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VOL. 40 | NO. 2 | Friday, January 8, 2016

Freeman donates $100,000 to House Democratic Caucus

By Sam Stockard

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Bill Freeman, who spent $3.5 million on his failed 2015 Nashville mayoral campaign, has pledged $100,000 to the House Democratic Caucus.

The funds will be used in the 2016 election cycle to help House Democrats gain seats and keep the 26 they hold in the General Assembly, enabling the party to “counteract” funds donated by the Koch brothers for Republican campaigns, Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart says.

“We promise we are going to push back on the supermajority and all the crazy stuff they’re doing up here and get us back to common-sense issues,” says Stewart, a Nashville Democrat.

Freeman called the Democratic Caucus the “smartest” and hardest-working people” on Capitol Hill and urged his friends and Democrats across the state to help the party financially at election time.

“It’s never good when one party controls everything,” said Freeman, a Nashville property management magnate.

Asked if he felt the $100,000 donation was enough, considering it pales in comparison to the millions he spent on his Nashville mayoral campaign, Freeman said, “I think being the largest contributor is worth something. What I’m trying to do is motivate others to do what I’ve done and support this Democratic Caucus.”

Stewart said $100,000 in a state House race is much more than “seed money” and pointed out the Democratic Party spends its money judiciously. He declined to specify where the caucus would spend the money in this year’s election but said Freeman’s donation would be “very helpful” in running races across the state.

Yet, the $100,000 pledge, if split between a handful of candidates, might not be enough to bolster the Democrats’ cause much, especially in a tight race.

Democratic Rep. Bo Mitchell, for instance, spent $236,000 to win his western Davidson County race in 2014, records show.

Though Stewart declined to say which districts would receive funding, he said after the press conference the caucus would be “100 percent” behind Gloria Johnson, a Knoxville Democrat who was narrowly defeated two years ago.

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TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0