Two Antioch-area Metro Council members — both among the council’s most outspoken conservatives — must overcome opposition form Mayor Karl Dean to win re-election.
Dean, who popped up yesterday in a campaign mailer for District 24 candidate Sarah Lodge Tally, is also featured on mail-pieces for District 28 candidate Tanaka Vercher and District 33 candidate Page Turner.
Vercher is running against Councilman Duane Dominy. Turner is challenging Councilman Robert Duvall. Dominy and Duvall are two of Dean’s most vocal critics, especially on the mayor’s thwarted attempt to redevelop the Tennessee State Fairgrounds.
The separate ads, identical in style and language (see Turner ad here and Vercher ad here), feature photos of Dean with the respective candidates. “Karl Dean is making progress in our neighborhood,” the mail-pieces read.
Duvall called the Turner-Dean mailer “nothing but a political hack-job” and said it mischaracterizes events in Antioch. “It’s a political lie. It’s a misrepresentation of the truth,” he said.
Both pieces say Dean and the respective candidates — Turner and Vercher — would work together to bring a Nashville State Community College campus to Antioch; fund a new fire station on Hobson Pike; expand the Mill Creek Greenway; install new stop signs on Apollo Drive to curb speeding; expand public transit; and bring a new library, community center and park to Antioch.
Most of these projects are already in the works — though the community center, library and park are still on hold.
“Page Turner had absolutely nothing to do with any of the events in that flyer,” Duvall said. “Let’s just zero in on that fire hall. [Councilman] Sam Coleman deserves all of the credit for that fire hall — not Robert Duvall. For them to even indicate that Page had anything to do with it is ridiculous.”
Duvall credited the new Apollo Drive stop signs to Dominy, his colleague. He said the stops signs are not even within District 33. Still, Duvall suggested Dean’s involvement could make his council race more difficult.
“He’s our mayor,” Duvall said. “People look up to him, you know? And I don’t blame people for looking up to him. So, anytime the mayor gets involved and endorses somebody, people are going to look at that individual.”
Dominy also took exception with the mail-piece’s mention of new stop signs on Apollo Drive.
“He takes credit for getting stop signs on Apollo Drive, and I can assure you he was not at any of the meetings,” Dominy said.
“It appears to me he’s trying to take credit for doing things in Antioch when he hasn’t really done a lot in Antioch,” Dominy added.
But Dominy indicated he could actually benefit from Dean’s involvement.
“I had a formerly elected official comment yesterday that in my race, it may be helpful,” Dominy said, adding that a number of constituents have called him about the ad.
Dean re-election spokesman Tom Hayden said the mayor’s involvement in council races is about putting independent thinkers on the council.
“It’s important that we continue to elect independent-thinking leaders that want to move our city forward and continue the progress we’ve made,” Hayden said.