When it comes to political donations, more of Belmont’s employees have supported Democratic candidates more than Republicans in federal and state elections in 2017 and 2018.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Karl Dean and senate candidate Phil Bredesen are the most popular picks for Belmont faculty, with Democratic campaign contributions surpassing Republican contributions.
This election hits particularly close to home for Belmont, as both gubernatorial candidates have strong connections to Belmont. Dean was a political science and history professor at the university, and Republican candidate Bill Lee is a current member of Belmont’s Board of Trust.
In 2017 and 2018, seven people who listed Belmont as their employer contributed to Dean’s campaign, according to the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance. Two employees contributed to Dean’s campaign four times each.
In the Tennessee Senate race, four Belmont employees donated money to Bredesen, and only one donated to Republican candidate Marsha Blackburn, according to the Federal Election Commission website.
Several employees also donated to PACs during the election cycle, and one employee donated to Senate candidates Ted Cruz, Jim Renacci and House candidate Mark Green, according to the FEC website.
The fact that more employees donated to Democratic candidates represents a nationwide trend at universities, said Dr. Nathan Griffith, associate professor of political science at Belmont.
“It’s not surprising,” Griffith said. “Nationwide most faculty donate to Democratic candidates. That’s the pattern in academia.”
This article written by Joe Bendekovic with contributing reporting from Bronte Lebo. Photo courtesy of Belmont Office of Communications