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Davidson County May Primary Election Guide

Davidson County May Primary Election Guide

On the ballot for the May 3rd primaries, you’ll see an overwhelming number of Democrats up for election in Davidson County.

There is only one race in the primaries with Republicans on the ticket, and that is the School Board Race for District 2. It’s worth noting that the Metro School Board kept kids in remote learning and masked them longer than in other counties. Other key discussions surrounding the school board races revolve around fiscal transparency, what’s being taught in the classroom as regards sexuality and gender, and parental rights.

Another notable race is the District Attorney race. Though there are only Democrats on the ticket, the race is extremely important as DAs have the power to prosecute, and arguably, will most directly impact your quality of life in the city. Their platforms determine how laws are implemented, how bail is set, and how/what criminal behavior is punished. Many of the platforms popping up in the current DA race mimic progressive DA practices in some of the most dangerous cities in the country. These platforms include relaxed cash bail which has lead to an increase in violent crime committed by criminals out on bond, "restorative" justice, equity through the criminal justice system, prosecuting police, and radical adjustments made in the name of compensating for racial and class discrimination.

Below, we have outlined the campaign platforms of the candidates in these two important races. We also provided some background information regarding certain candidates we are partial to so you can get an idea of who they are before they show up on the General election ballot. It is important to note that any candidate listed as the only party candidate in their race will not show up on the Primary election ballot. You can peruse all the candidates we listed by exploring the links to their campaign pages. Explore the full list of candidates on your own by navigating Davidson Counties candidate listing.

Don’t live in School Board District 2 and have no Republicans to vote for in the primaries? Consider voting in the Democratic Primaries and allow your voice to be heard regarding the District Attorney Race. Tennessee is an open primary state, meaning you can vote in any party primary you choose.

District Attorney General (8-year term)

Glenn Funk (D) Incumbent

  • Progressive.
  • Runs on ending mass incarceration, not prosecuting lower level/non-violent crimes including low-level marijuana cases.
  • Has a history of working with both sides of the aisle on certain issues.
  • Endorses speedier trials rather than eliminating cash bail.
  • Specifically formed alliances with black political leaders to win last race.
  • Scrutinized for offering a plea deal in the Delke case where a law enforcement officer shot Daniel Hambrick.
  • Scrutinized for conviction of RaDonda Vaught who was a nurse that was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide and abuse of an impaired adult after a medication error that contributed to the death of Charlene Murphey.
  • Challenger Sara Beth Myers has repeatedly accused Funk of illegal campaign activity at the DA office Christmas party and during a luncheon.

Sara Beth Myers (D)

  • Progressive activist.
  • Runs on “restorative” justice and seeks to upend the separation of powers and autonomy in the current system.
  • Runs on prosecuting police officers.
  • Community policing, bias training, civil rights, crime prevention - Myers promotes all the progressive talking points held by other wildly progressive DA’s.
  • Will explore bail reform, including looking at cash bail. She runs on a platform that highlights iniquities and makes harsh claims about the privileged, police officers, and other positions.
  • Has been going to Conservative meetups feigning she’s a “moderate” candidate - even as a Republican in some cases. She’s running on the Democratic ticket. Though moderates are known to transcend party lines, her campaign material is wildly progressive. Her solutions and platforms mimic that of progressive DAs such as Chesa Boudin of San Francisco.
  • Fired by Glenn Funk when he took office.
  • Runs a non-profit called AWAKE.

P. Danielle Nellis (D)

  • Progressive
  • Running on transparency and community-based crime prevention.
  • Worked in Glenn Funk’s office as an Assistant DA.
  • Focused on restorative justice and creating neighborhood courts that hear lower-level cases.
  • Wants criminal justice reform with swift changes to how lower-level crime is prosecuted and criminals are reinstated.
  • Probably the least known candidate on the ticket.
  • Received a campaign contribution from Stacey Abrams.

Metropolitan Board of Public Education (4-year term)

Onto School Boards. The only Republican primary is in District 2.

Don’t know what school board district you live in? (More Info)

School Board District 2

Edward Arnold (I)

  • The use of Teacher Incentive for Public Schools (TIPS). TIPS evaluates the classroom for difficulty and compensates the teacher with additional pay.

Rachael Anne Elrod (D) Incumbent

  • Retaining high-quality Metro teachers and support staff.
  • Pre-K expansion.

All three Republican candidates below felt the strong conviction that parents need proper representation on Metro’s School Board. Regardless of who wins the primary election, they’ve all stated they’ll support each other, and the community, going forward when it comes to advocating for Metro students and their parents. They agree on many issues including no masking requirements, no CRT or other socio-sexual agendas in classrooms, transparency with Metro school fincances, and accountability on the school board, for entities that contribute to the classroom, teachers, and administrators.

Janeen Kingma (R)

  • Wants more transparency as to where all the money comes from and where it goes to in Metro schools.
  • Has stated that the system has gotten too far away from actual education. The classroom should revolve around reading, history, arithmetic, science, etc..
  • Never planned on running for a public position, but felt that there is great need for parental advocates on the Metro school board.
  • Has taught in multiple schools, including urban areas as well as homeschooling her 8 children.

Todd Pembroke (R)

  • His slogan is ‘no woke Pembroke’ and doesn’t believe that critical race theory, sexuality or gender-based studies should be taught by teachers in schools. He also doesn’t believe in masking children, ever.
  • Draws from his experience as an Army officer and as a State Farm agent. Both arm him with communication, leadership, delegation, and negotiation skills which give him unique qualities to tackle the Metro School Board.
  • Outlines his CDE plan which highlights Communication between the board, administrators, and teachers, encourages Discipline to foster a positive learning environment, and Education highlighting the need to get back to the fundamentals in the classroom.

Mark Woodward (R)

  • Mark is a K-12 music and drama teacher and understands the unique impact classrooms have on children.
  • Strongly opposed to the confusion impressed upon children about sexuality, gender, and other social emotional learning intrusions on youth.
  • Strongly opposed to the push for Pre-K as it has been proven to have adverse effects on children. Instead, he believes in a child-centered approach that encourages play and exploration, much like the Montessori method in the school he teaches in.
  • An advocate for childhood literacy.
  • Wishes to impose a standard of transparency if elected to the school board.

School Board District 4

Kelli Phillips (R)

  • Backed by the DCRP (Davidson County Republican Party).
  • You can hear more from her on May23rd at her fundraiser held at Hermitage Steakhouse where the District 5 Congressional Candidates will also be present.

John Little (D) Incumbent

Berthena Nabaa-McKinney (D)

School Board District 6

Fran Bush (I) Incumbent

  • Led the fight to end virtual learning and go back to in-person learning.
  • An ethics complaint was brought against Ms. Bush in 2021 for commenting on social media, saying teachers should quit their jobs if they're not willing to work in person during the pandemic.

Natalie L. Martin (D)

Cheryl D. Mayes (D)

School Board District 8

Erin O’Hara Block (D)

Chris Moth (D)

Amy Pate (I)

Circuit Court Judge Division I (8-year term)

David Briley (D)

  • Former Nashville Mayor, Vice Mayor and councilmember.

Wendy Longmire (D)

General Sessions Judge Division IV (8-year term)

Brian A. Horowitz (R)

  • The only Republican running for any of the General Sessions Judge positions.

Lynda F. Jones (D) Incumbent

Sherriff (4-year term)

Daron Hall (D)