Saturday, April 20, 2019

In the races for District Council, who has the money and where did it come from (Part 1)

by Rod Williams - Below is information gleamed from an examination of Financial Disclosure forms filed with the Davidson County Election Commission. In listing who contributed to whose campaign, I listed those names that I recognized. I do not know everybody. There are many people in Nashville who are better informed than I about who the movers and shakers and influencers are. To view the campaign disclosures for yourself, follow this link

Those candidates who did not file a report were not required to because they had not appointed a campaign treasures in the first quarter and have not raised or spent money. 

District 1

Johnathan Hall: Amount raised $4251, spent $3063, on hand $1187,

Contributors of interest:
    • Tom White, attorney, $500
    • Rod Dale, developer and former councilman, $1000
    • Nick Leonardo, Judge, $101.
    • Donna Knepper of Springfield, TN gave a aggregate amount of $3801. Candidates are prohibited from receiving over $1600 per campaign from any one person (link). Donna Kneepper's occupation and employer are not listed as required. 
Rudolph Mamula: raised $990, spent $458. Contributors: $980 was candidates own money. District
District 2
Yolanda Hockett: I was unable to review this campaign disclosure. There is a problem with the link on the Easy Campaign Finance website. I have reported this to the Election Commission.
 Kyonzte Toobs: Received only $100  
District 3
Ellie Hudson: Received $11,015, spent $15098
Contributors: Unitemized $1765. I do not recognized any of her contributors. James Hudson, Westley Hudson and Marcella Hudson gave $1500 each and another Hudson gave $400.  

District 5
Charles Flowers: Received $2900, spent $2055. Contributions: unitemized $980. He received four $500 contributions and I do not recognize any of the names. 

Sean Parker: Received $5615, spent $286. Contributors of interest: Hana Ali for State Representative, $250; Candidate received four $500 contributions. I do not recognized the name of any of his contributors except for Hanna Ali.
District 7
Clint Camp: His only receipt is a $1300 from the candidate. nothing spent. 
District 10
Tim Garrett raised $28,247, began with a balance on hand of $1844, spent nothing and has $30,091 on hand.
Contributor of interest:
    • He received $4130 unitemized which means they are contributions of not over $100. 
    • Anthony Holt, Mayor of Sumner County $250
    • Jamie Hollin, attorney, $250
    • Friends of Daron Hall, $250
    • Lee Beaman, auto dealer, $1000.
    • Jack Cawthon, owner Cawthon bar B Q, $250
    • William Freeman, developer, $1500
    • Charlie Tygard, Jr, former Councilman, $200
    • Joe Binkley, Jr. Judge, $150
    • Roy Dale, Developer and former councilman, $500
    • Robert Joslin, Jr, of Joslin Sign, $500
    • Home Bilders PAC, $500 
    • Tom White, attorney, $1000 
Zach Young raised $15,219, spent $832.
Contributors of interest:
  • unitemzised meaning contributions of $100 or less,$4744 Hana Ali for State Representative, $250 Carol Soloman, $125
  • Friends of Bo Mitchell, $500
  • VINCENT DIXIE, TN State Rep. ,$150
  • Madison Rivergate Chamber of Commerce, $125
  • A loan from the candidate, $2500.
District 12
Erin Evans received $13061, spent $2784
  • unitemized contributions 2031
  • Gayle Ray, $104
  • Several of the candidates contributions were from out of state (Florida and Ky and OH) and several were from other cities in Tennessee.
Geric Smith received $900, spent $270

District 13
Russ Bradford,  $0 received

Dan Meridith received $1232, spent $172. Contributors: Candidates own contribution $200, Will Pinkston School Board Member, $242.

