Gotto beats Coleman, turns House District 60 seat red

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 11:08pm

In a race some considered a barometer for the prospects of House Republican candidates statewide, Republican Jim Gotto defeated Sam Coleman by 3 percentage points to take claim over the District 60 House seat. 

With most precincts reported, Gotto had 8,791 votes to Coleman’s 8,316.

The clash between the two Metro Councilmen has turned an old Democratic stronghold red, with Gotto in place to take over the Donelson-Hermitage/Antioch seat held by departing conservative-leaning Democratic state Rep. Ben West Jr.

“I’m excited that people liked what I’ve done on the council well enough to elect me to go to the state House to represent them,” Gotto said.

“Jobs is the No. 1 priority,” he said. “I am very excited about Gov. [Bill] Haslam being the leader.”

Though West endorsed Coleman, the outgoing representative was outspoken leading up to the election about his concern that the seat could turn Republican as a result of disenchantment over Democratic-controlled Washington.

“It’s true that the Democrats held it for a long time,” Gotto said, but added that the Democratic-Republican balance within District 60 is closer than some perceived.

Coleman said he didn’t know how to explain the loss.

“All indications are we were ahead in our polls. We were ahead when we talked to people, went to the polls and knocked out doors,” Coleman said. “We don’t have an explanation as to what happened.”

Asked if his candidacy was hurt by running during a bad year for Democrats, Coleman didn’t point any fingers.

“I just can’t blame it on that,” Coleman said. “I’d just have to say Mr. Gotto did a better job than I did of getting people out.”

While serving in the state House, Gotto will also keep his Donelson-Hermitage seat on the Metro Council until August.

8 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 11/3/10 at 4:22

Way to go Councilman Gotto! I'm surprised the margin wasn't
larger, but know that's a tough district for a conservative.

By: girliegirl on 11/3/10 at 6:58

Coleman needs to run for At Large this next election! The man has serious hands on experience and training on "all things Metro Council" these days. That's what we refer to as a commodity.

By: RTungsten on 11/3/10 at 8:10

"all things Metro Council"...except winning an election! Glad to see Jim Gotto win, he came to our neighborhood every couple weeks to talk to the voters. I didn't know who Sam Coleman was until the City Paper endorsed him for District 60.

By: budlight on 11/3/10 at 8:11

Mr. Coleman is not one to blame or point fingers; he is always seeking higher ground. I,on the other hand, can say if he had run as a Republican, he would have won. Obama buried a lot of his fellow dems; when will they wake up.

By: JohnR on 11/3/10 at 8:18

Sam Coleman is the sponsor of the Hickory Hollow lease bill that will spend millions of taxpayer dollars and do away with the fairgrounds to boot.

He did not even attend the community meeting Monday night in Antioch to discuss the bill with his constituents. Is it really any surprise that he lost?

By: njmccune on 11/3/10 at 8:26

Middle Class America yesterday committed suicide... R.I.P.

By: localboy on 11/3/10 at 8:32

"While serving in the state House, Gotto will also keep his Donelson-Hermitage seat on the Metro Council until August." Not as knock against Mr. Gotto, but it still seems like it would be reasonable to require current office holders to resign their seats when running for a different elected office.

By: budlight on 11/3/10 at 12:38

JohnR on 11/3/10 at 9:18
Sam Coleman is the sponsor of the Hickory Hollow lease bill that will spend millions of taxpayer dollars and do away with the fairgrounds to boot.

He did not even attend the community meeting Monday night in Antioch to discuss the bill with his constituents. Is it really any surprise that he lost?

That so-called meeting has pissed off some residents of Antioch. It was a "last minute meeting" called by Franchetta Bush, NOT MR. COLEMAN. Friday, October 29, 2010 2:47 PM is when some of us (a select few) got an URGENT MEETING NOTICE FROM MS. BUSH. IT was not an official COMMUNITY MEETING; IT WAS A CONTRIVED LAST MINUTE RUSH MEETING.

SAM COLEMAN PROBABLY DID NOT CALL IT NOR DID HE LEARN OF IT TILL LAST MINUTE. GET YOUR FACTS BEFORE YOU STRIKE OUT AT MR. COLEMAN.