Former Public Defender Karl Dean defeated former Congressman Bob Clement.

According to unofficial returns, Dean had about 51,000 votes to about 47,000 for Clement with 98 percent of the vote counted in the nonpartisan election. Clement conceded the race 70 minutes after the polls closed.

Dean was endorsed by Out & About Newspaper and the Tennessee Equality Project Political Action Committee.

Hundreds of well wishers attended Dean's victory party at the Adventure Science Center, which symbolized a central focus of Dean's campaign- education.

"I'm looking forward to reaching out to many people as we move forward," Dean said.

He thanked staff, volunteers and advisers including former Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice A.A. Birch and state Sen. Thelma Harper, a Nashville Democrat. Also present at the science center were former Vice Mayor Howard Gentry and current Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors.

"Let's turn the clock back to January. Really I've been in this race since the end of December," Dean who began his campaign at the end of 2006 to try to reach people who may not have been familiar with him.

Dean served as Nashville's law director from 1999 until the beginning of this year. He also served as Nashville's public defender in 1990. He was re-elected four years later and again in 1998.

His community commitments include serving on the boards of Greenways for Nashville, Leadership Nashville Alumni as well as the Oasis Center and Reconciliation Ministries. He also served as president of the board of United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee.

"I came to Nashville to get an education and I stayed for love," Dean said referring to his wife of 23 years Anne Davis.

He met her in Nashville. They have three children.

"It's been a great marriage," Dean said, adding that he's also had a great career in Nashville, which he called a wonderful place.

"I can't think of a bigger honor of just being able to run for mayor of Nashville," Dean said. "We've got a fantastic future. We've got issues, sure, but it will be wonderful to work on them with you all. For people who voted me thank you and for people who voted for Bob and the other candidates, thank you. I am so looking forward to doing this job. I can honestly say that this is the one job that I wanted to do."

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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