District 14
Jeff Syracuse, received $16,533, spent $1160.
    • Ryman PAC, $8100
    • Phil and Judy Clairborn, Phil is the former councilman, $200
    • Joe and Elizabeth Hobbs, $200
    • John Hobbs, $200
    • Bill Beck, $200
District 16
Ginny Welsch received $4140, spent $1092
Contributors: Barbara Clinton, $450, Don Mooradian $50, Several Welsch's contributed to her campaign

District 18
Tom Cash received $1190, spent $851
Contributors: unitemized contributions $1370, Jan Busing $300

John Green. Received $33,324, spent $2485
Contributors ot interest:
  • Tom White attourney $$250
  • Ozburn Hessey, $250
  • Burkley Allen, $100
  • Peter Heidenreich, $200
  • Gordon Bonnyman, Tennessee Justice Center, $150
  • Brenda Sanderson, ower of several Broadway honky tonks, $500.
  • Michele Johnson, Tennessee Justice Center, $500.
  • Mark Deuteshmann, realtor, $1,000.
  • Charles Robert Bone, attourney $500.
  • H. G. Hill Realty PAC, $250
  • Vivian Wilholte, Davidson County Assessor of Property, $100

To be continued. Check back for Part 2.

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Friday, April 19, 2019

Metro Nashville Council considers instant runoff voting

By Dylan Aycock, Community Impact Newspaper - Metro Nashville Council is considering changes to the Metro Charter that would eliminate the need for runoff elections.

The voting method, referred to as “ranked choice” or “instant runoff,” would allow voters to choose a top candidate, followed by a ranking of subsequent preferred candidates. As it stands now, the top two candidates must go to a run-off election when no one receives 50 percent of the vote. (read more)

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Before you vote meet Swope

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What they’re saying about the release of the Mueller report

Sen. Lamar Alexander:
“Robert Mueller is a respected prosecutor. He has determined that the president did not collude with Russia during the 2016 election."

Rep. Phil Roe, 1st Congressional District:
"I hope with the public release of his report Congress can get back to working with the president on policies that benefit all Americans."

Rep. Tim Burchett, 2nd Congressional District:
"The reality is, the bottom line is, there is no collusion by any Americans."

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, 3rd Congressional District:
"Today, the Special Counsel’s report was released to Congress but it is abundantly clear that Democrats are steadfast in their effort to prolong their dog and pony show of taxpayer-funded investigations regardless of the Special Counsel’s findings."

Rep. Scott DesJarlais, 4th Congressional District:
"Atty. Gen. Barr presented a detailed, convincing explanation of the Special Counsel’s findings — no collusion, no obstruction — and process for release of report."

Rep. John Rose, 6th Congressional District:
"There was no collusion. This was simply another distraction from the real work we need to be focused on for the Sixth District of Tennessee and all of the American people."

Rep. Mark Green, 7th Congressional District:
"The Special Counsel’s report is clear – it absolves the president and kills the phony tale that the president colluded with Russia. It’s time to close this embarrassing chapter of American history."

Rep. David Kustoff, 8th Congressional District:
"As a former United States Attorney, I believe Attorney General Barr handled the legal requirements with the public’s need for full transparency extremely well. I hope the Democrat party can finally move on and end their politically motivated investigations against President Trump."

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

At-large Council races: Who has the money and where did it come from

* Burkley Allen's totals are based on incomplete data. It is likely higher than the number listed.

Not everyone who have picked up a qualifying petition for a Council-at-large race has appointed a campaign treasurer.  Below is information taken from the financial disclosure of those who have filed reports. These are the only at-large candidates to file financial disclosures. I am not the person in Nashville best connected, so there are many important people whose names I do not know. For more information, visit the Elections Commissions website and view the financial disclosures for yourself at this link.

Burkley Allen
As posted on the Election Commissions website, the report does not contain the report form but only a list of contributors. I have reported this to the Election Commission.  As of now, the total expenditures, total receipts and cash on hand is unknown. Itemized contributions: $89,672
Contributions of interest
  • Friends of Burkley, $22,836
  • Dave Cooley, lobbyist, $250
  • Burkley Allen, $1600
  • Marks Deutschmann, Realtor, $1500
  • Walker Matthews, R. C.Matthews co., $1500 
  • Gayle Ray, $250
  • Hannah Casidy, attorney, $250
  • Bert Matthews, The Matthews Co., $200
  • Charles Howell, IV,  C. A. Howell and Co. $500
  • Gina for Schools, Conexion Americas, $150
  • H. G. Hill Realty PAC, $250
  • Randy Rayburn, Restaurateur, $250
  • Waller Lansden PAC, $1,000
  • I. C. Thomason PAC, $1,000
  • Charles Robert Bone, attorney, $500
  • She received a lot of money from medical doctors and others in the medical field.

