Davidson County Early Voting Locations Open until April 26

Registered voters may cast their ballots for the County Primary and Transit Improvement Program Referendum at 11 Early Voting locations, through Thursday, April 26.

All voting locations will be open for the entire Early Voting period, including some evenings and two Saturdays.

“Early voting is a convenient option,” said Jeff Roberts, Davidson County administrator of elections. “With 11 locations open extended hours – including Saturdays – voters have a choice in deciding the date/time/location that fits their busy schedules. Co-workers and friends may vote together at any of the Early Voting sites, making voting simple and easy, whatever your plans.”

Davidson County voters may cast their ballots at any location during the Early Voting period. On Election Day, May 1, they must vote at their designated polling location, listed on their voter registration card or identified at nashville.gov/vote.
The 11 Early Voting sites are:
Belle Meade City Hall – 4705 Harding Pike, Nashville 37205
Bellevue Library – 720 Baugh Road, Nashville 37221
Bordeaux Library – 4000 Clarksville Pike, Nashville 37218
Casa Azafrán Community Center – 2195 Nolensville Pike, Nashville 37211
Edmondson Pike Library – 5501 Edmondson Pike, Nashville 37211
Goodlettsville Community Center – 200 Memorial Drive, Goodlettsville 37072
Green Hills Library – 3701 Benham Avenue, Nashville 37215
Hermitage Library – 3700 James Kay Lane, Hermitage, 37076
Howard Office Building, Sonny West Auditorium – 700 2nd Avenue South, Nashville 37210
Madison Station Fifty Forward – 301 Madison Street, Madison 37115
Southeast Library – 5260 Hickory Hollow Parkway, Antioch 37013
All Early Voting locations will open at 8 a.m. and on Mondays and Fridays, they will remain open until 5:30 p.m. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, they will all be open until 7 p.m. and on Wednesdays and Saturdays until 4:30 p.m. Early Voting sites are closed on Sundays.
Since this is a primary election, voters will be asked to choose their preferred ballot – Democratic or Republican – or they may choose a ballot containing only the Transit Improvement Program Referendum. The Transit Referendum appears on all 3 ballots.
The Democratic and Republican ballots include races for Chancery Court, Criminal Court Judge, Public Defender, County Trustee, General Sessions Judges, Sheriff, Circuit Court Clerk, Criminal Court Clerk, Juvenile Court Clerk, County Clerk and Register of Deeds; Democratic Executive Committeemen and Committeewomen; the Transit Referendum.
Voters should bring a Federal or Tennessee State government-issued photo ID when they come to vote, unless an exception applies. Student IDs are not acceptable.
Below is a list of some of the candidates running for office

Scott Tift

Scott Tift
Chancery Court Judge, Part II

Scott Tift is a partner at Barrett, Johnston, Martin & Garrison, LLC—the law firm founded by George “Citizen” Barrett. Prior to joining Barrett Johnston, Scott practiced law as an associate at Bass, Berry, and Sims from 2008 to 2010. If elected, Scott will bring 10 years of litigation experience to the bench.
During Scott’s time at Barrett Johnston, he has represented individual people in many types of civil litigation. Among these cases, Scott has successfully defended individuals’ First Amendment rights to free speech and religion, successfully recovered unpaid wages for thousands of employees who have not been paid properly for their work, and regularly represented unionized workers in arbitrations governed by collective bargaining agreements.
During Scott’s time at Bass, Berry & Sims, PLC, Scott represented individuals, small businesses, and large businesses in a wide array of civil litigation, including contract disputes, real estate disputes, zoning disputes, and arbitrations under the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Combined, Scott’s work with these two firms has provided him with a broad array of trial experiences that will assist him, if elected, in his number one priority of making all judicial decisions as a fair and impartial decision maker.

