Rich-Westerholm council race garners one-third of early votes

Monday, September 12, 2011 at 3:49pm

The race for the Metro Council’s District 6 seat drove early voting turnout, with the competitive East Nashville district accounting for more than one-third of votes collectively cast across five runoff elections.

The District 6 contest, featuring candidates Dave Rich and Peter Westerholm, garnered 629 of 1,755 total early votes. Early voting concluded Saturday. Election Day is Thursday, Sept. 15.

Turnout for the early voting portion of Metro’s five runoffs was notably low, perhaps in part because citizens could vote at only one designated early voting location — the downtown Metro building, site of the Davidson County Election Commission, on Second Avenue. 

Early vote totals in order of turnout for other districts were as follows:

• District 5, between candidates Scott Davis and Pam Murray — 406 votes

• District 33, between candidates Robert Duvall and Page Turner — 256 votes

• District 4, between candidates Brady Banks and David Patterson — 234 votes

• District 13, between candidates Josh Stites and Marilyn Robinson — 229 votes

16 Comments on this post:

By: global_citizen on 9/13/11 at 6:41

My hope is that most of those early votes are going to Pete Westerholm. I've known Pete for several years now and he's about the most serious, determined, and committed candidate any district could hope for.

And Dear God, please let Pam Murray lose so she can move to Detroit full time and rid Nashville of her troublesome self once and for all.

By: racer84 on 9/13/11 at 10:09

"Global - My hope is that most of those early votes are going to Pete Westerholm. I've known Pete for several years now and he's about the most serious, determined, and committed candidate any district could hope for."

I would think every district wants a candidate who will fight for what they want, and not what the mayor wants.

Peter has openly stated His support of redeveloping the Fairgrounds AGAINST the wishes of his potential constituents........

That is a slap in the face to the 71% of all voters who support keeping the Fairgrounds.

If you want a councilmember who will vote for what his constituents want and not another Dean rubber stamp then Dave Rich is the candidate in district 6.

By: NashNow on 9/13/11 at 11:12

As an employee in Gov Haslam's republican administration Pete Westerholm continues to dodge the obvious conflict of interest that's created when he runs to represent district 6 residents. Dave Rich has worked harder than any candidate in this race and would provide an articulate, progressive and independent voice for us.

By: WeekendLawnCareGuy on 9/13/11 at 5:59

racer84 is advocating on behalf of Dave Rich, who did not get religion on fairgrounds preservation until a couple weeks ago, after it appeared in this run off election that he did not hava a good way to win continuing the same positions he stated in the first election. Where did Mr. Rich show himself to be a committed fairgrounds preservationist PRIOR TO about 2 weeks ago? I can't find that advocacy anywhere.

The fact is, Dave Rich just wants to win an election and he is picking and choosing angles of attack and policy positions for that reason only. I can't trust a guy whose positions come and go so freely. He is just an ambitious politician.

It has been Peter Westerholm who has been committed to positions and advocating on behalf of groups and ideas for years.

Dave Rich appears like he is just trying to win an election. Peter Westerholm appears as though he wants to lead a community.

By: NashNow on 9/13/11 at 8:53

WeekendEndLawnGirl...which cozy government office do you work in?

By: WeekendLawnCareGuy on 9/14/11 at 5:31

I work in the insurance sector supporting sales.

But what I do is not important. What is important is the schitzophenic campaign of Dave Rich. On occasion he campaings as an East Nashville progressive. At other times he speaks as a government employee basher. Proof that this guy has no fixed principles to guide him.

By: Liason06 on 9/14/11 at 8:10

Hey WeekendLawnCareGuy, look, racer84 made a valid point. Discuss the issue without castigating the poster. And "schitzophenic." Come on?!

By: sixer45 on 9/14/11 at 11:40

Liason06--You are right that posters should not castigate other posters, but it reads to me like WeekendLawnCareGuy was criticizing the Rich campaign rather than racer84. The Rich campaign has opened itself up to criticism on several fronts. I, too, would be interested to have evidence of Rich's thoughts on the fairgrounds prior to the referendum. Also, I am sure that Rich is a good person, but I am deeply troubled by his lack of involvement in the community. I would expect more leadership from a person planning to run for Council.

By: Liason06 on 9/14/11 at 12:58

Sixer45,
You may have a point. However, both campaigns have come up a little short in some important ways. Westerholm seems like a good man. But he hasn't demonstrated, at least to me, that he can emerge as a force to be reckoned with in the city council. In fact I fear that he will be lost in the shuffle. Being nice and being active in your community does not equal being an effective councilman. I do think Dave Rich seems like he would be able to navigate and lead in the council. I guess we'll find out tomorrow!

