District two covers the southeast portion of Williamson County including College Grove and parts of Thompson’s Station. // Map from the Williamson County Election Commission.
By MATT BLOIS
On May 2 residents of Williamson County will decide which candidates the Democratic and Republican parties will support for County Commission in the general election next August.
Each district in the county has two representatives on the County Commission who serve four year terms.
District two currently has two Republican commissioners who are both running for reelection. They will have to beat a first time Democratic candidate in August.
Democratic County Commission Candidate Lori Clemons spends most of her day looking for trends in medical data at Vanderbilt Medical Center, but she got interested in local politics after the 2016 election. She’s running for a seat on the commission in district two, and says the most important issues for here are funding local schools and making public transportation more accessible.
“Especially now that I have a daughter who’s going to be in the public school system,” she said. “Funding for public schools has been one of the main reasons why I ran.”
She doesn’t have any experience in public office, but said the process has been exciting. Her husband Robert Clemons is a software engineer who works from home, and he’s paraplegic. She said he doesn’t have good access to public transportation where they live in Thompson’s Station and she would like to see more public transportation options in the county.
She has lived in the county for almost four years, and has been at her home in Thompson’s Station since 2016.
County Commissioner Judy Herbert’s family has represented district two on the Williamson County Commission for almost half a century. Her father Clyde Lynch had the seat for 37 years straight, and Herbert has held her seat for the past eight years. She’s running again this year as a Republican.
She has lived in Williamson County her entire life, and her family has been here for seven generations.
“I’m not here for the moment,” she said. “I’m here now and forever.”
Her goal is to make sure that the county stays in good financial condition while still providing necessary services to the people living here. She wants to make sure that her grandkids will have access to the same county services that are available now.
Herbert lives in College Grove with her husband Joey Herbert and works for child services. Her three children and one grandchild all live in Tennessee.
Before serving as the county commissioner for district two of Williamson County, Betsy Hester worked as a high school science teacher in Georgia. When she moved to Williamson County 40 years ago, she started teaching preschool at Church of the City. That’s why she wants to help the county make sure it has a strong education system.
Her children have already graduated from Williamson County schools, but she thinks having good schools is good for everyone in the county.
“I feel I have an obligation to continue the quest for better education,” she said.
She decided to run again because she still hasn’t accomplished the goals she set when she first become a county commissioner 12 years ago. Those goals including reducing class sizes, supporting teachers with higher salaries and improving public safety.
According to Hester, improving the schools isn’t just the responsibility of the county. School administrators, parent teacher organizations and teachers all have to communicate to make schools better.
Hester has a daughter in Birmingham and a son in East Nashville. She has served as a county commissioner for three terms.