In a hotly contested special election, challenger Jamie Hollin appears to have narrowly defeated District 5 Councilwoman Pam Murray, becoming the first person to oust a sitting Metro Council member through a recall vote.
By a margin of 542 to 539 Hollin bested Murray, according to unofficial numbers from the Davidson County Election Commission. Results are to be certified Monday.
There are said to be three or four provisional ballots still to be counted Friday. If the final results end in a tie then the 40-member Metro Council would decide the outcome.
“You only need one vote to win it,” Hollin said of his apparent victory. “Think about all the tactics she employed; said I was a drug addict; said I hung out with drug dealers. They put out a full-force effort, everything they had, and came up short.
“No matter what happens, this made history and will go down in the record books for the city of Nashville,” Hollin said. “Is it ever going to happen again? I’d never say never, but it’s highly unlikely.”
Murray, the district’s representative since 2003, said she was unsure when asked about requesting a recount or pursuing legal action.
“All I know is this whole thing has been a conspiracy since day one,” Murray said.
Thursday’s election came after the 35-year-old Hollin amassed more than 1,200 signatures to recall a lawmaker he characterized as unresponsive to constituents.
Murray, 50, first came under fire by Hollin and other residents during a rezoning battle in which opponents claimed she failed to support nearby residents. Later, reports surfaced that Murray spent considerable time working in Detroit, Mich.
“You don’t sue me,” Hollin said of a possible legal battle. “When they certify the results they’ll be swearing us in. We have a Council meeting next Tuesday. We have a lot of work to do.”
East Nashville’s District 5 includes the neighborhoods of Cleveland Park, McFerrin Park and Maxwell Heights.