School board’s Johnson confirms juvenile court run

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 1:00am
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Karen Johnson

School board member Karen Johnson has officially confirmed that she plans to run for Davidson County Juvenile Court Clerk, a position currently held by Vic Lineweaver.

In a Monday statement to The City Paper, Johnson said her business management background and work with children qualify her for the job.

“Several people throughout the city have asked me to consider running for this office, and I have decided to run for the juvenile court clerk’s seat because I feel like the children and the families of this city have been underserved for many years. It’s time to make a change in leadership,” Johnson said in her statement.

“I have a strong business and human resources management background and experience working with children. I want to emphasize that we are in the early stages of my campaign and I’m currently building my base to run a strong campaign.”

As was first reported by The City Paper, Johnson has discussed her interest in the position with community members for the past few months, including at events over the weekend. Johnson has the start of a campaign Web site established. An official kickoff for her campaign is still being planned, Johnson said.

Johnson said her school board term expires at the time of the juvenile court clerk election. In the mean time, she said her campaign work would not interfere with her work representing the Antioch area on the Board of Education.

“I’m going to continue being a strong, effective leader for the people who elected me to represent that,” she said.

School board Chair David Fox said Johnson’s run for juvenile court clerk should not conflict with her current role on the school board.

“It doesn’t present any problems for the board,” Fox said. “As a board member, I don’t think I ought to be endorsing anybody, but I’m sure that Karen would do a very good job. …Karen’s in it for the kids and I have enjoyed working with her on the school board.”

The field of likely opponents for Lineweaver is growing crowded. Court officer David Smith has already announced he’s running; Lineweaver has confirmed that he is seeking re-election; and District 29 Metro Council member Vivian Wilhoite has been rumored to have interest in the job.

Lineweaver would not comment on Johnson entering the race, beyond reiterating he plans to seek re-election. Lineweaver will be seeking his third term, but it’s his first run since the WSMV Ch. 4 expose showed him in front of his home in a bathrobe during normal work hours.

The former Metro councilman was also found in contempt of court in 2007 for failing to provide court records to a Juvenile Court referee, which is the central task of his job. After his appeal of the contempt of court charge was rejected in Rutherford County, Lineweaver has taken the matter to the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

“I am running for juvenile court clerk,” Lineweaver said. “It’s [Johnson’s] right to run; it’s an elected position.”

Court officer Smith has already begun aggressively running for the office and will officially launch his campaign on May 7, according to his Web site.

“All I can say is what’s been said in the past — the more people that get in, it’s going to be more favorable to the incumbent getting re-elected,” Smith said. “That’s what’s been predicted.

“I’ve been in this thing since February of 2008. I’m in it to stay and I don’t have anything to say besides that.”
 

13 Comments on this post:

By: mrsstewart729 on 4/20/09 at 1:57

I like Karen Johnson. She has never backed down to oppossition. When she received all the flack about her point on rezoning, she handled it with dignity and grace. We need someone like this when it comes to the future of our children. Good Luck Mrs. Johnson.

By: stephsmom1972 on 4/20/09 at 2:01

OMG Karen! This is great news! But, why in the world is that woman's name in every newspaper article I read about you??? Can't you do anything without Vivian Wilhoit lurking in your shadows? I don't even know who that lady is....seen her on TV. But, why does she want so badly to be you? I guess you are so awesome...You have great dreams and goals. I'm so proud of you!
Anyways, I think it's great that you are running for this position. You are awesome with the kids and I know firsthand how super you are with HR and dealing with people! You go girl. I wish you the best. You are a true blessing to our Nashville community! Keep us posted on your success! Whatever you need, I am here!

Your #1 supporter! Or, atleast one of them. LOL

By: DANABY on 4/20/09 at 2:31

I have watched Ms. Johnson in action and she is a lady who is committed to the school system and all children. Someone needs to be in this position that has strong leadership and she truly possesses this. She has not been afraid to tackle tough issues and her background seems strong and a good fit. She appears to be a caring individual who is passionate about her work and her beliefs. Good luck to Ms. Johnson.

