Party politics emerge as issue in local council race

By Joey Leslie and Jerry Jones
O&AN Staff

Two of the four candidates running for Metro Council in the liberal and heavily Democratic 18th District have voted in Republican primaries.

In what should be considered a non-partisan race, a story in the Nashville City Paper, which reported that council candidate David Glasgow has voted Republican, has opened up the partisan discussion. That story did not mention the voting records of the other candidates, including the fact that one other candidate, Stephenie Dodson, has also voted Republican.

In a headline in a blog owned by the same media company that owns the Nashville City Paper, Glasgow’s Republican ties were again emphasized, despite the fact that Glasgow has told the publication he considered himself to be a “progressive independent.”

Carlatina Hampton, deputy registrar for the Davidson County Election Commission, said computer records show that Glasgow voted Republican in three primaries held since 2000; candidate John Ray Clemmons has voted Democrat in primaries held since 2002; candidate Kristine LaLonde has only been registered since 2006, and has voted Democrat; and Dodson has voted Democrat in all but one primary - she steered away from her party and voted Republican in 1996.

Glasgow told the City Paper that in addition to voting in Republican primaries, he’s voted for many Democrats, including casting a vote for President Barack Obama, Gov. Phil Bredesen and Mayor Karl Dean. Glasgow has been endorsed by Out & About Newspaper, the Tennessee Equality Project PAC and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.

Both Glasgow and Dodson said their decisions to vote Republican were strategic.

Glasgow told the City Paper  that "his decision to vote in Republican primaries was a strategic one so he could vote against a particular candidate, Like ultra conservative presidential candidate Mike Huckaby." Glasgow has been endorsed by Out & About Newspaper, the Tennessee Equality Project PAC and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.

Dodson told Out & About Newspaper that she didn’t remember ever having voted Republican and said it “likely was a vote against Bill Boner, not a vote for the Republican party.”

“I would never intentionally vote republican,” Dodson said. “I’ve been a young democrat since 1972, but I’m not a young Democrat anymore. I’m an old Democrat now. It might have been an unavoidable mistake to get the vote the way I wanted, but I’ve ever voted intentionally Republican for governor, mayor, and so on. I never would.”

As for the short voting record of LaLonde – she was registered to vote in Baltimore, Maryland before she moved to Nashville in the summer of 2005. She waited until 2006 to register to vote and then she directed Women for Ford, a major part of Harold Ford, Jr.’s Senate campaign. LaLonde has been endorsed by Women in Numbers.

In Tennessee, primary elections are open, and voters must choose to vote on either a Republican or Democrat ballot.

The candidates are competing to finish the four-year council term of Keith Durbin. The district includes Belmont/Hillsboro, Hillsboro/West End, Hillsboro Village and Vanderbilt and Belmont universities.

Early voting runs March 6-21 for the March 26 election at the Davidson County Election Commission, 800 Second Ave. S. Hours: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday- Friday; and 9 a.m. - noon Saturday.

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