J. Holly McCall

J. Holly McCall

Holly McCall has been a fixture in Tennessee media and politics for decades. She covered city hall for papers in Columbus, Ohio and Joplin, Missouri before returning to Tennessee with the Nashville Business Journal. Holly brings a deep wealth of knowledge about Tennessee’s political processes and players and likes nothing better than getting into the weeds of how political deals are made.


Editor’s notebook: Democracy requires the media to hold candidates, officials accountable

By: - September 15, 2023

Even as three of Nashville’s major cities — Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville — have either recently elected or will soon elect mayors, I’m already looking ahead to the next election cycle.  Today is International Day of Democracy, established in 2007 by the United Nations to promote and uphold principles of democracy, and there’s no better […]

Immigrant, Black voters play key role in Metro Nashville elections

By: - September 14, 2023

Immigrant and Black voters played a critical role in Metro Nashville’s municipal elections. Of the 26 candidates endorsed by TIRRC Votes, the political arm of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, 21 won their races — including Mayor-elect Freddie O’Connell. Other winners include Delishia Porterfield, Olivia Hill and Quin Evans Segall, who claimed seats […]

Rev. Dr. Bernard Lafayette and his wife, Kate Bulls Lafayette, leave American Baptist College in Nashville on Nov. 18, 2022. (Photo: John Partipilo)

American Baptist College lands $3 million technology grant for minority communities

By: - September 8, 2023

American Baptist College, the Nashville school responsible for educating a generation of civil rights leaders, has landed a grant of almost $3 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce through its Connecting Minority Communities pilot program.  The funding, which comes from the department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, is designed to eradicate digital deserts within […]

Screenshot of the satirical Alice Rolli 23 website, launched Thursday by comic and political satirist Toby Morton.

Satire and smears: Third-party groups enter Nashville elections

By: - September 7, 2023

With a week left in Nashville’s mayoral race, filmmaker and political satirist Toby Morton has launched a website aimed at candidate Alice Rolli, who faces Freddie O’Connell in the runoff. In recent years, Morton has created satirical websites for Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, U.S. Rep. Andy Ogles and House Speaker Cameron Sexton, as well as […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

Young, Gifted and Black PAC launches in Nashville

By: - September 5, 2023

A group of African American business owners in Nashville have launched the Young, Gifted and Black (YGB) Political Action Committee to foster economic empowerment and political engagement for the area’s Black families.  “Everything about us, especially as Black people, is attached to a policy,” said Carlos Partee, one of 10 founding members of YGB. Partee […]

Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville, takes a photo with a crowd of supporters at her Sept. 5, 2023 announcement for U.S. Senate. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee Rep. Gloria Johnson announces U.S. Senate bid

By: - September 5, 2023

Tennessee Rep. Gloria Johnson confirmed rumors that have swirled most of 2023, announcing she will run for the U.S. Senate in front of a hometown crowd outside Knoxville Central High School on Tuesday morning.  “We don’t have leadership that respects the dignity of every human being,” said Johnson.  Johnson joins Marquita Bradshaw, the Democratic candidate […]

During a four-hour House Education Committee meeting on Aug. 23, 2023, Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis, right, and Rep. Todd Warner, R-Culleoka, engaged in a yelling match over bill would enable armed active duty members of the military, veterans and law enforcement officers to walk the grounds of schools. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Editor’s notebook: The rot in America’s soul

By: - September 1, 2023

There are many things I could write about the First Extraordinary Session of the 113th Tennessee General Assembly, called by Gov. Bill Lee ostensibly to address public safety. I could write about the House’s restrictive rules package, or that Lee was missing in action, or the dysfunction between the Republican-dominated House and Senate. But the […]

Actor Samual L. Jackson, Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist and Sherry Lansing, chair of Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group, at the Lewis-Tyson Pre-Fight Party hosted by Showtime Networks at The Pyramid in Memphis, Tn. Saturday, June 8, 2002. (Photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect, via Getty Images.)

Former Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist dies at 87

By: - August 27, 2023

Don Sundquist, former U.S. Congressman and two-term governor of Tennessee, died Sunday at the age of 87 in Collierville.  At the request of the Sundquist family, Gov. Bill Lee’s office announced the Republican leader’s death.  “Gov. Sundquist was a connector. He delighted in bringing people together from all walks of life to work for the […]

Participants in prayer ceremony encircle the Tennessee Capitol prior to the start of a special legislative session on Monday, Aug. 21, 2023. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Prayer vigils, marches, and swearing-in ceremonies: Day one of the 2023 special legislative session

By: - August 22, 2023

A long-awaited special legislative session to address public and gun safety issues began Monday with Tennessee’s Republican leadership limiting access to the Capitol and input from lawmakers and the public. Tennesseans began filling the streets around the Capitol and the Legislative Plaza hours before House Speaker Cameron Sexton gaveled the session into order at 4 […]

Eric Schelzig, left, and Joel Ebert, authors of "Welcome to Capitol Hill," published by Vanderbilt University Press, photographed in the Tennessee Capitol's Old Supreme Court Chambers. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Veteran Tennessee reporters pen book on state’s political scandals

By: - August 21, 2023

In “Welcome to Capitol Hill: Fifty Years of Scandals in Tennessee Politics,” veteran political reporters Joel Ebert and Eric Schelzig review decades of corrupt and sordid behavior in state politics, from bribery to sexual harassment and assault. The pair cover the single term of Gov. Ray Blanton, whose tenure was marked by a series of […]

A crowd of teenagers hold signs in the Tennessee Capitol on Thursday as part of a rally to urge lawmakers to take up gun safety laws. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee community and gun safety groups organize special legislative session activities

By: - August 19, 2023

As the Tennessee General Assembly prepares to convene Monday for a special session dedicated to public safety — spurred by a mass shooting at Nashville’s Covenant School in March — community and faith groups have organized activities to call attention to gun safety. Rise and Shine TN in partnership with Together Collective  2 p.m., Legislative […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Photograph: John Partipilo)

An undemocratic circus act

By: - August 16, 2023

“Is Tennessee a Democracy?” read the headline in the July 18 online edition of The Atlantic, a magazine that covers topics including politics, health, culture and technology.  The story, written by Anne Applebaum — who has written extensively about the history of Communism, authoritarian oppression and about disinformation and propaganda internationally — didn’t break new […]