Fabian Bedne
Total money raised was $39,083 and expenditures totaled $4,770.
The ending Balance on hand was $3,1313

Contributions of interest:
  • He reports $51078 of unitemized contributions. Contributions of $100 or less do not have to be itemized.
  • Charles Robert Bone, attorney, $500.
  • Gina Pupo-Walker, School Board Member, employed by Conexion Americas,  $250. 
  • Kay Bowers, MDHA board member, Executive Director of New Level Community Development Corporation,  $250.
  • Avi Poster, liberal community activist, $250.
  • Mario Ramos, Immigration Attorney, $250.
  • Will Cheek, III, attorney, $250.
  • William H. Freeman, Freeman Webb real estate, 2016 mayoral candidate, super Democrat Party fundraiser, $1,000.
  • Shirley Zeitln, real estate, $200. 
  • David G. Cooley, pubic relations/lobbyist, $250.
  • Janis Sontany, former state representative, $200.
  • Will Pinkston, Metro School Board member, $250.
  • Tennessee Laborers PAC, $2000.
  • Home Builders PAC,  $500. 
Steve Glover
Total money raised was $8,404; money spent was $379.
The ending balance on hand was $8,025.

Contributions of interest: 
  • Roy Dale, Developer, Dale and Associates, former councilman, $500.
  • Ronnie Hobbs, Hobbs Enterprises, $500.
  • Joe Hobbs, High Note Wine and Spirits, $500.
  • Tom White, attorney,  Tune, Entrekin & White, P.C. $500.
  • Robert Joslin, Jr, Joslin and Son Sign Co. $500. 
  • Doug Pardue, Metro Councilman, $500.
  • Raphaela Keohane, member of the Davidson County Republican Party Executive Committee, $100.
  • Barrett Hobbs, Cumberland Hospitality Group, $500.
  • Beth Harwell, former State Speaker of the House and candidate for governor. $250
  • Ben Cunningham, Tea Party activist, $250.
  • Edward Smith, $1000.
  • Johnny Hobbs,  CEO Jackson Downs Wines & Liquor, $500.
  • Home Builders PAC, $250. 
Gary W. Moore
Total money raised was $20,019; money spent was $3711.
The ending balance on hand was $16,308.

Contributions of interest:
  • Gary W. Moore, $500
    Nashville Firefighters Local 140, $7,800.
  • Amanda McClendon, judge, $250
  • William Freeman, (I assume this is Bill Freeman of Freeman Webb, former candidate for mayor and fund raiser for the Democrat Party*), $250.
  • Gary Moore, Jr, $1000. 
  • Nashville Firemans Credit Union, $200. 
  • Friends of Bo Mitchell, $500.
  • UAW PAC, $500.
  • Dewey Brandstetter, attorney, $250.
  • DRIVE Committee, Washington D. C., $1000.
*Note: On this candidates disclosure form, on most entries the candidate did not list the employer and occupation of the contributor which is required by law.  This makes it difficult to know who is the contributor. 

Zulfat Suara
Total money raised was $57,076. Money spent was $15,373.
The ending balance on hand was $41,703. 

Contributions of interest:
  • unitemzed contribution were $2,626
  • Rahaman Suara, $1600
  • Will Pinkston, School board member, $250
  • Brenda Wynn, Metro Clerk, $250
  • Demetria Kalodimos, $100
  • Gayle Ray, $250
  • Mark Deutschman, broker, Village Real Estate, $100
  • Wade Munday, Executive Director, Tennessee Justice for our Neighbors, $150. 
  • Megan Barry, former mayor, $100.
  • Jose Conzalez, CFO, Conexion Americas, $125
Note: The majority of contributors to this campaign were people with foreign sounding names and I knew very few of them.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Race for Mayor: Who has the money, where it came from and how much they have on hand.

by Rod Williams - Below is information gathered from an examination of the campaign financial disclosures which were filed on April 10, 2019. This is the first quarter report and covers the period from when they first filed a treasure to March 31, 2019.  Please note that I have listed as contributors only those names that jumped out at me for some reason. I am not a walking encyclopedia of who's who in Nashville. I am sure there were some important contributors whose names I did not recognize. To view the reports for yourself, follow this link

David Briley 
He raised $189,348 and spent $117,703.  
He started with a balance on hand of $344,564 and ended with $416,403 on hand. 

