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OK, the good guys finally won one. A little celebrating is definitely in order. English Only was defeated with a resounding 57 percent of the vote. Nashville was spared another spate of embarrassing national publicity. The city's progressives proved they can stop daydreaming about love and harmony long enough to run an effective political campaign. For Mayor Karl Dean, who gambled his popularity on the outcome, the results might translate into more clout with the Metro Council.
But let's not get carried away here. It's not the dawn of a new day in Nashville or anything close to a crippling blow to ignorance or intolerance in our city. In fact, had English Only been on the ballot for a regular election, it would have passed overwhelmingly. Let's admit it. It went down only because this was a low turnout special election. That fact alone gave the English Only foes a fighting chance, elevating the importance of their ability to mobilize a small segment of voters. They turned out 41,000 voters for their side, and that was enough when only 73,000 of the county's 330,000 registered voters went to the polls.
The best news from this election? We might have seen the last of Eric Crafton. If English Only had won, the term-limited council member would have been emboldened to run for some other office, maybe even mayor. Now, let's all hope he just goes away.
Update: This is hilarious.
It apparently didn't dawn on Howard Gentry until this week that English Only is a stupid idea. But that didn't stop him from trying to snag a little of the limelight with the victors last night. It reminds me of the night Dean was elected, and Gentry appeared out of no where at the victory celebration and popped up on stage with the mayor-elect.
: The Tennessean's Chris Echegaray
calls 19% a "massive turnout." We think he spent a little too much time at the victory party. Quote of the night from the scofflaw Crafton: "Like Roberto Duran said after his fight, 'No mas.'"
Oh happy day! Crafton might go away.
"I think if I said I wanted to hold another office, my wife and mom might kill me so I'm not going to think about it."