Bellevue has trio of women running for Metro Council at-large seats


Sheri Weiner, who now represents District 22 on the Metro Council, is one of three women running for an at-large seat. // FILE PHOTO

 

By VINCE TROIA

Bellevue’s Sheri Weiner, who has served at District 22’s representative on Metro Council for two terms, has announced that she is running for one of five at-large seats, joining two other Bellevue women on the ballot.

With a filing deadline for candidates looming on May 16, already more than a dozen hopefuls have filed necessary papers to run. That list includes Sharon Hurt, a Metro Council At-large incumbent, and Zulfat Suara, board chair with the American Muslim Advisory Council, both from Bellevue.

Early voting begins in July, and the General Election is Aug. 1.

Metro has five countywide at-large seats — and all five are up for grabs, with four incumbents running for re-election.

The fifth seat was left vacant after then At-large Councilman Jim Shulman was elected Nashville’s vice-mayor, defeating Weiner. Shulman replaced David Briley, who was elected mayor last May.

In December, Weiner told constituents that serving eight years on the Council was enough, telling them she was “honored to serve” District 22. “As I am concluding my second term as Councilmember, I will not be running again,” she said.

Late last month there was a change of heart.

“There’s still a lot of work to do,” Weiner said. “With so many important issues facing Bellevue and Nashville I decided I’m not done yet.”

Hurt, Suara, and Weiner are among at least 15 others pursuing an at-large seat on the Metro Council. Like Hurt, incumbent at-large Bob Mendes is seeking re-election. And like Weiner, term-limited councilmembers Burkley Allen and Fabian Bedne are running for a seat as well.

The list of newcomers running is a short one, with Bellevue’s Suara drawing the most attention locally. Originally from Nigeria, Suara moved to Tennessee in 1993, and then to Nashville in 1998 when she was offered a fellowship at Vanderbilt University.

Always involved in community service, and active in her community, Suara’s appointment as chair of the American Muslim Advisory Council, garnered her much attention. For more on her campaign, visit https://zulfatsuara.com/

Hurt, whose push to have the Nashville International Airport renamed in honor of hometown legend, Oprah Winfrey, brought her recent headlines, was, politically speaking, a relative unknown when she was elected to her at-large seat.

The Bellevue resident was active close to home with the Bellevue Chamber and the Exchange Club but earned accolades citywide as director of JUMP (Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership). Read more at sharonhurt.com

As much as the at-large race dance card is packed, many district races have little or no competition. As of Friday, several races remained officially uncontested. However, like Weiner’s late filing, others may be throwing their hats in the ring between now and the May 16 deadline.

Currently, Bellevue’s District 35 race has incumbent Dave Rosenberg being challenged by newcomer Michelle Foreman.

Weiner’s District 22 seat is being sought by candidates Art Allen and Gloria Hausser, community leaders who have not held public office before. Read more about the District 22 race here: https://bit.ly/2V7ZrVn

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