Monday, July 18, 2011

Big Names and Big Money Fight it out in the Talley-Holleman 24th District race

What do these people have in common: Governor Phil Bredesen; District Attorney Tory Johnson; Gerald Nicely, former Secretary of Transportation under Governor Bredesen and former Director of the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency; Jeff Yarbro, former primary opponent of Senator Doug Henry; Tom Hayden, Deputy Campaign Manager/Director of Communications for Re-elect Mayor Karl Dean, a whole bunch of lawyers who work for Bass, Berry and Sims; and other lawyers, and a lot of bankers, Brenda Wynn who works for Jim Cooper; a lot of people from as far away as New York City, Arlington VA, San Francisco, Boston MA, and Concord NH; a lot of people who work for the Public Defender, Head of Harpeth Hall School, and Walter Matthews, President of the R. C. Matthews Company?

They all contributed to the campaign of Metro Council candidate Sarah Lodge Talley who has raised $50,301.23 in the financial campaign reporting period ending 6/30/2011.

Talley must be sitting a new record for the most money ever spent on a district council campaign. By way of comparison, at large candidate Megan Barry who is running a county-wide campaign has raised only $33000 and at large candidate Tim Garrett has raised $31,000.

Talley may also be sitting a new record for the most people who live outside of the state contributing to a council district campaign. Why are people in San Francisco, Boston, and New York contributing to a Nashville district council race? Also, why is a former governor and all of the bureaucrats concerned with this race?

While Talley has bigger names supporting her campaign and more out of towners, this is not a David vs Goliath campaign. It is more like Goliath vs. Goliath battle. Incumbent candidate Jason Holleman raised $30,651.00 this reporting period and started the period with a balance on hand of $30,366. While Holleman’s average contributions are smaller and he has fewer out of town contributors, he does have some big name supporters including Senator Douglas Henry, Will Cheek, and Bill Freeman of Freeman and Webb.

I am not sure what all is behind this campaign, but I understand the Mayor is very involved and is determined to defeat Jason Holleman. Jason is a Democrat and a liberal, however he has shown independence and opposed the Mayor’s effort to destroy the fairgrounds. Also, I have heard that this race described as a proxy fight between the more progressive Democratic forces led my Jeff Yarbro who are supporting Talley and the more traditional Democrats who are supporting Holleman.

I really don't know why there is so much interest in this race, but it sure is interesting. 

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