O&AN endorses at-large and district Metro Council candidates

Davidson County voters will soon go to the polls to elect five new council-at-large posts, along with multiple district council races. In an historical first, two openly-gay candidates (Shane Burkett and Keith Durbin) are running for two different district council seats. 

Out & About Newspaper encourages its Davidson County readers to vote, and we endorse the following candidates based on the statements they may have made to O&AN on their support of the GLBT community and their past record(s) on equality and fairness. We encourage you to consider voting for these candidates.

Council-At-Large (Vote for Five)

Megan Barry
Barry has consistently reached out to a variety of groups in Nashville including the GLBT community. She understands our issues like an insider and will be a good advocate for us on Metro Council.  Many leaders in the GLBT community support her candidacy.  

Brady Banks
Banks has been remarkable for his presence at GLBT community events this spring and summer. With a background that includes a degree from Harvard Divinity School, one of the leading seminaries supporting full inclusion of GLBT persons in religious communities, Banks should have a unique ability to understand and frame our issues as they arise in the Metro Council.

Peter Westerholm
Westerholm is young, smart and has made several appearances at GLBT community events. He supports providing domestic partner benefits for Metro employees and has told O&AN he would support a non-discrimination ordinance that would include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Richard Exton
Exton has received the endorsement of Democracy for Tennessee-Nashville. This endorsement indicates a strong progressive vision and could be promising for our community.

Jerry Maynard
Maynard is a young African American and holds progressive views. He is the former deputy chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party. We need more diversity on the Metro Council and fresh new ideas.

District Council Endorsements

District 1 - No Endorsement
District 2 - Terry Clayton is progressive, intelligent and open-minded.
District 3-  No Endorsement
District 4 - No Endorsement
District 5 - Sam McCullough
District 6 - Mike Jameson
District 7 - Erik Cole
District 8 - Albert Berry
This district located in Inglewood has a large GLBT population. We support and endorse Berry because we think he would be the most progressive candidates of those running and hopefully the best for the GLBT community. Berry is the husband of Dot Shell-Berry, director of Metro Human Relations.

Of Berry’s opponents - Karen Bennett is a Republican who ran against Rob Briley in the 2004 election; Rod Boehm is running as a conservative with support from Michael Craddock; Randy Reed is a former police officer and police sergeant who came under media scrutiny after a Dec. 4, 2006, accidental shooting death of robbery suspect James Denham.

Current Councilman Jason Hart has decided not to run for re-election, after filing papers and missing the deadline for withdrawal from the ballot. Hart is apparently moving out of the district. Hart wouldn’t get our support or endorsement anyway - he voted against Gracie Porter for school board in favor of the Republican Party-backed candidate Kay Brooks. Brooks subsequently lost to Porter.

District 9 – No Endorsement
District 10 - No Endorsement
District 11 – Johnny Ellis
District 12 - Shane Burkett
Running as an openly-gay candidate, Burkett has been a strong supporter of our community as executive vice president of the Nashville GLBT Chamber.  Electing Burkett could give Nashville two openly-gay Council members. Burkett has received endorsements from the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) and the Democracy for Tennessee-Nashville (in the interest of full disclosure, O&AN does have business relationship with Burkett's company, SBResults).

District 13 - No Endorsement
District 14 - James Bruce Stanley
District 15 - No Endorsement
District 16 - Anna Page
District 17 - No Endorsement
District 18 - Keith Durbin
Durbin will (unless someone mounts a tremendous write-in campaign) be the first openly-gay elected official in Tennessee. Durbin has served as president of the Belmont-Hillsboro Neighborhood Association, and we hope he will be just as active and community-minded as a council member. Durbin has been endorsed by the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) and the Victory Fund.

District 19 - Freda Player
Player has received the endorsement of Democracy for Tennessee-Nashville. This endorsement indicates a strong progressive vision and could be promising for our community.

District 20 - No Endorsement
District 21 - No Endorsement
District 22 - Juliet Lamb
Lamb is a good candidate and, frankly, anyone would be better than the anti-everything Eric Crafton. Crafton, who was a staunch opponent of the anti-discrimination ordinance, is anti-equality and anti-immigrant. A Nashville without diversity is what he has in mind.

District 23 - Emily Evans
District 24 - Irwin Venick 
We support Venick wholeheartedly. He is a very progressive and GLBT supportive. He is the parent of a University School of Nashville student and has been the coach of the school’s mock trail team.

District 25 - No Endorsement
District 26 - Gregory Adkins
District 27 - No Endorsement
District 28 - No Endorsement
District 29 - No Endorsement
District 30 - No Endorsement
District 31 - Fabian Bedne
District 32 - No Endorsement
District 33 - No Endorsement
District 34 - Lisa Pote has received the endorsement of Democracy for Tennessee-Nashville. This endorsement indicates a strong progressive vision and could be promising for our community.

District 35 - No Endorsement

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