General Assembly, School Board Races Draw Voters to Polls

Voters are reminded of the need for a photo ID.

Poll workers in Davidson County are calling turnout “light but steady.” Many of the races may be decided by face-to-face campaigning.

Voters are getting calls from candidates who say given the prospect of low turnout, their vote could make all the difference.

Statewide, many candidates for the General Assembly have been wearing out the shoe leather to make the ask in person. South Nashville voter Judy Sullivan says she decided how to vote based in part on who came to see her.

“Means they’ll get out there and work. Those that won’t come door to door, they’re lazy. What is it they called it in the old time? They don’t have the fire in their belly.”

While Sullivan values person-to-person contact, some local races have taken to the airwaves. The primary contest involving state Rep. Debra Maggart of Hendersonville has featured unusually high spending on TV commercials by Maggart and her challenger Courtney Rogers.

School board races are drawing voters out to the polls. Metro Schools has seen some of the highest campaign fundraising in memory. Interest in the race goes beyond parents.

The entertainment company voter Shannon Kendrick works for helps out with a program at McGavock High School.

“So we’re very involved in the school system so that is something we even talk about at work. We want to make sure we’re putting strong people into those positions.”

Aside from local business interests, political action committees have also tried to influence races with donations. The PAC of former Washington D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee has contributed to several campaigns, including that of Margaret Dolan. She has raised more than $100,000, believed to be one of the highest totals ever for the district.

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