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Why 'Keep Bartlett, Bartlett' campaign slogan for one local race is drawing strong reactions

One alderman candidate sign states: "Remember Cordova? Keep Bartlett, Bartlett."

BARTLETT, Tenn. — In Bartlett, the slogan of an election campaign is raising eyebrows and discussion on social media. Atop the sign for Bartlett alderman candidate Victor Read reads: "Remember Cordova? Keep Bartlett, Bartlett."

So, ABC24 dug deeper into what the candidate meant and reaction from fellow candidates also running for Alderman Position 1.

Read said the campaign slogan symbolized his priority in preserving strong neighborhoods.

"If you want a community that has apartment complexes and townhomes and things of that nature much like Cordova, then sure, but I didn't want this," Read said.

He launched his campaign after the approval of the Union Depot mixed use development - now under construction in Bartlett - which Read feared will make the community more like its suburban neighbor.

 "If you go through Cordova, if you go through Germantown Parkway, nobody wants to go down Germantown Parkway with all the lights on it and all the high-density housing," Read added. 

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"It's an attempt to try and downgrade my community over his community," Rep. Dwayne Thompson, (D) Shelby County, said in response to the campaign sign. . 

He represents Cordova in the Tennessee House, with family members who live in Bartlett.

"Whether it be in Bartlett or in Cordova or any other part of Shelby County, we all need to work together," Rep. Thompson added.

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While Victor Read said he prioritizes zoning for single family housing in neighborhoods like this, his fellow Bartlett alderman candidates offered different perspectives on growth.

"Everyone wants improvement, they want to give the policemen raises, they want to give firemen raises, they want great parks and if you don't have growth and new tax dollars, guess what? They only place that can come from to to increase - property taxes," Bartlett Alderman Position 1 candidate Harold Brad King said.

"Bartlett is 60,000 people now, real close, and so we've got to have the progress and the retail that it will bring in and the tax value that it will bring to the city," Bartlett Alderman Position 1 candidate Jimmy Norman added.

Bartlett voters Thursday told ABC24 their priorities for the community include supporting law enforcement, strengthening public schools and supporting small businesses.

The Bartlett Alderman Position 1 race doesn't have its incumbent running, so whoever wins will bring a new vision and new ideas.

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