  • Briley's contributions of $100 or less came to only $4,090
  • John Bridges of The Nashville Scene, $1500
  • Father Breen of St Edwards, $100
  • Dewey Branstetter Jr, attorney, $500
  • Mark Deutshman, realtor, $100
  • Charles Robert Bone, attorney, $100
  • Charles Bone, Attorney $1600
  • Elizabeth Seigenthaler Cortney, CEO of Seigenthaler Public Relations, $1600
  • Martha Ingram, $1600
  • Amy Adams Strunk, controlling owner of the Tennessee Titans, $1600 
  • Shirley Zietland of Zietland and Company realtors, $500
  • Amanda McClendon, Judge, $500 
  • Waller Landen PAC, $8,100
  • Piedmont Natural Gas PAC, $2500
  • He received a lot of contributions from CEOs of various companies, lots of money from lots of attorneys, money from some metro employees, bankers, and  money from people associated with HCA,

John Clemmons 
He raised $41,803 (not counting his $100,00 loan) and spent $738
He started with a $135,565 balance on hand and ended with $141,065. 
He also loaned his campaign $100,000.

  • Daniel Horawitz, a libertarian-oriented Democrat attorney who has been involved in several high profile law suits, writes Supreme Court of Tennessee blog,  $250, 
  • Fred Detwiller of Det distributing, $1600 
  • A couple people with Marathon Music Works 
  • Chris Guthrie, Dean of Vanderbilt Law, $500 
  • John Cawthon owner of Jack Calwthons Bar-B-Q, $500
  • Economics professor Malcolm Getz, who was active in efforts to defeat the recent transit initiative, $200
  • Dr. Matthew Walker, $500.
  • Robert Lipman owner of Lipman Brothers, $1000.
  • Chales Howell of C. A. Howell, $500

Carol Swain
She raised $118,158 and spent $8,506.
She began with a balance on hand of $6,546.32 and ended up with a balance on hand of $116,199.

Contributors of interest:
  • She had unitemized contributions of almost $22,000 which is contributions of $100 or less.That is an impressive amount of money raised from small donors.
  • Lee Beaman, of Beaman Motor Co, and a contributor to many conservative causes, $1600
  • Ben Cunningham, TEA party activist, $500
  • Dr. Ming Wang, $1000
  • John Wang, owner of Music City Insurance, former candidate for Metro Council, $1000. 
  • Rod Williams, blogger at A Disgruntled Republican $123
  • She received several contributions from  people associated with the downtown honky tonks: Honky Tonk Central gave $1600, Tooties Entertainment $1600,  Harry O's Steakhouse $1600, Steve Smith owner of Tooties $1600 and  several others gave the $1600 maximum.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

It's Official! John Cooper is running for mayor!

John Cooper
by Rod Williams - He announced it this morning in an interview with The Tennessean and he launched a website John Cooper for Nashville.  In the interview with The Tennessean this morning he said, "my issues are neighborhoods first — density is not its own reward. When density happens, we have to use it to build a livable city. And my second issue is financial stewardship. There is no question the city has deep financial issues. We've maxed out the credit card, so the easy decisions are behind us. Debt service is going to probably be once again the biggest item in the new budget.

Cooper had been considered a likely candidate for mayor until February when he announced he would not run.  Since that time many have encouraged him to reconsider and get back in the race. With Nashville's debt being the largest per capita in the nation and eating up more and more of the city's budget and crowding out pay raises and adequate funding for city services, many felt we needed someone who would take the debt issue seriously.  In the Council, Cooper has been a consistent voice advocating fiscal responsibility. 

Now that he has entered the race,  he begins as an underdog. The other candidates have had months to build a campaign team and raise money and get pledges of support. Cooper does have the advantage, however, of having run county-wide and been elected.  Also, being the brother of Congressman Jim Cooper gives him instant connection to a lot of people. Cooper also has a resume, that recommends him for the job. He has a record of being a thoughtful hardworking member of the Council who has consistently advocated for fiscal responsibility and been and advocate for the interest of Nashville citizens over that of corporation. He has consistently been a critic of using economic incentives to lure business to Nashville. 

Cooper is married and 62 years old. He earned an MBA from Vanderbilt University, worked in finance on Wall Street, returned to Nashville to work in real estate development and business. Most of his development was focused on projects on Williamson County. To read his bio follow this link.

