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African-American Voters Motivated to Turn Out -- John Dunn

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A powerful voting block makes its voice heard in Tuesday's primaries. It was a big win for several of Nashville's African-American candidates.
   
There is strong evidence that African-American turnout had a big influence in the results, and it didn't happen by accident.

As the ballots were counted on Tuesday, a statement was made. African-Americans came ready to vote. "There has been an effort to increase the the African-American voter turnout," says TN Rep. Harold Love, (D) Nashville.

Judge candidates like Kelvin Jones, Rachel Bell, Sheila Calloway, and Angie Dalton all claimed victories. Allegra Walker was also victorious. She knows that African-Americans played a part. "The churches got excited, social and civic organizations got excited," says Walker.
  
Walker recognizes the major effort to motivate voters, get people to the polls, and influence the outcome. "And I think everybody just felt that this time our vote could count, and we could make a difference, and we can have impact. And everybody just kind of caught the fever," says Walker.

As Glenn Funk claimed victory in the Davidson County DA race, his biggest supporters gathered around. Many of them are some of the most prominent African-American pastors in Nashville. Funk has made diversity in the DA's office a key priority.

Reverend Enoch Fuzz is one of many preachers who encouraged church members to vote. African-American newspapers, radio stations, and civic groups were also involved. "One of the prides that I take is that I think that every member in my church, who's a registered voter, does do that," says Rev. Fuzz.

State Representative Harold Love is not surprised by the turnout. He knows of the concerted effort to have a big voice. "So this is a great example of how a community can come out and decide what was best for their particular community," says Rep. Love.

Davidson County's Election Commission is not able to provide specific information about the African-American turnout. Rev. Fuzz, who has studied these elections, believes it was historic for a judicial election.

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