Yarbro, Holleman both say they will run for Henry's Senate seat

Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 12:40pm

The news that the Tennessee General Assembly’s most senior legislator will leave office next year has effectively set off what could be the premier state Democratic primary of 2014.

After a career in the legislature spanning six decades, Sen. Douglas Henry confirmed earlier this week that he will not seek reelection next year. The beloved Nashville Democrat has held his current Senate seat since 1971, and his announcement prompted tribute from members of both parties.

Confirmation of a coming vacancy in a strongly Democratic seat immediately ignited speculation about the interests of younger talent in the party. In particular, Nashville attorney Jeff Yarbro, who nearly defeated Henry in a 2010 primary challenge, and Metro Councilman Jason Holleman, who is term-limited at the courthouse and whose ambition is well known in Nashville’s political circles.

Holleman, who has called Henry a hero of his, confirmed his plans to The City Paper.

“I intend to run for the state Senate next year, because I think it’s the place where I can do the largest good,” he said, noting that he has lived in District 21 his entire life.

With the caveat that formal announcements and campaign organizations are still a ways off, Holleman said education is a top-of-mind issue for him at the state level, where policy decisions “have a tremendous impact on the classrooms in our local school system.”

“Beyond that, we’re in a time when there is a lot of discussion about the interplay between state and local government,” he said. “I think that there is a need to be sure that our local government interests are represented. And with the background in local government, both as an elected official and an attorney, I think I can contribute in a meaningful way to that discussion.”

If he were elected, Holleman would join, at least for a bit, the ranks of council members who have held seats at the state and local level simultaneously. While his first state Senate term would begin in January 2015, his final council term would end in August.

Yarbro also confirmed that he intends to run, but said he will make a formal announcement later.

“I’m looking forward to a conversation about Tennessee’s future and this Senate seat, but there’s plenty of time for the next campaign. I’ll make an announcement when the time’s right.”

He declined to comment further, saying he’d “love for this week to be about Sen. Henry,” and his “faithfulness to the state over the years and his service.”


2 Comments on this post:

By: Left-of-Local on 5/10/13 at 9:08

Jeff is always way more classy about washed-up conservatives-wearing-blue from a bygone era of racism and stagnation that needs to disappear than I would be. Keep it classy, Yarbro. I'll vote for you (AGAIN) in a heartbeat.

Personally, I'm just glad to see more of the past disappear from the ranks so we can move this state forward. Cold, clammy hands attached to outdated thought have no place anymore. I have become comfortable in my ageism with regard to politics. Old farts out, new blood in.

By: Madisonman on 5/15/13 at 2:50

When Yarbro was interviewed a few day ago about running his quote was --He declined to comment further, saying he’d “love for this week to be about Sen. Henry,” and his “faithfulness to the state over the years and his service.”

Funny Mr. Yarbro didn't think about when he chose to run against Senator Henry.

Yabro is nothing more than a Karl Dean puppet.