Dave Rich, a candidate in the Metro Council’s District 6 runoff, has tapped outgoing Councilman Jamie Hollin as senior advisor, bolstering his staff by adding someone with a track record of winning uphill elections.
Meanwhile, Rich’s opponent, Peter Westerholm, has announced some notable support of his own, sending a press release on Tuesday to detail the endorsements of District 7 Councilman Erik Cole and former East Nashville council members David Briley and Jeff Ockerman.
Hollin, the only person in Metro history to knock off an office holder through a recall election, has signed on to Rich’s team in the waning days of the race for the East Nashville seat held by term-limited Councilman Mike Jameson. Early voting starts Friday, Aug. 26. The runoff election is Sept. 15. Many perceive Rich as the underdog because he finished second in the general election.
Jameson has not endorsed a candidate in the race.
Hollin, who opted against re-election, has represented East Nashville’s bordering District 5 for nearly two years on the council. Hollin was instrumental in spearheading a successful fairgrounds referendum making it more difficult to redevelop the site.
“Dave ran the kind of spirited, outsider campaign I respect,” Hollin said in a statement, adding, “He’s simply a far better candidate for the 6th district.
“With all the resources coming into the other candidate’s campaign from interests with no real ties to the 6th District, it should prove to be a very close race,” Hollin added. “I have some experience with close races constrained by tight timelines.”
Westerholm bested Rich by a 900-697 margin during the Aug. 4 election but failed to get more than 50 percent of the overall vote, setting up the runoff. Third-place finisher Hans Schmidt collected 526 votes. Schmidt has endorsed Westerholm.
Schmidt said Westerholm shares a similar vision in terms of sustainable growth, among others issues. Cole said Westerholm represents the values of the neighborhood.
“Peter has been actively involved in our community for many years,” Cole said. “He will bring a strong set of skills to the council, and he will be an effective leader for both East Nashville and the city.”
In statements, Briley and Ockerman also called Westerholm a neighborhood advocate.