Top Democratic Candidate for Governor of Tennessee Earned $19 Million Over 4-Year Stretch, Tax Documents Show

Karl Dean Tax Summary
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Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, a Democratic candidate for governor, had $19.2 million in taxable income from 2013 to 2016, according to documents reviewed by The Tennessean, which reported:

Last year alone, Dean and his wife, Delta Anne Davis, who used to work for the Southern Environmental Law Center, earned nearly $2.7 million. The release from the former Nashville mayor — after declining to do so during an initial request of all seven gubernatorial candidates — provides additional insight into the wealth of the numerous candidates in the 2018 Tennessee governor’s race.

This puts Dean far ahead his leading challenger for the Democratic nomination in terms of income. He made almost 9 times as much as House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh — the only other Democrat in the race ($2.7 vs. $313,000 in 2016).  This is significant because Dean has already demonstrated a commitment to funding his own campaign, when necessary: “During his first run for Nashville mayor in 2007, Dean pumped around $1.5 million in personal dollars toward his run,” reports The Tennessean.  However, Dean was less forthcoming with financial information than other candidates:

Since Dean annually made $136,500 when he was Nashville mayor, the vast majority of the $19 million came from investment income and capital gains. $15 million out of the $19 million of income was earned in capital gains, according to the tax summary reviewed by The Tennessean, who also noted:

The couple reported annually earning between $243,000 and $286,000 in wages and salaries during the four-year period. Dean annually made $136,500 when he was Nashville mayor.  The couple paid $4.1 million in federal taxes between 2013 and 2016, paying an additional $120,000 for Tennessee’s Hall Income Tax, which is set to be eliminated in 2022.

In terms of charitable giving, there is a sizable difference between Republican candidate Rep. Diane Black (R-TN-06) and the two Democratic candidates, according to the documents reviewed by The Tennessean:

Like the Blacks and Harwells, Dean and his wife have given to charities in recent years. In total, the Nashville Democrats have donated $639,000 since 2013.

By comparison, the Blacks had $4.1 million in charitable contributions, while the Harwells said they donated 10 percent each year.

  • Mid-South Carpenters Regional Council, who voted unanimously to endorse him.
  • Road Sprinkler Fitters U.A. Local Union No. 669, who endorsed Dean in September.
  • Rep. Lincoln Davis, former Tennessee congressman, who also endorsed Dean.

He also has multiple endorsements in the Veterans and Military Families for Dean, along with many endorsements in the Karl Dean for Governor Memphis-Shelby County Steering Committee.

In contrast his Democratic rival Fitzhugh has received no major endorsements so far

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2 Thoughts to “Top Democratic Candidate for Governor of Tennessee Earned $19 Million Over 4-Year Stretch, Tax Documents Show”

  1. […] Tennessee Star recently reported on Democrat Karl Dean’s remarkable $19 million haul over a four year period – which […]

  2. Horatio Bunce

    Don’t you mean endorsed by “Independent Conservative” Lincoln Davis?

    Shoot, Karl is practically TRI-partisan…