Mayor denies making endorsement in District 21 primary

Friday, July 30, 2010 at 12:12am

An email candidate Jeff Yarbro sent to supporters on Thursday includes a photograph of himself eating lunch with Mayor Karl Dean earlier this week, but the mayor’s spokeswoman says the photo is not an endorsement.

Mayor’s office spokeswoman Janel Lacy said “Dean has not endorsed either candidate” in the District 21 state Senate Democratic primary.

Yarbro, an attorney at Bass, Berry & Sims, is challenging veteran state Sen. Douglas Henry in the Democratic primary. Election Day is Aug. 5.

In the email, Yarbro recounts a recent lunch he had with Dean at an eatery on 53rd Avenue in west Nashville. A photo of Dean and Yarbro finishing their meal accompanies the letter. Dean is a voter in the contested state Senate district.

“When I was having lunch with Mayor Dean at Wendell Smith’s on Tuesday, a young woman told me that she had been planning on voting in the Republican primary but had decided to support me instead,” Yarbro writes in the email.

Though the mayor has publicly stayed out of the race, some political observers believe Dean privately supports Yarbro’s candidacy.

On Yarbro’s campaign website, the political newcomer says he served as an education adviser to Dean. In addition, some notable Dean allies have thrown support behind Yarbro, including Dean’s former campaign treasurer Leigh Walton, who in April hosted a fundraiser for Yarbro at her home. Walton also works at the same law firm as Yarbro.

Yarbro told The City Paper his intention in posting the photo wasn’t to imply Dean had endorsed his candidacy.

“Obviously, anybody who’s running in the 21st District needs to seek advice and counsel and form a good working relationship with the mayor,” Yarbro said. “I hope to have that as a senator.”

16 Comments on this post:

By: mariebarbara on 7/30/10 at 6:08

Poor Yarbro has to pretend to get support from the Mayor by sending us a picture of him eating at the same place as Dean while Senator Henry actually has the endorsement of Gov. Bredesen who did a commercial for him. Surely the voters need representation from someone who does not have to resort to trickery and insinuation and exaggeration of own importance to get elected. I am also offended by the ads Mr. Y puts out with the subtle undertones that Senator Henry is too old to represent us well. Wet behind the ears Mr. Y with his bevy of "back room friends" who are fronting him for this job need to glean a bit of the Senator's wisdom and while they are at it, they can use some of the integrity which is also demonstrated by Senator Henry. While I was having lunch with Dean......indeed!

By: govskeptic on 7/30/10 at 6:35

Eating at Wendell Smith's had to be a first for Yarbro, and an
endorsement or photoOp from Mayor Dean will only portray
more of far left thinking and spending!

By: nvestnbna on 7/30/10 at 6:39

mariebarbara..... they can use some of the integrity which is also demonstrated by Senator Henry.

.... and I guess Senator Henry's trash ad is a shining example of it. Haven't seen anything like this from the Yarbro camp.

By: dogmrb on 7/30/10 at 6:41

Agree. The not so subtle ageism in Yarbro's campaign is truly an insult to everyone Yarbro's parents age on,which is a significant number of voting registered voters ;-)

By: PKVol on 7/30/10 at 7:32

Seems Yarbro is getting some of his campaign tips from Vic Lineweaver since Vic used the same tactics in the spring showing a photo of him and Howard Gentry on a piece of campaign material. I am not a resident of the 21st district and my biggest concern is that a large part of Mr. Henry's support might not vote for him because a lot of his supporters will be voting in the R primary instead of the D primary.

By: Kosh III on 7/30/10 at 8:31

". I am also offended by the ads Mr. Y puts out with the subtle undertones that Senator Henry is too old to represent us well. Wet behind the ears Mr. Y"

Henry is 84. He was elected when he was wet behind his ears, specifically he was 29--4 years younger than Yarbro is now.

Not my district, I'm not rich and white, but it's still a valid point to raise.

By: SRJ on 7/30/10 at 8:42

I wonder what Yarbro thought, when he found out, that Wendell Smith's doesn't have a "Sushi" bar. lol

By: danced with angus on 7/30/10 at 9:12

SRJ's hit the nail on the head. I bet when Yarbro and Dean left Wendell Smith's they headed as fast as they could to the nearest, wine, cheese & shushi bar for a quick fix and then spent the rest of the afternoon having massages with some very expensive hot rocks lined up their backs to relieve the tension from having to spend time within 10 feet of anyone who is not in the 6 to 7 figure annual income bracket.
Poor guys. Politics CAN be hell sometimes. While they were taking this time to recover, Senator Henry was working to help the working folks that think Wendell Smith's is a real night out!

By: bfra on 7/30/10 at 9:25

By: SRJ on 7/30/10 at 9:42
I wonder what Yarbro thought, when he found out, that Wendell Smith's doesn't have a "Sushi" bar. lol

What does Wendell Smith's have to do with this election?

By: danced with angus on 7/30/10 at 9:37

What does age have to do with this election?

By: SRJ on 7/30/10 at 10:16

That is the point, exactly ! Candidate Jeff Yarbro would not have been seen anywhere near Wendell Smith's......if he was not running for office.

By: on 7/30/10 at 10:40

Want to see what age and experience have to do with this election, just take a look at what we have in Washington! Somebody has to know how to get things done, how to work the system. And most importantly how to create a coalition and work with other people. Henry knows this in spades, he's been doing it for years. This country and this state can't stand any more "Change"!

By: SRJ on 7/30/10 at 6:17

Jeff Yarbro doesn't have a clue about how the legislature works. That was obvious to me after hearing his interview with Pat Nolan.

By: anativebornsout... on 7/30/10 at 11:01

Mr. Yarbro needs to be careful with his choice of words in this great southern state.
The Honorable Mayor Karl Dean is married to a native southern. The Mayor has done
some great things for Nashville. He needs to be cautioned about the old saying in the
south "guilty by association" . Mr. Yarbro needs to be respectful to our southern Senator.
Douglas Henry has never taken a dime from anybody on Capitol Hill. He is a gentlemen,
he cares about education, he cares about this great city, and he cares about the quality
of life for the families that live in the state of Tennessee. He is honorable, knowledgeable,
and understands the needs of the families that live in Tennessee. The senator came to
my daughter's school two years o:k to meet with young families, and to let those families know that he was interested in knowing about there concerns. I am an independent, and
I ended up voting on the democratic ticket, so that Senator Henry would win this election.
Senator Henry is wise, and Tennessee needs experience in office. Mr. Yarbro may need
to stay in his office at Bass, Berry and Sims, and continue collecting those high legal fees
from his clients. Do we need more lawyers in office? or Do we need someone who has
experience, and know how to speak for the people of this great country. I wish you the
best of luck Senator Henry. I have never worked with you, and I have never work on one
of your campaigns, but I know you are the man for this job.

By: bringingbackcom... on 7/31/10 at 2:39

"You know the old adage, Keep your friends close and your enemies closer."!

By: bringingbackcom... on 7/31/10 at 2:51

"I do believe however that we should all be able to, as well as capable of, setting together and sharing a meal without drama, and further we should be able to do this with anyone we choose. I would venture to guess that if we did this more often the world would perhaps be a better place to live."!

"I am not tied to Mayor Dean, in fact I worked extremely hard for the Clement campaign and we fell up short. I would hope that if I shared a meal with the Mayor that someone in the Clement campaign would not look at me in an ill way.!"