Last updated on February 21st, 2019 at 11:23 am
The special election for Nashville Metro Council District 29 is heading for a runoff. In a field of four competitors, non were able to achieve more than 50% of the vote, forcing a runoff between the top two competitors: Delishia Porterfield (44%) and Nicola ‘Nick’ La Mattina (41%).
Delishia Porterfield is a special education coach at Metro Nashville Public Schools. Porterfield is a licensed minister Mt. Zion Baptist Church and sits on the board for The Destiny Theatre Experience, eMpowerment Inc., and Ignite Her Pursuit.
Nicola ‘Nick’ La Mattina is a local businessman who owns and operates a neighborhood pizzeria.
The special election was held to fill the vacancy left by Former Councilwoman Karen Johnson when she became the new register of deeds. Johnson has thrown her support behind Porterfield.
The race has been marked by claims of foul play by the top two candidates. The controversy began with a Facebook post by former Councilwoman Karen Johnson of what she claimed was someone stealing a package off a friend’s porch, while wearing a Nick La Mattina shirt.
“Someone stole this package off the porch of my friend and it’s on camera,” said Johnson. “Police being called. Take notice of the shirt this person has on. A Nick LaMmatina [sic] shirt. I have never seen anything this low out of all my years in politics.”
According to a La Mattina campaign official, Johnson’s post is a “total lie” to try and make La Mattina look bad.
“She actually knows the guy in the picture. He has put up signs for Karen Johnson. She went to school with him at TSU.”
Identifying the person in the photograph is Willie ‘Chill Will’ Young,’ who is also an employee of a contractor who worked on Johnson’s campaign.
“[This is] a desperate attempt to use social media to hurt the other candidate, Nick La Mattina,” said the official, who provided evidence of texts.
Porterfield and La Mattina will go head to head with early voting from February 27 to March 14, with Election Day being March 19.
In response to accusations that she new the person in the post, Karen Johnson said, “Mr. D. Reeves, a Caucasian man, put up my campaign signs. Additionally, I graduated form Tennessee State University in 1996. To my knowledge, I did not attend TSU with Mr. Willie Young.”