A look at who runs
Fourteen candidates qualified to run in Franklin’s municipal race in October – an election that will change the face of the mayor’s council and aldermen.
Five board seats are open, including four parish positions and one offshore seat. Only one incumbent shows up to keep his seat, leaving newcomers to fill roles left by city leaders stepping back from their roles.
Applicants have until July 22 to withdraw their candidacy.
Current Alderman Bev Burger is running unopposed to retain her seat, a position she has held since 2005. During her tenure as city chief, she served as deputy mayor and a member of various boards and committees.
She owns and manages The Burger Group LLC., A creative marketing and strategic planning firm. Previously, she worked in national corporate sales, franchise publishing sales and was a media copywriter and senior account manager.
Alderman Dana McLendon is not seeking re-election this year, leaving her post open to four contenders.
Angela Hubbard is running for her first municipal election. She first moved to Franklin after graduating from Louisiana State University. In Franklin, she discovered her love for airplanes and eventually returned to town after retiring from Delta as a pilot. Hubbard is the mother of a daughter in Renaissance High School.
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Small business owner Matt Brown is looking for the position in Ward 2. He is a co-founder of BrandMETTLE, where he conducts market research and creates business strategies for clients. Brown served in the Army National Guard and is involved with One Generation Away, Friends of Franklin Parks, and the African American Heritage Society of Williamson County.
Tina Pierret, a Middle Tennessee real estate agent, is running for the seat. Previously, she chaired the advocacy and government affairs committee of the Williamson County Realtors Association and is a member of the Williamson County Republican Party. She has been involved in nonprofit work with the Heritage Foundation, Second Harvest and Habitat for Humanity.
Mike Vaughn is running for the job again. He lost to McLendon in 2017. Vaughn, who initially ran due to frustration over the city’s slow progress on public works, filed a lawsuit after losing the race, alleging that the election was fraudulent. He eventually withdrew the suit. He is a retired international trade consultant and past president of his HOA.
Alderman Scott Speedy does not show up and three candidates are vying for his place.
Samantha Degrasse, a special education teacher’s assistant in the Franklin Special School District, is leading her very first campaign. She was a preschool teacher for seven years before joining the FSSD. In 2018, she started Build Her A Bridge, a nonprofit that mentors girls in Williamson County. She sits on the Artistic Council of the Battle Ground Academy and is involved with the African American Heritage Society of Williamson County. She has the support of the Williamson County Democratic Party.
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Jason L. Potts, who is running for Ward 3, has lived in Franklin for 15 years. Parallon’s health care manager is a graduate of the City of Franklin Citizens Government Academy and a founding member of the Franklin Alliance of Homeowners Associations, which focuses on neighborhoods in Ward 3. He is a soccer coach and sits on the board of administration of the Cougar Athletic Club at Centennial High School.
Michelle Sutton, a mother of two who has lived in Franklin for eight years, is looking for a position in Ward 3. Sutton works as a Product Manager for UnitedHealthcare and is part of her neighborhood HOA. She volunteers for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and One Generation Away, a nonprofit that fights food insecurity. She had previously run for a position in general in 2019 and lost to incumbent Brandy Blanton.
Alderman Margaret Martin, a longtime Franklin resident and community servant, is stepping down from the board. Two candidates clash at his retirement.
Patrick Baggett is running for the first time in a municipal election. He is an insurance broker in Franklin, where he moved 11 years ago from Alabama, following his wife to her hometown. He is the former president of the Franklin Noon Rotary Club and the current president of Franklin Tomorrow, and serves on the board of directors of Franklin’s Charge, a battlefield preservation group.
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Elizabeth Downing Wanczak is back for her second election after losing the seat in 2017. She has been nominated by Mayor Ken Moore to serve on the Franklin Housing Commission since 2017, and she has been chosen twice as chair. She previously operated a songwriting studio in Nashville. Wanczak has the support of the Williamson County Democratic Party.
After the death of Alderman Pearl Bransford, former Mayor John Schroer was appointed to fulfill his role until the election.
Gabrielle Hanson, a Williamson County real estate agent, is looking to fill the position. She is the past President of the Williamson County Association of Realtors PRPP and has served on the National Association of Realtors PRPP Participation Committee. Hanson is Senator Jack Johnson’s political coordinator with Tennessee Realtors. She volunteers with the Land Trust for Tennessee, a conservation group.
John E. Haynes, who is the pastor of Burns Tabernacle Primitive Baptist Church, entered the world of politics. The Franklin native was previously executive director of the United Community Resource Foundation, a non-profit organization he founded that helps vulnerable residents. He was previously a member of the Board of Directors of the Community Housing Partnership and will soon be part of the African American Heritage Society’s fundraising committee to raise funds for the historic Merrill-Williams house that the society is considering purchasing.
Bhavani Kumar Muvvala is running for the seat in general again after losing in 2019. He and his family moved to the United States in 2000 from India and previously lived in California before moving to Franklin. Muvvala operates Right At Home, which provides home health care services to the elderly. He is the president of Nashville Kannada Koota and is involved with Franklin Rotary at the Breakfast Club.
Alan Simms is running for his first election for the post. He has lived in Franklin for seven years and works as an IT project manager for QuikQ. He graduated from Franklin Citizen Government, Police and Fire Department studies and is a member of Downtown Franklin Rotary, the Board of Directors of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, and the Franklin Civil War Historical Commission.
The deadline to register to vote is September 27. Early voting begins on October 6 and ends on October 21. Election day is October 26.