Two Republicans have replaced two other members of that political party on the Davidson County Election Commission.
Davidson County Administrator of Elections Jeff Roberts on Tuesday identified those two new Republicans as Dan Davis and Ross Evans. Through their votes, Davis and Evans may ultimately help determine whether the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act goes to a referendum.
Even though Davidson County largely favors Democrat Party politics, the Davidson County Election Commission has a three to two majority that favors Republicans.
State Sen. Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin), the only Republican to represent Davidson County in the Tennessee General Assembly, nominated the two men. Haile told The Tennessee Star Tuesday that members of the State Election Commission approve the people he nominates.
“Whoever has the [political] majority in the General Assembly will get three appointments on each county election commission. The minority party gets two votes,” Haile said.
“Before the GOP had the majority in the General Assembly, it was the Democrats who had three appointments.”
Haile said he renominated Davidson County Election Commissioner Jim DeLanis and then nominated Evans for his strong business background and Davis, a teacher, for his solid government background.
Emily Reynolds and Jesse Neil are the outgoing GOP members of the Davidson County Election Commission, Haile said.
As The Star reported last week, the people behind the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act said they have obtained 14,000 signatures for a referendum on the matter and have filed those signatures with the Metro Nashville Clerk’s Office. Nashville attorney Jeff Roberts — no relation to Jim Roberts — said last week that he and other organizers needed between 11,500 to 12,140 signatures to succeed.
As reported in February, organizers are pushing again for Davidson County voters to have the chance to vote for the proposed Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act. If voters approve it, the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act would roll back Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s 34 to 37 percent tax increase.
As reported in November, 27,000 Nashvillians signed the first petition, which Metro Nashville officials fought in court — successfully so. As reported in November, Roberts fought the Davidson County Election Commission to get the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act referendum on last year’s December 5 ballot. But Davidson County Chancery Court Judge Ellen Hobbs Lyle ruled against arguments in favor of the Act, thus giving members of the Davidson County Election Commission what they wanted.
Haile said Tuesday that he and the people he nominated did not discuss the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act.
“I don’t think it’s proper to put folks on there and have an agenda about one particular issue,” Haile said.
“What I wanted is honest and fair elections, that we follow the rules and the laws, and we protect the honesty of the election.”
– – –