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Nashville Voters Derail Clement Comeback Bid

Former Rep. Bob Clement (D) lost his bid to become Nashville’s mayor on Tuesday, garnering just under 48 percent of the vote in his runoff race against former city law director Karl Dean.

Dean, who focused his campaign on education, public safety and economic development issues, took home 52 percent of the vote. He will take office on Sept. 21.

Dean and Clement were the top two vote-getters in the five-candidate, open party general election on Aug. 2, but neither had received 50 percent of the vote, forcing the runoff.

Unofficial results from the Metropolitan Nashville Election Commission Wednesday gave Clement 47,347 votes in Tuesday’s election and Dean 51,946.

Unlike Clement, who has high name recognition in the state and extensive campaign experience, Dean had run previously only for the office of Davidson County public defender.

In 1978, Clement, the son of former Gov. Frank Clement (D), lost the Democratic nomination for governor in the race that now-Sen. Lamar Alexander (R) eventually won. But after winning a special election in January 1988 for the 5th district House seat, Clement went on to be re-elected seven more times to Congress. In 2002 Clement lost an open Senate race to Alexander.

— John McArdle

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