Tillman W. Payne, III

Tillman Payne
General Sessions Division X

Tillman Payne has been practicing law almost 20 years all over middle Tennessee. Part of that time he was an assistant public defender working with people who didn’t always get the best Justice because they were poor, had mental health issues, substance abuse problems or some other issue that made them vulnerable.
According to Payne, “Sometimes, when they went to court there were no programs available to help them get their lives back on track or they appeared before a Judge that didn’t recognize the importance of such programs and Jail was often the default answer. This has always been a troubling reality in our judicial system. Being a vulnerable individual and not having the ability to pay fines and court costs should not dictate the quality of justice a person receives.
We need to help people get their lives back on track and I am committed as Judge to keep working in the community to tackle the root causes that push so many people into the Judicial System.”
Tillman’s parents were educators and graduates of Tennessee State University, and instilled in him the importance of public and community service. After graduating from the University of Tennessee, he spent 20 years in the Air Force serving our Country where he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After 4 years at the Pentagon and three overseas assignments, Tillman retired from service and came back to Nashville.

Richard Exton

Richard Exton
Register of Deeds

Richard moved with his parents to Nashville in 1963, just before his fifth birthday. He has called Nashville his home ever since. A graduate of Metro Public Schools, Richard attended Glendale, Woodmont and Burton Elementary Schools, John Trotwood Moore Middle School and Hillsboro High School. He graduated in 1976. Richard then received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
In June of 1983 Richard joined the real estate appraisal firm William R. Manier, III and Associates, as an Associate and progressed to Senior Associate, before acquiring the firm in January of 1994. The firm then changed its name to Manier and Exton. Richard is engaged exclusively in real estate appraisal work on a fee basis. He is retained by a variety of institutional, governmental, and private clients for the purposes of providing real estate appraisal services for a diversity of property types. In addition to being a State Certified General Appraiser, Richard is a Licensed Real Estate Broker, although he does not represent buyers or sellers.
Some of Richard’s leadership roles have been: President of the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors, Chair of the Davidson County Democratic Party from 2012-2014, and a member of Leadership Nashville Class of 1994.

Lonnel Matthews

Lonnell Matthews
Juvenile Court Clerk

Lonnell Matthews is a native of Nashville, Tennessee who grew up in the Bordeaux community. He graduated from Martin Luther King High School and is a proud alumnus of Tennessee State University where he studied Accounting and Business Law. Lonnell’s career in youth development began over 15 years ago at the Northwest YMCA in North Nashville where he led empowerment programs such as the Y-CAP, Positive Beginnings, Black Achievers, Latino Achievers, Reach & Rise Mentoring, Step Up, NAZA Z and Fun Company.
Committed to North Nashville community, Lonnell Matthews, at age 27, became the youngest African-American elected to Nashville’s Metro Council, representing District 1. While completing an 8 year term, Lonnell served as the Speaker Pro Tempore, and chaired the Budget & Finance, Education, and Parks & Recreation committees.
Lonnell served as the District Executive Director of Youth and Outreach at the YMCA and as an elected official until his appointment to Mayor Megan Barry’s Administration in 2015.
As the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods & Community Engagement (ONCE) Lonnell served on the steering committee to create the Juvenile Restorative Diversion Pilot program in the Davidson County Juvenile Court. He was also tapped to developed the Mayor’s Youth Violence Summit. Lonnell successfully organized the Race Equity and Leadership dialogues, coordinated the Mayor’s Spring and Fall Clean Beauti-fication Initiatives, and launched both the Metro Night Out and Mayor’s Office Shop Talks.
No stranger to public policy and its impact on the community, Lonnell coordinated the comm-unity advisory group tasked with developing a comprehensive policy for police worn body cameras. He was also instrumental in leading the project team for Nashville’s 3-1-1 reboot and the hubNashville initiative.

