Thursday, February 24, 2011

District council member Vivian Wilhoite preps at-large campaign

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 9:05pm By Joey Garrison Vivian Wilhoite is hoping her serving two terms as a district councilwoman results in a successful campaign to fill one of five countywide at-large seats. Wilhoite, who has represented the Antioch-area District 29 on the council since 2003, told The City Paper Wednesday she plans to run as an at-large candidate in Metro’s upcoming August election. Wilhoite picked up qualifying papers last Friday. She said she plans to officially announce her candidacy soon. “I have a great love for public service and being able to address the issues of the community,” said Wilhoite, who cannot run again for the District 29 seat due to term limits. “We’ve had some tough issues, but we have a lot of work to do.” This won’t be Wilhoite’s first countywide election. Last May, Wilhoite competed against a crowded field of candidates in the Democratic primary for Davidson County Juvenile Court clerk. She finished second, mustering 16 percent of the overall vote. David Smith, the winner, finished with 49 percent. Wilhoite could face some stiff competition for an at-large seat. All five of the council’s current at-large members — Megan Barry, Tim Garrett, Jerry Maynard, Ronnie Steine and Charlie Tygard — are eligible to run for re-election, having been elected to their seats in 2007. Other candidates eyeing an at-large seat include Ken Jakes and James Maxwell. Wilhoite said she’s not targeting any of the current at-large candidates — though if she wins, one of them would effectively be voted out. “I’m vying to be the chosen public servant,” she said. Meanwhile, three candidates have picked up petitions to run for Wilhoite’s open seat on the council. They include former school board member Karen Johnson, who also lost in the recent Juvenile Court clerk race, as well as Ricky Lee Martin and Arnett Bodenhamer. Metro candidates have until May 19 to qualify to run.

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