Tag Archives: Sontany

House District 53: Running to Replace Rep. Sontany

Two Democrats and two Republicans are running to succeed retiring state Rep. Janis Sontany, a Nashville Democrat, and all four are in their 30s. Michael Cass has a rundown on the contests.
Each candidate brings government and political experience to the table, from seeking or holding an elected office to working for President George W. Bush during his second term.
“It’s a critical period in our state,” said Democrat Jason Powell, who ran unsuccessfully for another House seat in 2006. “We need strong leaders.”
Powell is running against first-year Metro Councilman Jason Potts, who has said he would continue to serve on the council if elected to the House of Representatives.
In the Republican primary, Ben Claybaker faces Tonya Miller, who lost to Sontany, a fifth-term Democrat, two years ago.
…Both Democrats are named Jason, and both have last names starting with P. There’s enough potential for uninformed voters to be confused that Potts, 33, appreciates his slight alphabetical advantage, which will give him the first listing on the ballot.
“I’m on top, so hopefully it goes my way,” he said.
Otherwise, Potts and Powell give Democratic voters more substantive differences to mull over. Powell, 34, is generally seen as a progressive who has advised Councilman Jerry Maynard and judicial candidate Rachel Bell. Potts, who married into an extended family that has produced five Metro Council members since 1983, is more in the moderate-to-conservative tradition
…Sontany is co-hosting a $150-a-head fundraiser for Powell on Wednesday.
…The Republican race pits Claybaker, the CEO of real estate firm NAI Nashville, against Miller, a Spanish-language interpreter.
Miller, 37, said she has worked with many government agencies, including the Tennessee Department of Transportation and various courts, through her interpreting work as a self-employed, independent contractor.
“It gives me a little more compassion,” she said. “I’m there with the people.”
She said she wants to create a digital platform to give constituents more of a voice, producing “something I can carry with me when I go to the floor” to vote. She worries about the nation’s direction, and she wants to help unite various constituencies under the Republican banner.
“The Republican Party is not all about being pro-life or anti-gay,” Miller said. “The Republican Party is about freedom and liberty.”
Claybaker, 36, has been around politics for much of his life. His father is a small-town mayor in Camden, Ark. Claybaker worked for an Arkansas congressman soon after graduating from college and helped run a Texas candidate’s successful campaign for the lieutenant governor’s office.
In 2004 he worked for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign as political coordinator for Southwestern states, then went to work at the White House as a policy analyst for the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Rep. Sontany Won’t Seek Reelection

Democrat Janis Sontany, a five-term state representative from Nashville and a former member of the Metro Council, said Wednesday that she is leaving the state legislature after this year, according to Chas Sisk.
Sontany, 65, said she wants to spend more time with her family.
“I never wanted this to be a career,” she said. “It’s just time for me to move on and do something else with my life.”
Sontany, a Democrat, has been in state and local politics for a total of 17 years. She also worked in the government affairs office for DuPont.