Bad blood spilled over on Election Day morning outside an East Nashville polling location, with Metro Police responding to a bizarre scene that centered on District 5 candidate Pam Murray’s allegations of yard-sign and cell phone stealing.
“They just stole some more this morning,” Murray said, standing next to a police car outside the McFerrin Community Center. “The people at the precinct, when I went to check, they said, ‘Hey it’s too late. They’re in a beige car.’”
“They’re just doing bad things,” she said. “They’ve been doing it for four months.”
Murray, looking to reclaim her former seat after being ousted in a special recall election in 2009, told The City Paper she’s convinced supporters of one of her opponents, Scott Davis, stole the signs. Priscilla Eaton is also running for the seat currently held by outgoing Councilman Jamie Hollin.
Davis said Murray’s accusations are unfounded.
“That is not true,” Davis said. “My supporters are not stealing signs. When the campaign first started, I told my supporters, ‘Do not steal anybody’s signs.’”
“I’m going to stay positive,” he said. “The rumor now is that I stole her phone. She’s trying to suppress the vote by creating all this drama, and making people not want to go out and vote. That’s how I feel. I’m praying people in the 5th District are smarter than this.”
Murray, accompanied by her daughter, other family members and supporters, talked to a police officer and detective, while Davis continued to greet voters a half-block away at the center’s entranceway. Davis eventually left the community center.
As the conversations with police continued, an ice cream truck rolled up, creating a loud, circus-like atmosphere, with children lining up for treats.
Cedrick Newman, a Davis supporter, later accused Murray supporters of yelling expletives at him.
On the scene, Metro detective Matthew Filter said there is an “ongoing investigation” into Murray’s complaints. He said the phone has been returned.
“There was a report filed several weeks ago,” Filter said. “It’s been an ongoing investigation.”
Murray is currently engaged in a lawsuit against Hollin and Eaton, alleging they and others defamed her character leading up to the recall in 2009. Murray lost that special election by two votes.
In the race two years ago, Murray also launched some similar allegations against her opponent.