Running on a campaign to lead Bartlett into a new era, David Parsons was elected as mayor to replace Keith McDonald, who has held the city’s top position for two decades.
Parsons was endorsed by the outgoing mayor and won against three challengers. Parsons ended up with 7,646 votes, compared to 6,427 for Bartlett Police Officer Brent Hammonds, 4,101 for fellow Bartlett Alderman Kevin Quinn,, and 434 for engineer John Lackey.
Bartlett voters also chose three new aldermen to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Harold “Brad” King was elected to Position 1, Robert Griffin to Position 2 and David Reaves to Position 3, a seat Parsons gave up to run for mayor.
In two school board races, Erin Elliott Berry won re-election unopposed for Position 2 and incumbent and school board chairman Bryan Woodruff won re-election for Position 4 against librarian Aislinn McEwen, winning 9,701 votes to 5,496.
In campaign material and at two mayoral forums held in September and October, Parsons touted himself as the best qualified candidate for mayor, both in government and in operating his own general contracting business, David Parsons Construction Inc.
“It’s been a two-year journey and I’m glad it’s over,” Parsons said Tuesday night when the last precinct results were posted at Legacy Church. “I’m exhausted. It’s very rewarding to be honored to be the mayor of your hometown. It’s very special to me.”
Parsons has served on the Bartlett Board of Mayor and Alderman in Position 3 since January 2003, the same month as McDonald’s first term as mayor.
Hammonds, who finished with 34.5 percent of the vote, won three of nine precincts in the mayor’s race – Bartlett Woods Church of Christ, Singleton Community Center, and Waypoint Baptist Church.
In the election for Alderman Position 1, King finished with 9,197 votes, well ahead of Planning Commission member and professional engineer Casper Briggs with 3,403 votes, Bartlett real estate agent and property owner Jimmy Norman with 2,516 votes, and mechanic Victor Read with 1,514 votes.
“I think all the hard work paid off and I had a lot of support, a lot volunteers working the polls and helping me with signs,” King said, adding that he talked with other candidates in his race and they got along well. “I think the future of Bartlett looks bright.”
King will replace W.C. “Bubba” Pleasant, who was first elected to Position 1 in 2006 and decided not to seek re-election.
Griffin, managing director of SmartCycle, a company that provides business intelligence to auto recyclers, is the former vice president of marketing for Memphis in May International Festival. He will replace Mandy Young, who is serving out the term of former Position 2 Alderman Emily Elliott, who moved out of Bartlett and had to relinquish her seat.
Griffin gathered in 7,675 votes compared to 2,994 for county government employee Brandon Weise, 2,475 for Stephen Spencer, and 2,207 for Thomas Stephen Jr.
Griffin said he and King were at every farmers market and every big event in Bartlett talking to voters and having conversations with them.
“I think getting out and talking to the voters was the difference, listening to what they had to say and what they want for their city,” Griffin said. “Because as aldermen, that’s our job is to represent them and their views and what they want to see done in their city.”
Reaves was victorious in the two-man race for Alderman Position 3, a seat Parsons held for 20 years before his run for mayor.
Reaves, an executive at Nike Inc. and co-owner of the Side Porch Steakhouse, finished with 9,719 votes, compared to 5,936 for Paul Kaiser, who has operated a Farmers Insurance agency franchise since 1993 and served on the Bartlett Planning Commission for 16 years.
“I think there’s an opportunity to focus on more high-quality retail development, but I really want to see more locally owned small business development,” Reaves said. “Bartlett citizens who want to open their own small business, and helping them make that a reality.”
Other winners in Tuesday’s election were Bill Lee, who will serve another four years as the Republican governor of Tennessee, District 8 Congressman David Kustoff and District 9 Congressman Steve Cohen.