Nashville Metro Council candidate Antoinette Lee publicly thanked the Tennessee Education Association teachers union Sunday for creating a mailer for her campaign.
“I want to thank the political arm of TEA (the teachers’ Union) for doing my mailer,” she wrote on her Facebook campaign page. “I think they did a good job. Unions are the backbone that made our county great and supported our workers.”
Lee works as a field organizer for the TEA, making it no surprise that she has the union’s strong support. The TEA is the state affiliate of the National Education Association.
Lee is one of five candidates in Tuesday’s special election to fill the District 33 seat, left vacant when Councilman Sam Coleman was sworn in as a Nashville judge to replace former Judge Casey Moreland, who resigned amid a corruption scandal. District 33 covers part of Antioch. Early voting was held July 26 through Aug. 10.
Lee also has the endorsement of the AFL-CIO’s Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee.
The National Education Association teachers union has long been controversial among conservatives because of its advocacy for liberal politics. The union endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in the last election cycle as the primary season got under way in 2015. The timing of the endorsement was criticized as too early by some union members who favored Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s Democratic rival, and wanted more time for him to be considered.
The NEA has supported pro-abortion advocacy, LGBT activism, and progressive immigration policies. Its website is calling for an end to raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that affect students and their families who are in the country illegally.
The nonpartisan race for the Metro Council District 33 seat has mostly been notable because of the candidacy of Jack Byrd, one of Lee’s opponents who is set to go on trial in October on charges of extortion.
For more information on all the candidates, click here for an earlier story by The Tennessee Star that features candidate bios.