Karl Dean sees no ‘huge effect’ on Democrats from Nashville mayor scandal

Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, a Democrat now running for governor, said his successor’s resignation on Tuesday will not have a negative impact on the Music City or his party, reports the Johnson City Press.

“It’s sad, but Nashville will survive and move forward,” Dean said Wednesday when asked about Barry’s resignation during a stop at the Johnson City Press.

Dean, who served as Nashville mayor for two four-year terms before Barry took office in 2015, said he has confidence in her successor. He said David Briley, who served as vice mayor before being sworn in as mayor, has the skills to see that “Nashville remains successful.”

Despite Barry being seen by many as a rising star in the state’s Democratic Party, Dean said he doesn’t believe her resignation will have a “huge effect” on the way voters view his party.

“I don’t see this as a setback for the Democratic Party,” said Dean, who faces state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh in the Aug. 2 Democratic Primary for governor.

Dean said he is hoping to follow in the footsteps of two other former mayors who made it to the governor’s mansion. He said former Gov. Phil Bredesen (who also served as mayor of Nashville and is now a candidate of the U.S. Senate) and current Republican Gov. Bill Haslam (a former mayor of Knoxville) were not overly partisan chief executives while overseeing their duties.

“It’s all about being effective and addressing the issues,” Dean said. “People simply want a government that works.”

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