While I had earlier supported Carol Swain and contributed to her campaign, I am now supporting John Cooper.  I like Carol Swain and voted for her in her last campaign for mayor, but in a city as liberal as Nashville, I feel her record as a pundit and author advocating conservative position on social issue would make her unelectable.  I would urge Carol Swain to drop out of the race and endorse Cooper.

I have closely observed Cooper on the Council.  He grasp the details of the functioning of the city.  He understands as well as anyone the complexity of city finances. He would not be learning on-the-job. He is the person we need at this time to serve as mayor. I have just sent him a campaign contribution and urge you to do so also. Visit his website John Cooper for Nashville and hit the "donate" button.

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Monday, April 15, 2019

Update: John Cooper is runnng for mayor!

4/15/2019 Update: It looks more certain every day that John Cooper will run for mayor. Sources tell me to look for an announcement anytime. There may be an announcement as early as tomorrow.

The Nashville Scene is now reporting it: John Cooper Might Change His Mind and Run for Mayor.  At this point, I will be very surprised if he does not run. 

by Rod Williams, April,11, 2019 - At least a reliable source told me he was.  Early on, Cooper was often mentioned as a potential candidate for mayor, then in early February he announced he would not be seeking the mayor's office. Rumors keep floating that he will get back in the race.  Assuming this is true, this is good news. I like Carol Swain but frankly, doubt she can win. She has a lengthy record of expressing  her views on social issue. I tend to share her views, but think they would hurt her in city as liberal as Nashville.  I wish she could, but just don't think she can win.

John Cooper is a Democrat and I don't know his views on social issues and I don't want to know. He has not made his views public.  I don't know his position on illegal immigration, abortion, or other social issues. Really, I don't care that much. I care about these issues but they are mostly irrelevant to administering the city of Nashville. I know that Nashville is the city with either the most or the second most debt per person in America. That matters more than these social issues. Our basic services are underfunded and we waste an enormous amount of money on delivering city services. Corporate welfare and cronyism are rampant. Our schools are failing and getting worse.  I believe John Cooper grasp this.  I think he would get our financial house in order. At this time, that is what is most important to me.  If Cooper is not fully decided, I would encourage him to throw his hat in the ring.

As soon as his decision to run is confirmed from other sources or Cooper issues a statement, I will post it.

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Why Black folks don't like string.

by Rod Williams - Please bear with me and follow my logic.  Black people don't like string because if you braid multiple strands of string together you get rope and rope was used to lynch Black folks during the era of Jim Crow and that is why Black folks don't like string.

If you were following that logic, then you can follow the logic of Dr. Fallon Wilson who in a guest column in The Tennessean on Sunday, Cherry tree treated better than Shawn Joseph, explained why Black folks don't much care for Japaneses cherry blossom trees. She says, "trees have always been a pernicious thing for Black people."

From about 1877 to 1950, Wilson says, a whole bunch of Black people, 4,400 she says, were lynched in the South. They were lynched from trees, so "trees have never meant joy for black people in this country. They have often symbolized fear and mob-sanctioned death." 

I don't think Black people were lynched from Japanese Cherry trees but nevertheless, this legacy of Southern lynching of Black people from trees has apparently made all Black people dislike all trees. I think they should make an exception for little decorative trees like Dogwood and Japanese Cherry trees, but I am not Black so what do I know?  I wonder if a study has ever been done to determine that Black people really do not like trees? I wonder if Black people enjoy going on hikes in the woods, or sitting under shade trees. I have seen Black people in city parks sitting under big shade trees.  Maybe they didn't get the memo.  When a Black family buys a home, do they cut down all the trees?  Do Blacks ever plant trees?  

She goes on to say that the deal that drove Joseph Shawn from office with a big fat bonus was a "professional lynching" and due to White supremacy. "White supremacy" she writes, "is an odious and intoxicating scent that if one has not done the emotional work to deconstruct one’s own white privilege than that person is likely to default to it when encountering an issue with a black person, let alone the first black director of schools."

If you didn't get the part about trees, then the part about "doing the emotional work to deconstruct one's own white privilege," won't make sense to you.  

