FERRIER FILES: Murfreesboro man chooses honor over politics


Michael McDonald was raised in poverty. He had an abusive father.

He was homeless at least three times, but he somehow let none of it affect him.

He was a great student. He was a great athlete. He ended up being the first African-American student body president in Middle Tennessee State University history.

He also ended up being the Davidson County Elections Administrator; a high-paying job. McDonald and others say he was fired for refusing to fire an office worker.

The worker was Republican. McDonald was a democrat. McDonald’s bosses said get rid of her or else we will fire you.

He fell on his sword.

“I have to live with myself, I can live with myself,” McDonald said. "I believe this is only the first and second act. There is an act three. We will be judged for our actions on earth."

One of McDonald’s closest friends is Rutherford County Property Assessor Rob Mitchell. Mitchell, a republican, admires McDonald’s political courage.

“He just holds himself to a higher standard; Rare in politics today," Mitchell said. "Michael will always do the right thing. All that has happened to him in life, he could be bitter. He walks in grace, and I love him."

McDonald is also a cancer survivor and a current professor at Cumberland University.

“I wouldn’t have chosen all the things that have happened to me," McDonald said. "I wouldn’t have chosen them, but looking back I wouldn’t change a thing."

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