The field of candidates for Davidson County’s state legislative primaries, which includes a trio of open contests following retirements of three Democrats, and Metro school board races became clearer Thursday after the candidates’ qualifying deadline passed.
The list is still unofficial, however.
Candidates have seven days to withdraw from races, meaning the final election roster could still change. Election Day for both party primaries and school board races is Aug. 2.
Democratic District 50 Rep. Gary Moore announced Thursday he wouldn’t seek re-election in August, ending a four-term career in the legislature and joining Sen. Joe Haynes and Rep. Janis Sontany as other Nashville Democrats who have opted to not run again following the Republican-led redistricting. Statewide, 11 Democrats aren’t seeking re-election this year.
Shortly after Moore made his decision public, Metro Councilman Bo Mitchell, who represents parts of Bellevue, confirmed to The City Paper he plans to run as a Democrat for the open seat. He will run unopposed in the Democratic primary.
“It’s a great opportunity to continue to serve more of Davidson County and help where I can,” Mitchell said.
Republicans running for the District 50 seat are D.J. Harris, Dave Hall and Charles Williamson.
Republicans Steve Dickerson, a doctor, and Rob Mortensen, a businessman, had already made it clear they intend to run for Haynes’ departed District 20 seat. David Hall has also qualified to run as a Republican. On Thursday, attorney Phillip North and perennial candidate James Baxter both qualified to launch Democratic runs for the dramatically altered senate district, which stretches from Goodlettsville, across the western border of the county to parts of Belle Meade and Oak Hill.
Running for Sontany’s District 53 House seat are Democrats Jason Powell and Metro Councilman Jason Potts. Competing in the GOP primary are Tonya Miller and Ben Claybaker.
In House District 60, Councilman Darren Jernigan is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. He will face Rep. Jim Gotto in November. Republican Councilman Robert Duvall is running unopposed in the Republican primary to challenge District 59 Rep. Sherry Jones.
The school board election includes races for two open seats following the decisions of Mark North and Kay Simmons to opt against re-election. School board chair Gracie Porter is facing three challengers to hold onto her East Nashville-area seat. Because of redistricting, board members Ed Kindall and Sharon Gentry are running against each other, and four candidates have qualified to run for a District 7 seat that features no incumbent.
Among those who submitted papers to run for school board are former council members Eric Crafton and Anna Page, as well as Will Pinkston, an aide under former Gov. Phil Bredesen.
Verified candidates in the state house, senate and school board races are:
Senate District 20
Democrat: James Baxter, Phillip North
Republicans: Steven Dickerson, Rob Moretensen and David Hall
House District 50
Democrat: Bo Mitchell
Republicans: D.J. Farris, Dave Hall and Charles Williamson
House District 51
Democrat: Mike Turner, incumbent (No Republican)
House District 52
Democrat: Mike Stewart, incumbent
Independent: Daniel Lewis (No Republican)
House District 53
Democrats: Jason Powell, Jason Potts
Republicans: Ben Claybaker, Tonya Miller
House District 54
Democrat: Brenda Gilmore, incumbent (No Republican)
House District 55
Democrat: Gary Odom, incumbent (No Republican)
House District 56
Republican: House Speaker Beth Harwell, incumbents (No Democrat)
House District 58
Democrats: Mary Pruitt, incumbent; Harold Love; Steven Turner (No Republican)
House District 59
Democrat: Sherry Jones, incumbent
Republican: Councilman Robert Duvall
House District 60
Republican: Jim Gotto, incumbent; Democrat: Darren Jernigan
School board District 1
Sharon Gentry, Ed Kindall
School board District 3
Jarod DeLozier, Free Lee Jr., Jill Smith Speering, Rick Williams
School board District 5
Gracie Porter, incumbent; John Haubenreich; Elissa Kim, Erica Lanier
School board District 7 Anna Page, Will Pinkston, Hillyard Wilkins
School board District 9 Eric Crafton, Margaret Dolan, Amy Frogge, Julie Lamb, Ronnie Osborne, Bob Bogen