Sunday, July 10, 2022

The August 4 Republican Primary, the General Election and the proposed charter amendments.

by Rod Williams, July 11, 2022 -The upcoming August 4, 2022 election is the Davidson County general election, the state primary elections, and a referendum on four proposed Metro Charter amendments. 

Early voting starts July 15 and runs through July 30. Here is the complete Early Voting schedule. For early voting, one may vote at any early voting location. On election day one must vote at ones designated polling place. Since last election, districts and precincts have been redrawn, so you may not be assigned to vote where you last voted.  If in doubt, check your voter registration card or follow this link to find out where you vote. 

Here is a list of candidates and a sample ballot for this election. 

For Republicans, the big contest is the primary race for the 5th Congressional District.  Thanks to redistricting, this district now leans Republican. The three serious candidates are Beth Harwell, Andy Ogles, and Krut Winstead. There are also several candidates who do not stand a chance and several of whom you may have never heard. I am probably voting for Beth Harwell, but would be pleased with Andy Ogles also.  I have not made up my mind 100% as of this posting.

There are US House of Representatives races where the incumbent has no primary challenger.  One of these is Mark Green in District 7.  I like Mark Green.  Unlike some Tennessee Republican representatives, he supported aid to Ukraine which I appreciate.  If I could, I would vote for him and am pleased he does not have a challenger.

There are several Tennessee Senate races with no Republican candidate and several House seats with no Republican candidate. One race that interests me is District 59 where Michelle Foreman is running for the Republican nomination. She does have a Republican opponent. I am supporting Michelle Foreman. 

One may vote in the Republican primary and in the Davidson County General election one may still vote for a Democrat if one wanted.  

One cannot vote in both primaries.  So, if one wanted to vote for Bill Lee for governor and vote for the Democrat who is running for the 5th Congressional District, one cannot do both. 

Of all of the offices on the General Election ballot, there are only three offices with Republican candidates, two are seeking School Board seats and one is a Republican running for a judgeship. The candidate seeking a judgeship is BRIAN A. HOROWITZ running for  General Sessions Judge Division IX.  He gets my vote. 

This year, for the first time school board members may run on a party label.  Running for School Board as a Republican are the following:

  • School Board District 2: TODD PEMBROKE.
  • School Board District 4: KELLI PHILLIPS
I support the Republican candidates for the school board.  I am also supporting FRAN BUSH who is running as an Independent Candidate in District 8.  She is currently on the School Board and is the only good member of the Board in my opinion. 

If one votes for one of the Republicans running for an office and then wants to vote in one of the races where only a Democrat is running, one may do so.  If you don't want to vote for a Democrat, you may write in a name. You can write in your own name or someone else's.  I am writing in Rod Williams.

You will notice that several judges are running for reelection on a "replace" or "retain" question. "Retain" always wins. My default position is to vote "replace" unless I know something about the judge seeking to retain his seat. 

There are also four Charter Amendments on the ballot.  They are on pages 11 through 17 of the sample ballot. My default position is to always vote against a proposed charter amendment if I don't know much about it. Someone needs to sell me on voting to amend the charter.  No one has sold me. Also, knowing something about a couple of the four, I am going to vote against all four.

I am urging everyone to vote “AGAINST RATIFICATION” on the amendments.

Here is a brief description of each:

No. 1: This amendment changes the process for amending the Metro Charter. Now the charter can be amended by a proposed amendment coming from the Charter Revision Commission or by petition from registered voters. This would make it much, much more difficult for the Charter to be amended by citizen petition. Of all of the four proposed amendments, this is the one I care most about.  This needs to be defeated. If you don't vote on any of the others, please vote "AGAINST RATIFICATION" on Amendment #1. 

No. 2: This would change the physical fitness qualifications for police officers. Currently, police officers must meet the same physical requirements for admission to the U.S. Army or Navy. The amendment would allow the requirements to be set by the civil service commission. The amendment also would modify U.S. citizenship requirements for the police department to be consistent with state law. The argument for this is that it would increase diversity. I do not know how this would change the citizenship requirements because I do not know what they are now and what state law requires as regards citizenship, and since I don't know I am going with my default position that if I don't know, I vote "no." The first part is enough for me, however. I want our police officers to be relatively fit. The fitness requirements of the military sounds reasonable to me. 

No. 3: This amendment the Charter in reference to the board of health and the Metro Public Health Department. The amendment would add an additional member to the Board of Health and update the qualifications for the members. The amendment would clarify the distinction between the Board of Health and the Department of Health to ensure oversight by the Board of Health. The amendment would remove the requirement that the Director of Health be a medical doctor and provide that if the director is not a medical doctor, then there must also be a Chief Medical Officer who is a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy. I don't know the pros and cons of this, so I am voting "AGAINST RATIFICATION."

No. 4: This formally creates the Nashville Department of Transportation (NDOT). Unless someone explains why we need this additional bureaucracy, I am voting "AGAINST RATIFICATION."

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