There is a barn on Baker Road.
Dickerson Road rambles out of East Nashville and gives way to Springfield Highway somewhere north of Goodlettsville; city gives way to suburb, suburb gives way to what precious little patch of rural life is left in Davidson County.
Just after the highways diverge is Baker Road, a ribbon of concrete not unlike many others in the outlying parts of Davidson County.
And on Baker Road, there is a barn, not unlike many others.
In that barn lives a candidate for state representative.
According to his filing with the Davidson County Election Commission, District 50 Republican hopeful Charles Williamson — who gained a modicum of fame in 2010 with an Internet ad casting a comparison between bison feces and his then-opponent Rep. Mike Turner — lives in that barn.
According to Metro Codes, that barn is not approved for human occupancy.
So why is Williamson living in a barn when he owns a million-dollar mansion 17 miles away on Safety Harbor Cove?
Williamson told The Tennessean it’s because he wanted to spend more time on the farm, hanging out with his bison and what have you.
But, of course, there’s probably another reason.
The Safety Harbor home — he used the address for his 2010 run — is in Turner’s district.
The barn is in District 50, left without an incumbent as longtime Rep. Gary Moore opted against running for re-election.
That decision to bunk in the barn seems easy enough to understand — if a little cynical — but the question of whether Williamson can use the barn as his home address is a little more esoteric.
State law requires that “residences” be used as addresses for voting purposes. Metro Codes says the barn isn’t technically a residence; Williamson isn’t sure if the error is his fault or the codes department’s.
And here’s the weirdest thing: It really doesn’t matter where Williamson lives.
The Tennessee Constitution requires only that state representatives live in the county they intend to represent. Perceptions aside — sometimes voters bristle at “outsiders” representing them — Williamson is on the right side of the county line and right side of the constitutional requirement.
Whether he’s on the wrong side of the politics is another matter entirely.