By: Eastnasty on 9/14/11 at 4:57

East Nashville is facing the reality of potentially having Pam Murray in District 5 and Pete Westerholm in District 6. If the people of East Nashville are unable to grasp the consequence of this, then we're in real trouble.

Pete Westerholm is a budget analyst for the State. Honest and good work, but whoo-hoo. The council changes the Mayor's capital budget about 1% from its original form. He brings nothing to the table in this regard.

Pete's a meek, quiet guy. There's nothing wrong with that, but that's a problem when your job is to give East Nashville a strong voice in a chamber with 39 other strong voices.

Pete Westerholm has been running for City Council for the last four years so its not surprising he's worked to position himself on boards, etc. so he can tout civic involvement as a reason we should vote for him. Simple resume building - nothing more.

Fact is, Pete seems like a nice guy, but he doesn't have what it takes to be an effective councilman. He's better suited as a policy guy behind the scenes. If he's elected East Nashville will suffer. The choice in this election is clear - without a doubt - Dave Rich.

By: sixer45 on 9/14/11 at 5:49

Eastnasty--Westerholm may have a quiet voice, but he is anything but meek. His experience bears out his effectiveness. In fact, he is the one in this race who has credible leadership experience (Policy Chair of TEP, Chair of the Metro Board of Equalization, etc.). Also, I understand that it was Westerholm who was actively engaged in the roundtable discussions at the recent transit meetings, while Rich left early. If you're convinced that only the loudest person in the race can be effective, then by all means, vote Rich. But if you look at who has gotten the most done over the years to help Nashville and District 6, the evidence is clear that Westerholm is the only choice.

By: sixer45 on 9/14/11 at 5:58

Eastnasty--one other thing that troubles me about Rich is that he has shown himself to be quite hot-headed in this race. Once the runoff began and it was clear that he was the underdog, he came out with a mean-spirited attack on government workers in general. It seems that rather than showing leadership qualities, he has shown that he will run over people to get his way. That style might work once or twice, but in the end, Council work is about building coalitions. You can't get much done on the Council by alienating people.

By: NashNow on 9/14/11 at 6:08

sixer45,
You and many of Pete's supporters are government workers so it's no surprise you took it that way. Fact is, he has not bashed gov't workers. And, Eastnasty is exactly right. Pete is a nice guy but not able to be a strong voice for District 6.

By: Eastnasty on 9/14/11 at 7:09

Sixer45, I saw the quote Rich made in the City Paper, and while the PW supporters have tried to turn it into a "Dave Rich hates government workers" narrative, nobody outside of his core supporters are buying that. I just looked at his website and his parents are two teachers. His dad's a Professor at UGA (Go Vols) and his mom was a 1st grade teacher for 27 years - saying he hates government workers might be winning PW a few cheap gov't worker votes, but that doesn't make it true.

I think its also funny you say "Rich left (the transit meetings) early." I might be mistaken, but they scheduled the transit meeting during working hours on a business day. That's frankly why I didn't get to go - I was at WORK. If PW was there then he likely was playing hooky from his job - that's paid for by our tax dollars. If anything, I don't think that's a cut against RIch - that's another reason not to support PW.

Look, all you PW supporters have been waiving his banner because you're friends, he came and asked for your vote 4 years ago, or he's a fellow gov't employee, so if that meets your criteria of being a good leader for EN - go vote for him. However, I have to believe the undecided voters in East Nashville will easily see Rich's strengths are far superior for the job.

Sixer, I'll see you at the polls tomorrow. For the sake of East Nashville I hope I bring more friends with me than you.

By: Liason06 on 9/14/11 at 7:50

Great debate guys! I'm voting for Dave Rich tomorrow. District 6 deserves an out-spoken leader that will be a real voice for east Nashville. Also, I now realize that Pete is compromised since he works for the republicans. Go east Nashville...Go Dave Rich!! Please everyone....go vote!!

By: sixer45 on 9/15/11 at 8:23

Eastnasty--I do not think Dave Rich hates government workers. He spoke out of turn and offended many government workers (I heard that Westerholm got many, many sign requests after Rich's quote landed in the paper). This is the kind of thing that worries me about Rich--he does not appear to have a filter. Also, the meeting I am speaking of specifically was held in the evening, not during working hours. Rich showed up long enough so that he could say he was there but left before discussion time with his potential constituents. It was Westerholm who stayed until the very end, engaging in the discussion.

Secondly, you seem to think that Westerholm has only his friends for supporters. Have you already forgotten that Westerholm received almost 40% of the vote in the August election? Must have a lot of friends . . .

Third, PAC's don't seem to worry about Westerholm's potential to lead. He has been endorsed by labor, teachers, firefighters, neighborhood defense fund, and many more. They have seen who the best candidate is. Westerholm for District 6!!!