Napier, Shepard, Bell celebrate Thompson’s Station wins


Napier, Shepard, Bell celebrate Thompson’s Station wins

A lively crowd of friends and supporters of Thompson’s Station Mayor Corey Napier gathered at Circa restaurant Tuesday evening to await election results and in the end got exactly what they wanted as their candidate easily won reelection.

A lively crowd of friends and supporters of Thompson’s Station Mayor Corey Napier gathered at Circa restaurant Tuesday evening to await election results and in the end got exactly what they wanted as their candidate easily won reelection.

Napier was cautiously optimistic when he arrived at his family’s popular dining spot following an afternoon of final campaigning at Thompson Station Church just across Columbia Pike. When the final results came in his optimism turned into reality, as he defeated challenger Nina Cooper 747-415.

“We still have a ways to go,” Napier said at about 7:30 p.m. “But, if [it continues to go according to early results], it’s a win for the community. It’s a win for this town and its quality of life. I’ve said throughout this campaign that the people who live in Thompson’s Station want to come home and leave stress behind them. That’s what we’re building in Thompson’s Station. It is a place where you can live, work, learn and play.”

One of Napier’s most vocal supporters during the campaign has been Thompson Station’s Mathew Gary, a former chairman of the town’s finance committee.

“I always say that voters get what they deserve,” Gary said. “If Corey wins, they must want growth without regret. If [Cooper] wins, that means that voters here want to see rapid growth.”

Jim Smith is a newcomer to Thompson’s Station, but has quickly made himself at home in the town’s hopping political scene.

“My wife and I moved here in February from Columbia, where I grew up,” Smith said. “I live in the Tollgate community, and I soon got listening to my neighbors there regarding some of the [telecommunications issues] they’re facing. I was going to run for one of the alderman slots in this election myself. But, after listening to Brandon Bell speak, I decided he was the best candidate to support. So, I became his treasurer.”

Smith backed Bell, who won a seat on the Thompson’s Station Board of Mayor and alderman, as well as Napier to continue as mayor. Graham Shepard won the other aldermanic seat in this cycle.

“I have supported Corey throughout the election season and I helped to campaign for him,” Smith said. “In my line of work, it’s important to be able to read people quickly. So many people look at this community in terms of ‘mine, mine, mine.’ Corey sees it in terms of ‘ours.’ He wants to see everybody together.”

Smith is a part of the informal Tollgate Advisory Committee (TAC) and met Napier after inviting the mayor to speak to the group. TAC also invited Cooper to their meetings because Smith thought it was important to hear from both candidates.

“Nina is a good lady, but I have an issue with her campaign donors,” Smith said. “She is on record as receiving money from 15 different donors in excess of $100 apiece. Among those 15, 12 are from outside of Thompson’s Station. I can’t understand why her main donors are businesses who can feed off of the city. I’m not saying she’s on the take, but if she is elected she’ll begin her tenure under obligation to the donors.”

Smith said both mayoral candidates were qualified, but have fundamentally different philosophies.

“One sees the glass as half full, the other as half empty,” he said. “They have different answers about how to fill the glass up. At the end of this night [Tuesday], I’d like to see whoever wins be a 100 percent supporter of whoever does not. It’s so easy to point fingers, but it’s hard to pick up a shovel.”

Bell also attended Napier’s campaign finale with his wife, Layla. The Bells decided early in 2014 that it would be a good time for Brandon to pursue his first political office as a Thompson’s Station alderman.

“I feel a bit nervous tonight,” Bell said. “It didn’t really sink in until I drove past the polls around 6:45. I just called the election commission and heard from them that voter turnout today has been higher than expected. I’m pretty optimistic that we can get a ‘W’ in our column. But, even if that doesn’t happen, I still want to stay involved in this community.”

Shepard led the balloting with 592 votes, Bell polled 586, Mike Roberts 424, and Cort Bethmann 364.

Shepard was present Tuesday at Circa and was more interested in congratulating Napier than he was in acknowledging his own possible election as an alderman.

“It looks like Corey’s gonna win tonight,” Shepard said. “He’s up by about two-to-one so far [at approximately 9 p.m.] I don’t think Nina can overcome that.”

Staff writer Greg Jinkerson covers Spring Hill for Home Page Media Group. Contact him at greg@springhillhomepage.com or follow him on Twitter @Greg_SHHP

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