Note: This information was compiled by the WCDP and yes, we are Democrats, and no, we are not attempting to be neutral. We believe in democracy and equal rights for all. Of particular concern when we were looking for information about candidates was the acknowledgement of equal rights for LGBTQ citizens and the continuance of the family-friendly Pride festival in Franklin. This information is all available on LinkedIn, candidate websites, candidate interviews and news articles.
The 2023 Franklin BOMA Elections have vaulted Williamson County once again to the national stage with some interesting developments by one of the candidates. That candidate will not be featured in this list, but here are the rest of the candidates running for positions. These do not constitute endorsements of any candidates running. The Franklin BOMA race is nonpartisan.
* Clyde Barnhill, Alderman At Large incumbent
Alderman Barnhill was born and raised in Williamson County. He’s a graduate of Franklin High School and the University of Tennessee/Nashville. First elected in 1988, he’s currently serving on the Employee Pension Committee, CIP Committee, and the Beer Board. No one is running against him. Since there are opposition candidates in the other races, one might conclude there is no reason to replace Barnhill. Barnhill voted against the Pride event, so it’s not hard to predict his continued support for withholding equal rights for all citizens.
A vote is a show of support and agreement. You do not have to vote for someone you are not aligned with - doing so indicates support of their views and platform. Not voting for this spot or writing in a candidate are options.
*Ann Petersen, Alderman At Large incumbent
Alderman Petersen has been in Franklin since 2007 and was the first woman appointed to the Williamson County Planning Commission where she still represents the Board. Ann also serves on the Budget and Finance Committee and is a member of the Franklin Lions Club and First Presbyterian Church. She retired from Columbia State Community College after teaching math for more than 30 years. Petersen has two adult sons, and her husband is an attorney. Peterson voted in favor of the Pride Festival, which shows she can make decisions she may personally disagree with since she recognizes both the legal and civil implications of denying equal rights to some of Williamson County’s citizens. Ann’s service on the BOMA reflects an individual with welfare of Franklin at its heart.
*Jeff Feldman, Alderman at Large opponent
Peterson’s opponent is Jeff Feldman, who is described on his LinkedIn page as an “Entrepreneur, Investor and M&A Consultant. Sports & Porsche enthusiast. Advisor & Therapist too”. He is a newcomer to Franklin, barely living here long enough to qualify to run for office. Originally from Chicago, Jeff and his wife most recently lived in CA and came to Franklin for “Jesus and freedom”. Another reason is probably the fact that a Stout Burgers and Beer (a restaurant chain in which he claims an ownership stake) just opened in Brentwood. Feldman is also part owner of something called ‘live organic water’. Check out his LinkedIn page at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jefffeldman777/details/experience/
Feldman has had multiple short term jobs mostly in sales. He applied for several jobs in the city of Laguna Beach in 2018 then in 2019 where he stated in his application that he wanted to “build a life here for decades to come”. That application shows a different depiction of his employment history. His government experience is volunteer work; there’s no easily found record that he was hired or elected except to a community council in LA. It was one of 99 councils in LA - the mission is to create community impact statements - nothing to do with governing or management. These organizations have less authority than an HOA. He claims to have experience as a real estate developer, though it’s unclear if he did anything other than sell real estate. Feldman’s story is difficult to confirm, as there are conflicts between what he claims and what records show.
*Brandy Blanton, Alderman At Large incumbent
Alderman Blanton is a Tennessee native who’s been in Williamson County since 1977. With a passion for her home here in Williamson, Brandy created Southern Exposure Magazine, which she has since sold to Williamson Herald. To celebrate the stories, she compiled them along with photos as a coffee table book published by Soul Cake Publishing. In the midst of all this she ran for Alderman in 2011. With her record it follows that Blanton understands what it’s like to create and maintain a small business.
In 2015 Brandy was blessed to become a grandmother to a baby girl with special needs. This spurred her to a new role as director of development at High Hopes Development Center. She is or has been involved in multiple nonprofits: Leadership Franklin, Williamson County Homeless Alliance, Elks Lodge, 100 Women Who Care, Mercy Community Healthcare, Williamson County CASA, Williamson County Library Foundation, Franklin’s Charge.
Since Blanton was first elected in 2011, Franklin has been nationally recognized for high quality of life, parks and recreational opportunities, tourism which was $1.2B last year, and historic preservation. Here is her candidate page.
Through her role with the City of Franklin, she serves on the Capital Investment Committee, Williamson County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Public Arts Commission, Executive Board member for Franklin Tomorrow, Inclusive Playground Committee, and is chairman of the Tree Commission. Blanton has also served on the Beer Board, Budget & Finance Committee, Sister Cities of Williamson County, and was Vice Mayor in 2016 and 2022. As for recent events, Brandy did support the permit for the 2023 Pride Festival which demonstrates a commitment to equality, legality, and fairness.
*Gary Moore, Alderman at Large opponent
Gary Moore is running against Alderman Blanton. Moore vehemently opposed the permit for the Pride Festival, writing a letter to the Williamson Herald editor accusing the Mayor and Alderman of dereliction of duty when in fact they were following the law. He mentioned “unspeakable actions and deplorable paraphernalia” from the prior year's festival but didn’t specify if he had personal knowledge from attending the festival or was repeating hearsay. He promised to pray fervently for the “confused generation”. It should be noted that using the government to prevent other citizens from exercising the same rights to free speech and assembly that you yourself possess is a passel of ACLU lawsuits waiting to happen, when our tax dollars could be much more wisely spent. There could also be concerns that separation of church and state would be respected should Moore be elected onto the BOMA.
