Voting records of Metro Council members seeking higher, new offices to be scrutinized

Five members of Nashville’s Metro Council governing body are seeking higher, or alternative office later this year, and some in the community plan to use at least one vote against them.

Four —Eric Crafton, Michael Craddock, Jim Gotto and Duane Dominy — voted against a revised non-discrimination ordinance for Metro that added sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes. Wilhoite was not in the room when the final vote was taken, so she was recorded as absent.

Wilhoite and Crafton are seeking to unseat incumbent Vic Lineweaver and take the Juvenile Court Clerk position, while Craddock is eyeing David Torrence’s Criminal Court Clerk position. Gotto has announced his intention to seek retiring state Rep. Ben West’s District 60 seat, while Dominy is after the District 59 slot held by Rep. Sherry Jones.

Gotto is running in the Donelson/Hermitage area and Dominy is in south Nashville, parts of the city that trend conservative. This may make their stance on the ordinance a help rather than a hindrance, or it could be a non-starter, said Chris Sanders, board member of the Tennessee Equality Project Political Action Committee.

“Sherry has held her district for a long time, and they’re very open about being pro-equality,” Sanders said. “Ben West openly supported Shane Burkett in his run for the council, and he was reelected after he did so. That district is changing somewhat; we’ve got three board members in that house district. It’s a lot broader than the council seat from there, so we’ll have to see.”

Those seeking the court-clerk positions would be in charge of enforcing an ordinance they did not support, which could call into question their willingness to do so, while replacing West and Jones with Gotto and Dominy would take the Davidson County delegation significantly rightward, Sanders says, and that’s something to be considered.

“The legislation has been shifting that way already, and for the Davidson delegation to do so would present a real impact on equality legislation,” he said. “This is not to say that we’re not open to these people changing their minds on our issues. But they key thing for our community to remember is that these people voted against is, and there would be consequences to elevating them to higher office.”

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