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.