As he held his first formal fundraiser with a campaign kickoff Sunday at the Eastern Flank Battlefield Park at Carnton, John Haynes stressed he’ll bring a new viewpoint to the Franklin alderman-at-large seat he is seeking to fill.
Haynes, 66, has been a pastor at Burns Tabernacle Primitive Church for the past 22 years. He is one of three candidates running to take over the alderman-at-large position that became vacant after the death of Pearl Bransford last November. He believes the fact that since he has never held office before and hasn’t really been involved in politics gives him an advantage of sorts.
“I’m going to go in with a different perspective than what I think a regular politician brings,” Haynes said as his campaign gathering was winding down. “I do understand that there are certain things you have to separate, so I’m fine with that. But I want to keep the people — their issues, their wants and desires — in mind more so than playing politics.”
Also running for the alderman-at-large seat are Gabriella Hanson, Bhavani Kumar Muvvala and Alan Simms. John Schroer, former mayor of Franklin, has filled in for Bransford’s seat since earlier this year but is not a candidate.
In addition, the Franklin election scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 26, also includes Beverly Burger, unopposed in Ward 1; Matt Brown, Angela Hubbard, Tina Pierret and Mike Vaughn in Ward 2; Samantha Degrasse, Jason Potts and Michelle Sutton in Ward 3; and Patrick Baggett and Elizabeth Downing Wanczak in Ward 4.
At Haynes’ gathering Sunday, several friends and colleagues spoke on his behalf. His campaign manager, Marcia Allen, agreed that his position as a pastor and his being a lifelong resident of Franklin give him a certain edge.
“Part of John’s appeal for me is his living here for so long gives him a true caring concern, and he doesn’t think he knows everything,” said Allen, a former Franklin alderman who now sits on the city’s planning commission. “He doesn’t go in with his mind made up. He has an open mind, and that’s really required. I’ve found that a lot of times, if your mind is already made up, you could miss a lot of pertinent information. So I really think that’s going to be an asset for him.”
Hewitt Sawyers, pastor at West Harpeth Primitive Baptist Church, told the crowd there’s a sense of urgency to having Haynes elected.
“We cannot risk letting him lose this race,” Sawyers said. “This is an important race because if he loses we don’t know what might happen to the steps and gains that we have already gotten in the city of Franklin. … We cannot go back, we have to go forward. …
“John Haynes stands for going forward.”