Tennessee Family Leaps Into Politics with Bids for 4 Offices
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Hall family's dining room in northwest Davidson County, Tenn., serves as a kind of war room for no fewer than four local political campaigns.
Father David Hall is running for the U.S. House of Representatives; mother Michelle Hall is running for her district's Republican Party executive committee; son Dave Hall is running for a state House seat; and daughter Alexandra is running for county Register of Deeds.
Not to be outdone, the three younger Hall children - who aren't old enough to run for office, or even vote yet - run their own political action committee called Do Hard Things 2010, which encourages teenagers to get politically involved.
David Hall says the spark that lit his family's interest in politics came after he discovered that many Democratic incumbents had a history of running unopposed in Davidson County.
"They weren't representing me in their voting," said David Hall, who ran for state Senate in 2008. "So I decided I wanted to get more involved, and our family is a closely knit family. When we do something, we all do it."
Three of the Hall family candidates are running as Republicans, while 22-year-old Dave Hall is running as an Independent.
The family's political views include the basic tenets of conservatism, such as lower taxes, smaller government and pro-life views.
The Halls concede their collective candidacies face an uphill battle in this fall's elections, but they insist their goals are to win.
"If we all four were to lose, my family has gotten a Ph.D. in political science and the reality of what politics are," David Hall said.
Perhaps demonstrating how difficult the road ahead will be is the fact the Halls' opponents don't seem to know who they are. Incumbent Davidson County Register of Deeds Bill Garrett, who has been in office since 1998, bluntly admitted he didn't know who his opponent, Alexandra Hall, a 20-year-old student at Volunteer State Community College, was. State Rep. Gary Moore said he hadn't heard of his opponent, Dave Hall, either.
"I think I've heard of his dad because he ran for Joe Haynes' seat," Moore said.
U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper's office said the congressman "doesn't really know anything" about his potential GOP opponent Hall.
PAC gathers teens
The three youngest Halls are busy running their PAC.
Do Hard Things 2010, which is run by 17-year-old Zach, 15-year-old Annie and 12-year-old Noah, will bring teens from across the country to Nashville to work on David Hall's congressional primary campaign.
"We are organizing conservative teenagers from across the nation coming in July 16-Aug. 5 to teach them hands-on campaigning in the primary so they can go affect the races in their districts in the general election," said Zach.
Hall said his family's goal is to teach others that it's possible to make a difference politically, or even run for office.
"The point is you can do it," David Hall said. "You don't have to be career politicians to run for office. We need more citizen legislators. That's what our country was founded on, where people would run shops and they would go and take their turn and then come home after a few years."