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Sunday, April 14, 2019

Where are the good candidates? Who has picked up qualifying petitions as of 4-12-19 for mayor and council.

by Rod Williams, 4-13-2019 - Where are the candidates?  Only a few people have picked up qualifying petitions in the last week to run for mayor, vice mayor, or a council seat. I know there are some incumbents intent on seeking reelection but they have not picked up qualifying petitions.  There are no districts where no one has picked up a petition but there are several where only one person has picked up a petition.

One of the districts in which only one person has picked up a petition is District 16. The incumbent Mike Freeman, I understand, is not seeking reelection. Ginny Welsch is a left wing radical and she has picked up a petition. In 2006 she ran an unsuccessful campaign against Jim Cooper. She is probably very comfortable with the socialism of many in today's Democrat Party. She is often seen at left wing protest gatherings advocating the liberal cause of the moment. She has advocated for singled-payer universal health care, a minimum "living wage," and various other liberal causes. She was a founding member of the low-power left-wing radio station Radio Free Nashville.  Please, someone else needs to run for District 16. I would contribute to the cause of anyone to her right, which means almost anyone.

In District 30, Sherry Jones is running. She is a former member of the Council and the State legislature. I would like to see her defeated. I like Lydia Hubbell but question her electability. While she is my preferred candidate at the moment, I will be looking at the other candidates to see who has the best chance of beating Sherry Jones and as long as they are less liberal than she I will be supporting that candidate.

In District 19, I am pleased to see Freddie O'Connell has picked up an opponent. I know nothing about the opponent, but would support almost anyone running against O'Connell.

At this time in the race for council at large,  I plan on voting for Steve Glover, only.  One may vote for up to five candidates but to do so weakens the influence of your vote. You may think of it like this; voting for only one candidate is almost the equivalent of casting five votes for that candidate. I believe Cooper will run for mayor. If he does not and runs for Council then I may vote for both Gover and Cooper despite that weakening the influence of my vote or I may vote for only Glover or only Cooper depending of how they are showing in the polls and some other factors.

If John Cooper runs for mayor, I will be supporting him. If he does not, I will be supporting Carol Swain for mayor.  I like Swain a lot but think it is going to be an up hill climb for her to win.  Unfortunately, Swain is too closely identified as a social conservative Republican. I think Nashville could vote for a moderate Republican who has not had out-spoken views on social issues. Unfortunately, Carol Swain has a record. She is an author and a pundit. Her record as an opinionated scholar will be an  unfortunate hurdle to overcome to be elected mayor in a liberal city like Nashville. In the Council, Cooper has been one of the most vocal advocates for financial policies that make sense. He is smart, grasp the issues and he is articulate.  As far as I am concerned, the state of Metro's finances is the most important issue facing the city.

There are several districts where no one except the incumbent has picked up a petition or where the incumbent has not picked up a petition and only one person has. Please, if you know someone who lives in one of those districts with a liberal council member and no challenger or only one candidate and know the person to be liberal, please run yourself or encourage someone to run.

 Below is the list of those who have picked up qualifying petitions to run for the office of mayor, vice mayor, at-large and district council seats as of Friday, April 12th.  Circled are the names of those I would vote for if these were the only choices and I knew only what I know today, the elections were today and I could vote in that contest.  We know that these will not be the only choices so my selections are very preliminary.  I may be changing my mind, depending on who else gets in the race. Some choices I have not made because I do anticipate someone else to get in the race who I know and who I know I would prefer. The list of those who have picked up qualifying petitions is updated every Friday by the election commission. You can access that list at this link.

One may pick up a qualifying petition up until the deadline for turning in qualifying petitions which is noon May 3rd.  I expect this list to get much longer by then, but surprised it has not gotten longer sooner.  Once a qualifying petition is submitted and the petition is approved, then a candidate may withdraw his name up until noon May 23rd. In that case the name would not appear on the ballot. If a candidate decides not to seek the office after the May 23rd deadline, the candidate's name would still appear on the ballot.

Early voting will began July 12, election day is August 1, and if a runoff is necessary it will be September 12th.

Please look over this list.  It is not too late to run. If you are thinking about running, it does not hurt and it doesn't cost anything to pick up a qualifying petition. If you then find someone else who you could support is running or someone else is too formidable for you to beat is running, you could simply not turn in the petition.

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