Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Update: It is Kent Wall. Election Administrator to be selected at Davidson County Special Called Meeting 10/28/2013 3:00 PM

Update : 10-29-2013- As expected the Davidson County Election Commission selected Kent Wall as Election Administrator yesterday.

On Monday Oct. 28th the Davidson County Election Commission will select a new Election Administrator. The position of Election Administrator became vacant in May after the newly appointed Election Commission fired Election Administrator Albert Tieche. 

The four nominees for the position are:
  • Joan Nixon, a 28-year career employee of the Election Commission and a Democrat who is currently serving as interim administrator. She was appointed to the position after Albert Tieche was fired.
  • Steven Murff, former program director of the Davidson County Mental Health Court.
  • John Howell, who works in the Nashville hospitality industry.
  • Kent Wall, an election poll worker volunteer and former president of Johnston & Murphy, a subsidiary of the Genesco footwear company. 
Sources tell me that Kent Wall is the favored candidate of Election Commission Chairman Ron Buchanan and the person likely to get the job. Some people have raised eyebrows about the close relationship between the Walls and Buchanans. Kent Wall's wife is Susan Wall, Chair of the Nashville Republican Women's Club and Ron Buchanan's wife is Vicky Buchanan, a Vice Chair of the Nashville Republican Women's Club. I am not sure that there is anything particularly wrong with that. The Election Commissioners are political appointees and one would expect them to be active in party politics and often spouses of people who are active in politics are also involved in politics, however it may appear a little too cozy. For appearances sake it might be appropriate for Ms Wall and Ms Buchanan to resign their positions with the Nashville Republican Women. On the other hand, if Mr. Kent does get the position and all goes smoothly at the Election Commission no one will care, but should their be problems we could expect the press and Democrat activist to try make something of the fact of this close relationship.

I have been told that at the last Commission meeting when candidates were being interviewed for the position of Election Administrator that Chairman Ron Buchanan aggressively questioned John Howell. I was not there so I don't know what occurred, but I heard this from more than one source. One person told me, he treated Howell worse than he did Albert Tieche at the meeting where Tieche was fired. Another person told me that Buchanan treated Howell like a witness on cross examination. If anyone was present at that meeting, I would welcome you leaving a comment to confirm or refute this.

Whoever is appointed Election Administrator, I hope they do a good job and stay out of the news. That may be hard to do however. With Tennessee a Red state except for the Blue strongholds of Memphis and Nashville, Democrats are going to do all than can do to hold on to power. They can be expected to go after the next Election Administrator the same way they went after Tieche. Tieche had an especially challenging job to do. He had several election in a brief period of time, he faced a redistricting and the introduction of new technologies. Also he was the first Election Administrator appointed by a Republican majority Election Commission and he inherited a staff that were all Democrats. The next Election Administrator may not have as many challenges as did Tieche but Democrats can also be expected to make his life difficult and to use ever opportunity to promote an agenda that claims Republicans are trying to disenfranchise voters. Whoever the new Election Administrator is, he will have his work cut out for him.

The Davidson County Election Commission will hold a “Special Called” meeting on  Monday, October 28, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. This will be at the new location of the Election Commission, 1417 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37217
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