Before you vote, know your candidates on the District 65 ballot

Before you vote, know your candidates on the District 65 ballot

Neither having served in public office, District 65 will have new representative come Nov. 8.

The campaign season window is closing, with less than 30 days left until Williamson voters help decide the next president and their choice of state house representation.

Early voting starts Wednesday, Oct. 19, among seven different locations throughout Williamson County.

But before you go to the polls, make sure you know who the down ballot candidates are, what they stand for, and their perspectives on the issues.

District 65 has both a Republican and Democratic candidate for the state house along with those running for the Tennessee Seventh Congressional District. It will also have the Fairview City Council races.

Congressman Marsha Blackburn

Serving 19 counties, Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) wants to keep her seat in United States Congress for the Tennessee Seventh District.

Blackburn – a former Tennessee state senator – has held her seat in office since 2002. She’s currently holds a seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee serving as vice chair. The committee is a hodgepodge with jurisdiction over health care, energy regulation, and telecommunications issues.

She’s also been in the political back and forth over abortion with Planned Parenthood since 2015.  She now serves as the chair to the Select Investigative Panel. It reviews the abortion business as a whole along with medical procedures.

While she does have opposition, they have been primarily quiet since they pulled papers in April. She will face Tharon Chandler (Democrat) and Leonard Ladner (Independent).

Sam Whitson

Beating Jeremy Durham in the primary, Sam Whitson is the Republican candidate for the District 65 House seat.

A community leader and volunteer, Whitson leads the effort for the city of Franklin’s Battlefield Commission. He also devotes part of his time to Franklin’s Charge, which fundraises money to help facilitate the purchase of battlefield land.

Prior to retiring in Franklin with parents, children and grandchildren, Whitson served in the military as a US Army Colonel for 25 years. During the primary, he largely stayed out of the political crossfire, saying he left any discussions of Durham out of his campaigning. Durham was expelled from the legislature in September for inappropriate behavior.

Whitson said he would like to a collaborative mindset to the state house, wanting to work with local leaders on legislation before he puts anything forward in the House.

He’s repeatedly said during the past few months he wanted to ensure better BEP funding options for the school system, noting he wanted to work with Sargent to accomplish that goal. He’s also said he would like to keep in close communication with TDOT Commissioner John Schroer to handle the issues Williamson sees in its road infrastructure.

Whitson has noted several times in the course of his 10-month campaign that he would also like to restore integrity to the seat and become a voice in the GOP caucus.

He raised $22,242 in the third quarter and has $59,455 left on hand.

 Holly McCall

Also a first time candidate, Holly McCall is the Democratic candidate for the District 65 seat.

She spent her entire childhood in Williamson County, graduating from Franklin High School. She now lives in the house she grew up in near downtown.

Her mother passing away two years helped inspire her to run, but she said it was her mom’s service to the Franklin Special School District that left a large imprint. Her mom Patricia McCall served as the first woman on the board in the 1970s, and held the seat for several terms.

Much of the issues her district faces aren’t partisan in nature. In knocking on nearly 10,000 doors, she said the biggest issue to come will revolved around transportation.

Using her knowledge from working at the Metro Transit Authority, McCall said she understands the need to grow regionally and has proposed ways to help both the state and Williamson’s infrastructure needs backlog. She would like to sit on the House’s transportation committee.

Throughout her campaign, McCall has also been a proponent of figuring out how to better serve Tennesseans health care. She said she agreed with Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee plan and noted that Speaker Beth Harwell’s 3-Star Healthy task force took a step in the right direction with its intentions to help mentally disabled and veterans.

McCall raised $31,352 in the third quarter. She has $36,808 left on hand.

Here’s where you can early vote:

The Brentwood Library
8109 Concord Road Brentwood, TN 37027
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays


Fairview Recreation Center
2714 Fairview Boulevard Fairview, TN 37062
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays


Williamson County Administrative Complex (Election Commission)
1320 West Main Street Franklin, TN 37064
8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays

The Factory at Franklin (near Liberty Hall)
230 Franklin Road, Franklin, TN 37064
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays

Williamson County Ag Expo Center
4215 Long Lane, Franklin, TN 37064
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays


Nolensville Recreation Center
7250 Nolensville Road Nolensville, TN 37135
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays


Longview Recreation Center
2909 Commonwealth Drive Spring Hill, TN 37174
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Polls are open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at your designated Election Day polling place based on your residential address.

For more information visit or download the GoVoteTN voter App or call the Election Commission office at (615) 790-5711.

Emily West covers the City of Franklin, education and high school football for the Franklin Home Page. Contact her at Follow her on Twitter via @emwest22. 

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