Winners and Losers in MNPS Board Primaries

Photo: Elizabeth Jones

Four Metro Nashville Public Schools board district seats were up for primary elections in Davidson County’s first partisan school board race.  

District 2’s Republican primary race included three candidates — Janeen Kingma, Todd Pembroke and Mark Woodward — while incumbent board member Rachael Anne Elrod ran unchallenged as the district’s only Democrat. Edward Arnold is running as an independent. Pembroke won the Republican primary, edging out Woodward by just a handful of votes, and will face off against Elrod and Arnold in the August general election.

Two District 4 candidates ran in the Democratic primary — incumbent John Little and Berthena Nabaa-McKinney. Both held this seat in the past term after representative Anna Shepard died in 2020. (Nabaa-McKinney temporarily held the seat, but Little ultimately won the election to represent District 4 for the remainder of the term.) Nabaa-McKinney won the Democratic primary and will face unchallenged Republican candidate Kelli Phillips in August.

Two Democrats were on the primary ballot for District 6, while incumbent Fran Bush ran as an independent. Cheryl Mayes was endorsed by the teachers’ union, the Metropolitan Nashville Education Association Political Action Committee for Education. Though Natalie Martin is a teacher and a member of MNEA, she did not file the paperwork on time and therefore missed the opportunity for the union’s endorsement. Mayes won Tuesday’s primary and will challenge Bush for her seat.

Similar to District 6, District 8 saw one independent candidate (Amy Pate) and two Democrats (Erin O’Hara Block and Chris Moth). Block was endorsed by outgoing District 8 representative Gini Pupo-Walker, and Moth was endorsed by MNEA-PACE and state Sen. Heidi Campbell (D-Nashville), as well as state Reps. Bob Freeman (D-Nashville), Mike Stewart (D-Nashville) and Bo Mitchell (D-Nashville). Block won the District 8 Democratic primary and will face independent Pate in August.

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