Gilmore wins big, will be Nashville’s first African American trustee

Erica Gilmore

In a landslide win, former Councilwoman Erica Gilmore has been elected Nashville’s newest trustee, defeating incumbent Parker Toler, who was appointed in June 2019 to replace the late Charlie Cardwell.

“Thank you for your vote Metro Nashville for electing the first African American Trustee! We appreciate everyone, staff and volunteers because this would not be possible without you. I look forward to serving Metro Nashville,” said Gilmore.

The former Councilwoman received over 78% of the vote in the Democratic Primary, and with no Republicans running, she is assured the win in November.

The election was held amidst the backdrop of a city ravaged by a tornado.

Polls had to open one hour later, and some polling locations in North Nashville, East Nashville, and Donelson had to be moved due to power outages. Many voters experienced extremely long lines.

Also, the Democratic Party had to file a lawsuit against the Election Commission and Secretary of State to extend the time polling locations remained open. All Davidson County polling locations remained open until 8 pm, with mega polling sites remaining open until 10 pm.

“Extending the poll close time [helped] provide sufficient time for voters across the county to exercise their right and cast their vote. Failing to extend polling hours would cause irreparable harm to our democratic process,” said Democratic Chair Mary Mancini.

In the criminal court race, Tillman Payne lost to incumbent Judge Jennifer Smith, 41% to 58%.  Smith was appointed by Gov. Lee in 2018 after Judge Seth Norman retired.

Vivian Wilhoite, who had no opponent, will serve another term as Assessor of Property. Patricia Moska who also ran unopposed will serve a full term as chancery court judge after taking over when Chancellor Claudio Bonnyman retired.

In the Democratic Presidential Primary, Joe Biden won Tennessee by over 41%, with Sanders earning almost 25% of the vote and former New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg rounding out the top three with 16% of the vote.

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