Prominent words from the beloved Maya Angelou fittingly describe the local
lawmaker and community leader, State Senator Brenda Gilmore, “life is not merely to
survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor,
and some style.” After twenty-three years of political leadership, Sen. Gilmore is retiring.
Sen. Gilmore’s retirement announcement shocked the Nashville community and
elected state officials, speculating on what motivated the shocking news and: "life is not merely to
survive, but to thrive; and to do so with passion, compassion, humor, and the more
common question - who would replace the incomparable Sen. Gilmore?
Hours before the state filing deadline in April 2022, Sen. Brenda Gilmore followed
up her retirement announcement with a public endorsement for a budding political
candidate, Attorney Keeda Haynes. Attorney Haynes ran against Nashville
Congressman Jim Cooper in the 2020 elections and Congressman Cooper has also
announced this will be his last session. Sen. Gilmore gave a reason for her decision,
indicating that she was ready to allow the next generation to serve and wanted to help
them while she still had the opportunity.
Even though Attorney Haynes has officially withdrawn from the Tennessee State
Senate race, District 19 will have a new State Senate elected this Fall. The current
candidate list for District 19 State Senate includes Barry Barlow, Rossi Turner, Ludye
Wallace, Charlene Oliver, and Jerry Maynard.
While there was a lack of voter turnout for the mid-term primary election, the Urban
League of Middle Tennessee (ULMT) is hopeful that the District 19 community will show
up in large numbers for the race in August.
As elections near, there are important actions every eligible voter needs to take to
elect the right political leader into the State Senate seat. Preparing for Election Day
allows voters to be informed when casting their ballot. Voter preparation and planning
also block direct attacks on voter accessibility, such as the new voter registration card
mishap earlier this year.
Purposely, the ULMT is tirelessly working to inform voters on how to plan for the
August Primary Election to reclaim the vote on August 4! The ULMT’s work includes
challenging residents to update their voter registration is up to date, know the nearest
polling location and hours of operations, bring the appropriate form of ID, and know the
candidates before getting to the polling booth.
As the political career of fellow ULMT Board of Director member, Sen. Gilmore
comes to an end, the ULMT urges you to plan to reclaim your vote. Certainly, Nashville
deserves elected officials with “some passion, some compassion, some humor, and