DA Candidates Wary of FOP Endorsement

District Attorney Glenn Funk
Glenn Funk

Funk readies big TV ad blitz starting next week

Nashville Scene | March 9, 2022

 

As the race for Davidson County District Attorney begins to warm up, candidates have begun releasing slates of endorsements as a way for prospective voters to align with them.

 

Current DA Glenn Funk’s endorsers have run a wide gamut, from Waffle House shooting hero James Shaw and longtime WSMV sports guy (and criminal justice reform advocate) Rudy Kalis to state Sen. Brenda Gilmore, former Mayor Bill Purcell, civil rights attorney Kyle Mothershead and activist Venita Lewis.

 

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There’s a big endorsement hanging out there though, from an organization that has divided the campaigns — the Fraternal Order of Police. Andrew Jackson Lodge No. 5 in Nashville boasts 2,000 members who will vote to endorse a candidate based on interviews to be conducted next week. And most of the field appears wary of seeking the approval of the police.Funk, who had a contentious relationship with former MNPD Chief Steve Anderson and prosecuted Officer Andrew Delke, sent the organization a letter on Tuesday declining the invitation. Funk says in the letter he would not seek the endorsement of any local or national police union, writing it would undermine “the moral authority of our criminal justice system.”

 

“I believe in labor unions,” Funk writes. “The role of a union includes universal support for members. Further, the Fraternal Order of Police is politically active, endorsing candidates and often providing financial support to their campaigns. For a District Attorney tasked with holding police accountable, that influence, or appearance of influence, erodes public trust.”

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Funk, meanwhile, becomes the first local candidate to hit the airwaves this week, booking almost $300,000 worth of time on local TV stations to run ads through May. His first ad, which revives a 2014 theme about understanding the difference “between a bad person and a good kid in trouble,” begins airing on early-morning newscasts next week.