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Far-Right Mayoral Candidate Fails to Win Tennessee Election Amidst White Supremacist Controversy

by Ryan Lee
10 comments
Tennessee mayoral election

In a decisive electoral outcome in a Tennessee municipality, a far-right candidate for mayor, Gabrielle Hanson, was soundly defeated after her refusal to distance herself from white supremacist backers. The re-elected mayor underscored his opposition to hate and divisiveness while celebrating his victory.

Unofficial results indicate that Hanson lost by a significant margin in the election in Franklin, a city situated approximately 20 miles south of Nashville. Media outlet The Big Big News did not participate in the vote tallying process for this election.

Hanson, who has been serving as an alderman in Franklin, encountered additional scrutiny concerning her past, much of which was revealed by local television station WTVF-TV. The matter gained national attention, including mentions by comedian John Oliver on his HBO program, “Last Week Tonight.”

Heightening the already intense atmosphere surrounding the election, the Williamson Herald newspaper disclosed on election day that pamphlets accusing them of “leftist journalist propaganda” had been affixed to their premises.

The newspaper’s publisher, Derby Jones, indicated that the groups behind the pamphlets also issued threats against one of their journalists, their advertisers, and both him and his wife. Phil Williams, a reporter with WTVF-TV, posted images of intimidating pamphlets and social media content specifically targeting him. “The level of hate and divisiveness in Franklin is unprecedented and targeting us so openly is unacceptable,” Jones stated.

Ken Moore, the re-elected Mayor of Franklin, characterized his victory as “a strong endorsement against the hate and divisiveness that marred this election cycle.” During an election night event, Moore stated, “Franklin’s citizens have made their stance clear; they won’t tolerate the hate and anger displayed throughout this election.”

Hanson did not respond to queries made by The Big Big News on the day following the election. Her failure in the mayoral race also means she loses her existing role as an alderman.

Hanson had previously ignited controversy by sharing an unfounded theory concerning a school shooting in Nashville and criticizing the sponsorship of a Juneteenth event by Nashville International Airport.

Further controversies arose during a mayoral forum earlier this month. On Telegram, one of her backers openly identified as a Nazi, according to WTVF-TV. Another was videotaped in Cookeville earlier this year giving a Nazi salute. Despite these associations, Hanson stated that she has “never been affiliated with any white supremacist or Nazi groups” and refused to condemn their presence at the forum.

Subsequent reports by WTVF-TV also revealed a photograph of Hanson with one of the white supremacists, Sean Kauffmann, as well as an interview with one of her supporters, both of which were posted on Telegram.

On the eve of the election, Hanson reiterated her stance, stating that one of the individuals involved, Brad Lewis, was a real estate client of hers. She further stated that “you can provide services to anyone without necessarily agreeing with their beliefs.”

WTVF-TV also reported that Hanson admitted to having been arrested in Texas in the mid-1990s for promoting prostitution, which she claims was a misunderstanding. Another report indicated that Hanson falsely claimed the support of certain women, who later denied endorsing her.

Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson issued a statement opposing Hanson, citing her as “completely ineligible to hold any public office in Tennessee,” in remarks at a political event, as reported by the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Tennessee mayoral election

What was the outcome of the Tennessee mayoral election in Franklin?

Gabrielle Hanson, a far-right candidate, was decisively defeated in the mayoral race in Franklin, Tennessee. Incumbent Mayor Ken Moore was re-elected, emphasizing the community’s rejection of hate and divisiveness.

Who is Gabrielle Hanson and why was she a controversial figure in the election?

Gabrielle Hanson is a far-right political figure who was serving as an alderman in Franklin. She faced controversy for refusing to distance herself from white supremacist supporters. Additional scrutiny arose from past actions and statements, including an unfounded theory about a school shooting and criticism of a Juneteenth event.

How did the media play a role in the election?

Local television station WTVF-TV conducted investigations into Gabrielle Hanson’s past, revealing several controversies. The Williamson Herald newspaper also reported that they were targeted with pamphlets accusing them of ‘leftist journalist propaganda.’

What did the re-elected Mayor, Ken Moore, say about his victory?

Ken Moore characterized his win as a strong endorsement against hate and divisiveness that marked this election cycle. He stated that the citizens of Franklin have made it clear they won’t tolerate such negativity.

Were there any other notable figures who commented on the election?

Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson expressed his views, stating that Gabrielle Hanson was “completely ineligible to hold any public office in Tennessee,” citing the various reports about her as very credible.

Did Gabrielle Hanson respond to media inquiries after the election?

No, Gabrielle Hanson did not respond to queries made by The Big Big News on the day following the election. Due to her defeat in the mayoral race, she also loses her existing role as an alderman in Franklin.

What were some of the specific controversies surrounding Gabrielle Hanson?

Hanson had previously ignited controversy by sharing an unfounded theory about a school shooting in Nashville and criticizing the sponsorship of a Juneteenth event by Nashville International Airport. Further issues arose when she refused to condemn white supremacist supporters who attended a mayoral forum.

Did the election have any national coverage?

Yes, the election and its surrounding controversies gained national attention, including mentions by comedian John Oliver on his HBO program “Last Week Tonight.”

What were the threats made against the Williamson Herald newspaper?

The Williamson Herald disclosed that pamphlets accusing them of ‘leftist journalist propaganda’ had been affixed to their premises. The groups behind the pamphlets also issued threats against one of their journalists, their advertisers, and the newspaper’s publisher and his wife.

More about Tennessee mayoral election

  • WTVF-TV Investigations into Gabrielle Hanson
  • Williamson Herald Newspaper Report on Pamphlets
  • Chattanooga Times Free Press on Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson’s Comments
  • HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s Coverage
  • Unofficial Election Results in Franklin, Tennessee
  • Statement from Incumbent Mayor Ken Moore on Election Win

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10 comments

Sarah Williams October 26, 2023 - 10:22 am

finally, some good news. so glad she lost, we don’t need more hate.

Reply
Emily Johnson October 26, 2023 - 12:51 pm

Did anyone catch John Oliver’s coverage? It was spot on. Hanson should’ve never even been a candidate in the first place.

Reply
Rachel Green October 26, 2023 - 1:12 pm

All these controversies and she still thought she had a chance? Delusional.

Reply
Kevin Anderson October 26, 2023 - 3:06 pm

Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson said it best. She’s “100% ineligible” for public office. Hope people finally get the message.

Reply
Brian Adams October 26, 2023 - 3:54 pm

Hanson not responding to media tells a lot. Silence sometimes speaks louder than words.

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Linda Carter October 26, 2023 - 7:07 pm

the media played a crucial role here. Kudos to WTVF-TV for digging up the truth about Hanson.

Reply
David Lee October 26, 2023 - 9:03 pm

Its about time! People are waking up and choosing not to stand for hate n divisiveness.

Reply
Mike Thompson October 26, 2023 - 11:32 pm

Ken Moore’s statement really hit the nail on the head. Community unity all the way!

Reply
Sophia Brown October 26, 2023 - 11:48 pm

Who actually threatens a newspaper publisher and his family? Things are going too far.

Reply
John Smith October 27, 2023 - 2:10 am

Wow, can’t believe Hanson thought she could win without denouncing white supremacists. Politics these days, man.

Reply

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