Daron Hall

Daron Hall
Davidson County Sheriff

In 2002, Nashville native Daron Hall became the youngest sheriff ever elected in the history of Metro-politan Government. His commitment to public safety and 25 years of experience in the criminal justice field have combined to make the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) a model agency for others to follow.
Under his leadership, the DCSO has become the only agency of its kind in the United States fully accredited by the American Correctional Association. The agency also boasts one of the lowest officer turnover rates in the country at 11 percent.
Daron is also dedicated to the community that he has always called home. He is currently a board member of the Exchange Club Family Center and has affiliations with many community organizations, including Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, Boy Scouts Council of Middle Tennessee, and the Rochelle Center to name a few.
Daron has also passed his desire to understand the “why” along to his staff. His never-ending commitment to this exploration has impacted Davidson County inmates through offender programming. The hope is an inmate can figure out the “why,” change his or her behavior, and not commit more crimes upon release; therefore, becoming incarcerated again. The police arrest the person and Daron’s staff knows it is everyone’s job at the Sheriff’s Office to arrest the problem. He wants offenders released from jail better off than they were when they came into jail.
Lower rates of offenders returning to jail further influences Daron’s commitment to what he does and, because of his leadership and beliefs, those who work at the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office support the same philosophy and ensure his vision is not lost. Daron knows there is more work to be done. With 25 years of experience, he can and will continue to effect change in the Davidson County criminal justice system.

Howard Gentry

Howard Gentry
Criminal Court Clerk

Howard Gentry served as CEO of the Nashville Chamber Public Benefit Foundation, an organization that is focused on finding solutions to socio-economic challenges such as poverty, homelessness, adult literacy and workforce development. The Foundation facilitates collaborations with business, government, community leaders and nonprofits to identify barriers to sustained economic prosperity for all citizens and creates solutions that positively impact the community and individuals.
Gentry formerly served as CEO of Backfield in Motion, a nonprofit organization that combines athletics and academics to inspire inner-city boys to reach their maximum potential. For 15 years prior, Gentry held various senior positions at Tennessee State University including director of athletics, executive director of the TSU Foundation, assistant vice president for university relations and development, and associate vice president for technology and administrative services. His professional life has also included work in banking, insurance and over 30 years in sports radio broadcasting.
Gentry’s civic engagements include involvement with the State of Tennessee Prayer Breakfast Committee (past chairman), Metropolitan Homelessness Commission (founding chairman), 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee, Nashville’s Agenda, Nashville Public Education Foundation, Music City Bowl, the Nashville Sports Council, and Tennessee State University College of Public Service and Urban Affairs. He also serves on the boards of State of Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame (past president), Boy Scouts, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Tennessee Museum Foundation, National Association for Court Management, and Operation Andrew. Gentry is former chair of the Metropolitan Social Services Commission and the Nashville Poverty Reduction Council. Mayoral appointments include: Communities Putting Prevention to Work Leadership Team, Advisory Council for Adult Literacy, Advisory Council on Early Childhood Development and Early Education, the Advisory Group on Sustainable Healthcare Services to Underserved and Indigent Citizens, and Mayor’s Youth Violence Summit Committee.

Karen Johnson

Karen Johnson
Register of Deeds

Karen’s family moved to Nashville in 1985 and lived on the Historic Fisk University Campus. Her father became a deacon and her mother the church organist at Historic First Baptist Church Capitol Hill Downtown Nashville. Karen watched both her parents work hard as educators earning their positions here in Nashville as Chief Financial Officer at Fisk University and Head Librarian at Hillsboro High School.
Karen lost both her parents while she was a student at Tennessee State University.
She became a mother at the early age of 19 years old and found herself attending college at Tennessee State University, raising two baby boys 11 months apart and working full time. After graduating with an undergraduate degree, Karen went on to graduate school, still working full time and raising her children.
Karen began her career doing accounts receivable and accounts payable at Vanderbilt University Patient Accounting.
She went on to intern in Human Resources with the Federal Government at U.S. Geological Survey where she learned that her passion was serving others and helping to make processes and procedures more efficient. She progressed in management at Shoney’s Inc., HCA, the State of Tennessee and now Mercy Health Services.
Karen has had the unique experience of serving both in the public and private sectors.
This has afforded her the opportunity to acquire a cross-section of knowledge, which enables her to have a creative, open-minded management style with people and processes.