|Municipal Elections 2012|
|Friday, June 8, 2012|
Forsythe’s entry rocks H’ville mayoral race
Gallatin Councilman Tommy Garrott picked up a petition last week to seek re-election Nov. 6 to his at-large seat. Two challengers previously picked up papers for the same at-large seat: well-connected businessman Taylor Tomkins Condra and former Gallatin Police Chief John A. Tisdale.
Garrott has recently advocated for increasing city debt by $5 million or at least $2.5 million. Mayor Jo Ann Graves vetoed the $5 million bond and Garrott could not find a fifth vote to override it. A $2.5 million bond issue brought by Councilman Jimmy Overton is expected to come up for a vote Tuesday after deadline.
Ward 2 Councilman Steve Camp returned his petition last week to seek a full term of office. Camp has previously run for the seat in 2004 and 2008, nearly winning last time, only 28 votes shy of a tie and a 29th to win. He received the appointment by council to fill out the unexpired term left by the resignation of Dale Bennett who had won both times in a one-on-one race.
Ward 1 Councilman Anne Kemp still has her petition outstanding. Saturday morning she confirmed she would be returning her petition and be in the running.
Those are the only three races up in Gallatin.
Five other cities have elections
Six Sumner cities total have elections this year on Nov 6. The other five are Hendersonville, Goodlettsville, Millersville, Westmoreland, and White House. Developments in those races follow.
Ward 1 Alderman, Finance Chairman and Vice-Mayor Garry Forsythe rocked the boat in the three-way mayoral race that has been shaping up in Hendersonville since last summer. Forsythe suddenly and unexpectedly picked up a qualifying petition Friday to enter the mayor’s race instead of seeking re-election. That was the same day incumbent Mayor Scott Foster returned his petition to seek re-election to a third term.
Is Forsythe running? “Oh, absolutely. As they say on ‘American Idol,’ I’m in it to win it,” he responded Wednesday. He cited his business experience for over 40 years, 30 as a banker and later with the Credit Bureau of Nashville and then CIC Foundation, Inc. which he said provides scholarships to graduating seniors and funding to other 501(c)3’s.
“I have leadership skills and communications skills from my business experiences. Leadership is solving problems,” said Forsythe. He pointed to infrastructure needs and finances of the city as matters than require problem-solving skills. “I think I have the skills - all the while keeping the eye on the ball of what needs to be done.
“I made the decision recently to run. I think I could be successful and do a better job than the other folks,” stated Forsythe.
He said he got along with the other candidates in the race, noting he had eaten with Ward 5 Alderman and mayoral candidate Tommy Elsten earlier that morning. Voicemail messages left for Elsten Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning were not returned by deadline.
Ward 4 Alderman Steve Brown and Elsten both have petitions outstanding for the mayoral race. Forsythe, Brown, and Elsten are all in the last year of 4-year terms. Each must choose whether to continue to pursue the mayor’s seat or revert back to seek re-election to an aldermanic seat for which others are already pulling papers.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s one or five, I will stay focused on my target of winning the election and the plans I have for the city,” stated Brown Thursday afternoon. Brown added that he got along with Forsythe and they have ridden motorcycles together.
A voicemail message left for Foster on Thursday was not returned before deadline.
New, old faces in aldermanic races
N. Kee Bryant-McCormick returned her petition Friday to seek the Ward 5 seat opening with Elsten’s bid for mayor. In 2010, Bryant-McCormick came in second against incumbent Alderman Hamilton Frost, drawing 1,553 votes (41.71 percent) to Frost’s winning 2,156 (57.91 percent) with 14 write-in votes making up the difference.
Darrell Woodcock also picked up a petition for Ward 5 but has not yet returned it. Woodcock, a co-founder of Sumner United for Responsible Government, is already being backed by SURG that also subtitles itself as The Sumner County Tea Party.
Eric Stamper wrote in a SURG email May 21: “If Darrell is elected, he will be the third SURG member to be elected to the Hendersonville Board of Mayor and Aldermen, joining Arlene Cunningham and Matt Stamper.”
Neither Tea Party alderman is up for re-election this cycle. Alderman Matt Stamper is Eric Stamper’s brother.
Jim Waters returned his petition Tuesday to seek the Ward 6 seat for which Alderman Jim Hoback will not seek reelection. In 2010, Waters came in second with 747 votes (33.60 percent) in a race won by Matt Stamper who pulled in 829 (37.29 percent) with Darlene Stringfellow taking 639 (28.74 percent) with eight write-ins.
Eric Stamper’s email added: “Other SURG Members Seeking Office: Jim Waters, who has been attending SURG meetings since the beginning of this year, has announced he will run for Hendersonville Alderman Ward 6, for which he was also a candidate in 2010.”
David Whitt, a frequent commenter at BOMA meetings, has also picked up but not yet returned a petition for Ward 6. SURG claimed both Whitt and Waters in a June 5 email: “Another SURG Member Seeks Office: David Whitt, a frequent attendee to SURG meetings and events, has pulled papers to run for Hendersonville Alderman in Ward 6. He will be competing against a recent SURG addition, Jim Waters, for an open seat.
“SURG Past President Darrell Woodcock is running for Hendersonville Alderman in Ward 5 in open seat.
“If two SURG members are elected to Alderman in 2012 they would join Arlene Cunningham and Matt Stamper, resulting in four SURG members on the 13-member Board of Mayor and Alderman,” concluded that section of the email.
No one had picked up papers for the Ward 1 seat now held by Forsythe. Nor has anyone picked up for the Ward 3 seat from which Chris Gallaher resigned effective May 31. The Board of Mayor and Aldermen plans to fill that position soon, probably in June. Applications are being accepted through June 15.
Don Ames picked up a petition for the opening in Ward 4 left by Brown’s mayoral bid. Ames currently serves on the Hendersonville Regional Planning Commission.
Ward 2 Alderman Scott Sprouse is the only incumbent alderman to have picked up a petition to seek re-election. Of six aldermanic seats up this year, five incumbents are not seeking re-election as of now. If that holds, at least five new faces will be on Board after the election.
Millersville – Pick 4
Chad Marshall Ray picked up a petition Tuesday to seek one of the four Millersville Commissioner slots up this year.
Westmoreland – Pick 3
In Westmoreland, three aldermen seats are up. Appointed incumbent Alderman Ricky R. Cline is seeking reelection but has not returned his petition. He finished fourth in a six-way race filled by the top three vote-getters in 2008. He finished a close third only three votes behind in a five-way race to fill two seats in 2010. Since December 2010, he has served as an alderman appointed to fill a vacant seat.
Incumbent White House District 4 Alderman Clif Hutson picked up a petition Tuesday to seek re-election. No one has yet picked up for the District 3 seat.
Qualifying petitions are due by noon on Aug. 16 and the deadline to withdraw is noon on Aug. 23.
By Jesse Hughes