voting records show Glasgow never voted in a Democratic primary." Glasgow has worked only in Republican administrations and voted in Republican primaries. He needs to stand up and take ownership of this history. Ducking the issue under the guise of "progressive independent" (which sounds eerily like "compassionate conservative") does not bode well for his leadership potential. District 18 deserves a leader who is honest about his/her past and who has a proven track record in supporting progressive candidates and causes.

By: carleydale on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Did you ever stop to think that maybe his intentions were to massage the opposing candidates (Reps) i.e. do the "Rush Limbaugh" method. Rush told people to do the same thing. By knocking out Romney and Huckabee, the Reps were left with a weak candidate. It worked, didn't it? Most likely Glasgow was doing the same.

By: snookster on 12/31/69 at 7:00

David didn't even vote for Governor Phil Bredesen in either primary and he is arguably a closet Republican. Face it, this guy did not plan on running for local office in the most progressive district in Davidson County when he was in the voting booth for the past 6 years. Democrats know who is a D and I can't find any D who has ever seen or heard of you in democratic circles. Betty Nixon, Chip Forrester and Bob Tuke combined couldn't help you pull this one off even if they wanted to.

By: OPENmindedONE on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Has anyone considered the fact that our Metro Council is a non-partisan organization? Or is it just more fun to raise hell from the comfort of your keyboard than actually consider what may be best for the District? For the record, my partner voted against Huckabee too after I erroneously wasted my primary vote on Edwards. He and I agreed that we should use the benefit to prevent Huckabee from being on the ticket. I could not have been happier to vote for Obama or Hillary but in fear of his lack of charisma I was forced to vote against Al Gore, who knew things could be worse- W.

By: BlueInTn on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Hey Will - what district do you live in? If my memory serves me right you can not vote for him. What skills does he have they you can educate us on?

By: gravy on 12/31/69 at 7:00

OpenmindedONE, what about Glasgow's record makes him the best candidate for the most liberal District in Nashville?

By: 37212Commuter on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I fear that in focusing on the political party affiliation, that residents of District 18 -and I am one - may miss the point of electing a local official that can will represent us well. We're really quite fortunate to have 4 qualified candidates - regardless of individual superiorities, as that's the separating distinctions that can help us make our choice. Really this district has in my memory been one of collaboration and cooperation across the lines of party AND opinion - so long as it has been for the good of the district.So for me, I really care about who can do the best job representing me - and I don't care which party they claim or do not claim affiliation to.

By: OPENmindedONE on 12/31/69 at 7:00

oh gee, I dunno gravy, maybe his experience in government already? Perhaps his 8-9 years in the district on top of that? Or it could be his ability to make the most of every dollar when working in under privileged communities- which would be of great necessity in this current environment- shall I go on?

By: ardillicphos on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I agree with 37212Commuter, I'd say that people who are commenting on his party affiliation are probably not from our district. While our district is primarily Democratic, we also have a strong sense of neighborhood affiliation and I would doubt seriously that few people from 18 would care about how someone voted in the presidential primaries. We're more interested in whom can best represent our neighborhood in issues that are important to us... whomever that might be.

By: frodo on 12/31/69 at 7:00

And how does one become a Republican...simply by voting in a Republican primary?

By: frodo on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I know a lot of people who vote Dem all the way, but who pass themselves off as "independent minded." They won't say they are "Democrat."
"57524

By: frodo on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Oh my God!!! Someone who presumes to run for office in Davidson County (spelled with a capital "D") dares vote in a Republican primary. Next thing, you're gonna tell me he goes to the wrong church, and maybe he is even the wrong color! I just can't take all of this scandal.Geez, talk about bigotry!

By: frodo on 12/31/69 at 7:00

And, oh, this just in....Glasgow shops at Wal-Mart! Now he's toast, for sure.

By: snookster on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Your voting record is usually a pretty good indication. You don't find many self-proclaimed Democrats with a long history of R votes in primaries and vice versa. Most professed independents will have at least some Ds and some Rs

By: ardillicphos on 12/31/69 at 7:00

BlueInTn- Be careful what you say! You're discrediting yourself by interpretation. Nowhere in this article does it say that he's "telling people when he sees them that he is a registered independent..."I quote:"Asked which party he would typically affiliate himself with, Glasgow described himself as a “progressive independent.”""I don’t like being told by either party who I should vote for. So that’s why I have [to] consider myself an independent,” Glasgow said."Nothing is said about him "telling people when he sees them that he is a registered independent." No talk of registration. Calm down, folks. Don't get all excited about this. Don't lie, either. Because you're doing exactly what you're accusing him of doing.

By: frodo on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Right, and Glasgow ways he has voted for both Rs and Ds. So he is an independent.

By: frodo on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Bottom line is, NCP is making something out of nothing.

By: WickedTribe on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Is he a Log Cabin Republican?

By: willcheek on 12/31/69 at 7:00

This blue dog Democrat, son of former Democratic state party chair and Democratic National Committee member Will Cheek, carefully vetted and strongly supports David Glasgow. I am in agreement with David on the issues important to Council District 18. Whether he pulled the R or D lever isn't the test for this office. There are no political parties in our City Council. The Council often works much better than Congress or our State Legislature, where partisan bickering can lead to gridlock. Council members choose to vote for or against a law based on the merits of the law; not which political party proposed the law. One day you may see Council Members Charlie Tygard and Mike Jameson working vigorously against each other on Conservation Zoning, and find them working together the next day on tree plantings. That's the beauty of a non-partisan legislature. David Glasgow has earned the support of a number of life long Democrats because of his vision for our neighborhoods and our city. His experience in government gives him an edge over other candidates - he knows how to get important government projects done. We shouldn't be distracted by whose administration hired David. We should focus on what skills he has and what he can do for our city.

By: TonyDavenport on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Please forgive me because I am not a politcal junkie. Frankly, I could care less about the letter behind your name. However, I had the opportunity to meet all three of the candidates running in our district. I took down one sign to replace it with David's sign because he is clearly the candidate with the intelligence and persistence to keep our district on top. That candidate that is pushing schools - thats political rhetoric - the council doesn't do anything with the schools except approve the budget. (DUH) The other candidate just thinks he is entitled to it because he is in the political "blue bloods". Well for once, I am going to vote for someone and actually feel good about my vote - and yes, I wull be voting for a republican if that is what he is - sounds to me like he votes smart...Can't wait to see you in the council so you can clean up the "Good Ole Boy" network.

By: Paul on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Why is this even a story? Perhaps the City Paper is trying to help one of the other candidates. I don't care who someone voted for in a primary or who they sleep with or where they go to church or where they shop for groceries or what kind of car they drive. I want to know what kind of representative they are going to be.