By: plpblack on 4/20/09 at 3:18

I am glad to see a confident strong woman make an attempt at such an important position in this city. A woman's perspective may be what we have been missing in the Juevenile Court Clerk. Karen definitely has shown courage on the school board and she has some great quals that would make her a good choice for this position as well. She represents the values of people well because she listens to people and I believe that is what's important.

By: eljs on 4/20/09 at 3:21

Finally someone steps up to the plate thats qualified. Vic is a strong campaigner and everybody knows him. I don't know how strong of a campaigner Ms. Johnson is. At least we know the leadership and work Ms. Johnson has done with many different issues but I don't know if it will be enough. Good luck!

By: PLEPOMA on 4/20/09 at 7:54

Mrs Johnson is a capable person who will do what is best for the people of Metro. She will listen and ask questions that will enable her to make the best decisions for our community. We must give her our support and allow her the chance to show what she can do for us.

By: dogmrb on 4/21/09 at 5:57

I wonder how many more people are on her blog PR team? All these entrants will guarantee Lineweaver's re-election. Too bad.

By: nashpar on 4/21/09 at 7:40

I thought there was some other guy in this race named Jeff Brousal. I read this on the NCP a couple of weeks ago. Not much information on him. I think this is long overdue in this position. Johnson is qualified and has done some good work on the school board. Smith seems to be good with what I have seen in the reports. Lineweaver needs to go.

By: girliegirl on 4/21/09 at 9:24

She's a real go-getter and obviously is hard working. Maybe that's what's needed for this job~

By: concern on 4/21/09 at 9:44

I am so EXCITED to see that Karen Johnson is running for this position. I have watched Karen over the years and she is a VERY well organized person. Karen works very hard for the children as a school board member. Karen makes her decisions based on the best intrest of everyone not what people thinks she should do and I like her for that. I like that when people give her flack over a decision that she made she handles it in a respected way.

She has the Southeast Davidson County Easter Egg Hunts for the children and their parents every year and it is a huge success. She had the first Southeast Davidson County Health Fair what was a huge success also, she has done paint projects for the schools and the list goes on and on of all the great things she has done for the community. She has also worked very hard in trying to get a Regional Community Center in the Southeast Davidson County so that the children would have somewhere to go with activities and their parents could workout or join classes too. With her experience she would be the perfect fit for this job. Good Luck

dogmrb - You don't have to be her blog PR team to know what she has done in her community and school board her actions show it:)

By: Truth_1 on 4/22/09 at 1:11

The truth should be told. I am a person that knows Karen and Vivian Wilhoit and here is the truth. The statements made by stephsmom1972 are full of trash and has no truth in it. Karen was beaten in the council race three year ago by Vivian Wilhoit who has been Great for our district. No!! Vivian is not following Karen, but it looks to me Karen is following Vivian. I really don't think K. Johnson has gotten over her district lose three long years ago.

Let's talk truth about Mrs. Johnson, she voted to surrport neighborhood schools that would give my kids an unfair chance to equal education. K. Johnson has also been fired from three key jobs that she so call serving the people of Nashville. The people that really know here call her out of control. So citizens of Nashville, do we need a person leading the clerks office that moves our kids behind the rest of the country.

I will chose today!!
Vivian Wilhoit for Juvenile Court Clerk because she is a lady of honor and some one we can trust to fix Juvenile Court Clerk's office.

By: stephsmom1972 on 4/22/09 at 3:30

Dear Truth_1,
I have no idea why you feel you need to attack ME or Karen Johnson! I merely posted an "I'm happy to hear that Karen is running for this important position" and made a comment about something I have "noticed" over a period of time. Good Grief! I didn't mean to send anyone into attack mode.
I do not personally know the other people running for this position, but I do know Karen. I know she is a very hard working, strong, honest woman who believes every child in this great city of Nashville deserves an equal shot at happiness and success. As long as I have known Karen, she has set her goals high and that is something too many of us have never had the nerve to do! She's a great role model and I can only hope that the young people growing up in our great city will follow her to success. I surely hope my children do!
Karen Y. Johnson has my vote!

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