For Gabrielle Hanson’s empty Alderman seat, there are three challengers:
The following is quoted from Greg’s website https://www.votegregcaesar.com
My wife Darci and I were both raised in Tennessee and have called Franklin our home since 2007. We have watched our four children grow and thrive in our community's schools and athletic programs and are proud that they can live in a place where hard work, determination, and love for our community inspires us to respect the past and shape the future. I know liberty and active civic involvement informs good governance. I am proud to list a few of my credentials below:
• Vice-Chair of the Franklin Board of Zoning Appeals
• Leadership Franklin Graduate
• The Brett Boyer Foundation
• The Habitat for Humanity
• Graduate of Franklin Citizens Government Academy
• Mentor at the Williamson County Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center
• Mardi Gras Ball Royal Court Couple for My Friend's House
• Parish Pastoral Council Member at St. Philip Catholic Church
Caesar's priorities if elected include preserving Franklin’s historic foundation, community building and working together, fiscal responsibility, preserving Franklin's character while managing prudent growth, and public safety - for which he has been endorsed by Franklin’s firefighters. To summarize, Greg has lived here since 2007 and been involved in many charitable social organizations. He has considerable experience in governance-related activities, demonstrating a commitment to community building and service.
aka John Patrick George, aka J. Patrick George
• Plans to ‘restore’ Franklin – “I will preserve our local culture and heritage, free from encroachments on traditional values by unhealthy cultural and social trends.” He noticed these ‘encroachments’ shortly after moving here.
• Quote from his candidate page: “He also recognizes challenges, particularly the subtle infiltration of ungodly values in our community that can corrupt the innocence and moral compass of our children and divide our families.”
• Wants to protect our kids – he’s not talking about guns, it’s about hypothetical grooming, indoctrination, etc.
With an emphasis on conservative religious beliefs seeming to inspire his run for office, George would create a difficult environment for all citizens to thrive in Williamson County and possibly open our county up to more lawsuits. He promises to champion individual liberties but the emphasis is on the individual liberties that pertain to parenting decisions with many nods toward people and beliefs that he feels don't belong in Franklin and are "encroaching" on it.
An important note is George’s affiliation with Liberty University. This is one of the largest evangelical schools in the world; Jerry Falwell was the founder. Falwell strongly preached against civil rights, women’s rights, and LGBTQ rights. Falwell is foundational to the extremist evangelical movement. George chose to go to Liberty to be a chaplain of divinity. This is a light shining on what George values most.
George’s professional history on his candidate website and LinkedIn page are somewhat different, with different audiences. Here’s his LinkedIn profile since he goes by multiple versions of his name. He’s lived in Franklin only a couple years. Note that religious-based opposition to other humans, cultures and beliefs does not change what the law allows. Religious freedom in our country is sacred but does not give one the right to impose one’s religion on others.
aka Bhavani Muvvala
From BK’s voter site: “BK Muvvala has a dream, a belief, and a big picture for Franklin inspired by Franklinites. He wants to serve, embrace, and uplift the Franklin community. BK wants to address the challenges of sewage, flooding, clean drinking water, preservation, sustainability growth, transportation, city staff benefits & remunerations and traffic congestion. BK will work with BOMA and state to offer incentives, tax breaks, relax zoning rules, engage big tech, clean and big businesses, and revitalize neighborhoods”.
Also from his site: “Liberty as the freedom to live one's life without undue interference from the government. This includes the freedom to make decisions about one's personal life, economic choices, and property without unnecessary regulations or restrictions.” He doesn't specify if this includes freedom for teachers to educate, teach history, include diversity, or the LGBTQ community to have lives of equality. There are, however, nods toward children needing protection from adult content and public ordinances for decency, oblique references to the Pride festivals.
Another concern Mr. Muvvala has: “I have expressed concerns about election integrity in Williamson County and Tennessee. I have specifically pointed to the following issues:
• The use of Dominion voting machines, which have been the subject of conspiracy theories and allegations of fraud.
• The lack of transparency in the election process, which makes it difficult to verify the accuracy of the results.
• The potential for voter fraud, which could be committed by individuals or by foreign actors.
• I believe that these issues need to be addressed in order to ensure the integrity of elections in Williamson County and Tennessee. I am actively, collectively, directly and indirectly participated in calling for a number of reforms, including: The use of paper ballots, which are more difficult to hack or manipulate.
• Increased transparency in the election process, which would make it easier for voters to verify the accuracy of the results. Voter ID laws, which would make it more difficult for people to vote illegally.”
It is worth noting that the conspiracy theories about the Dominion voting machines were solidly debunked. The proliferation of these conspiracy theories by Fox News and others was successfully litigated for an award of $787M against Fox News for spreading lies about the company of Dominion. Franklin’s voting process is safe and transparent, and everything is monitored by both political parties as well as many dedicated public servants. Williamson County and Tennessee in general have a much greater issue in getting folks to vote at all, as we are one of the bottom states for percentage of citizens who bother to vote.