A Lasso, A Bow Tie, And A Superhero: What Does It Take To Get Noticed By Nashville Voters? | Nashville Public Radio

A Lasso, A Bow Tie, And A Superhero: What Does It Take To Get Noticed By Nashville Voters?

Jul 27, 2015

It's not easy for candidates to get noticed in an election as busy as Nashville’s this year — with dozens of races and a packed mayoral field

But when WPLN saw some “down-ballot”candidates making grabs for publicity, we decided to round up the most audacious efforts.

Unusual pamphlets, goofy fundraisers, bold TV spots

Consider this summer blockbuster commercial by vice mayor candidate David Briley, which describes him as having the superpower of listening. Despite that race squaring off two well-known political names — Briley and multi-term Councilman Tim Garrett — there’s hardly been much attention on them.  

The campaign logo for council candidate Brett Withers arrived with a proud press release and some fanfare.
Credit Campaign website

Over in East Nashville, candidate Brett Withers proudly unveiled a campaign logo with an illustrated portrait of him featuring his signature bow tie and handlebar mustache. He’s running against incumbent Peter Westerholm.

A mailer from Councilman Jason Holleman also featured original cartooning while tapping into what has become a hot button issue in Nashville politics: providing sidewalks to neighborhoods.

Jason Holleman taps into the demand for sidewalks in a campaign mailer.
Credit Campaign website

His mailer asks, "Where does your sidewalk end?" in an ode to Shel Silverstein.

'Franks with Frank'

And the one that WPLN just had to see was a cookout at a park in The Nations neighborhood — complete with a lasso performance by a family member of a candidate.

Ray Kozak — A Guinness Book record winner for the biggest lasso loop — put on the show for his niece, District 20 candidate Marisa Frank. She called the event “Franks With Frank”— featuring free hot dogs made in her hometown.

“In a campaign, we get very, very focused on serious issues. Because we have some really serious issues here in West Nashville ... we sometimes forget to stop and just be a neighborhood,” she said.

She’s in a spirited three-way race.

Mary Carolyn Roberts has her own billboard — which is rare for a council race. And Frank Stabile hosted one event featuring exclusive access — to a bocce ball court.

It’s that time of the campaign season to get noticed — or at least to try.

Visit nashville.gov/vote for a full rundown of candidates and ballot information.

Ray Kozak — sporting a button for his niece, Marisa Frank — shows his high-quality lasso rope during the "Franks With Frank" campaign event.
Credit Tony Gonzalez / WPLN