Nashville real estate businessman and Democratic fundraiser Bill Freeman Saturday challenged the party faithful to unite for 2016 to elect Democrats to office including the White House.
Freeman, who ran a strong but unsuccessful campaign for Mayor of Nashville last year, was the keynote speaker for the DeKalb County Democratic Party Mass Meeting.
Freeman, a supporter of President Obama is now backing Hillary Clinton for President. "I am a lifelong Democrat. I've been involved in dozens of Democratic races around the state. I was an early supporter of President Obama. I started supporting him when he was a State Senator. I helped him in his U.S. Senate race. I helped him in both of his Presidential elections. I have served for five years as a national co-chair of OFA which is his (Obama's) signature organization," said Freeman in an interview with WJLE.
"We have a clear choice of continuing on this path that the President has laid out for us. When he (Obama) took office the unemployment rate was 12%. It has now dropped to 4.9%. The DOW was at 7,000 points. It's now at about 16,000 points. When you have jobs and business growth that helps everyone and that's what we've had. But he (Obama) has also done such a great job socially and engaged so many people in this process," he said.
"One of the things I talked about today is the hundreds of thousands of young people who have gotten engaged in this election as a result of Bernie Sanders. I am a Hillary supporter but I so much appreciate what Senator Sanders is doing in engaging young people and getting them involved in the process. I think that will ultimately help us in November whoever the Democratic nominee is," Freeman continued.
As for state politics, Freeman said even though Republicans hold most offices, Democrats are on their way back to power. "We're behind right now but the Republicans are doing all they can do to help us with some of the issues they are concentrating on and I think we're on the comeback trail,".
Although the race is still two years away, Freeman may make a run for Governor. "I am more concerned about us electing the right Governor and electing a Democrat for Tennessee than I am me being a candidate. I am wide open. I hope the right candidate comes along. Someone that I can get behind who will carry the banner for Democrats for Tennessee. But I am not ruling out taking a look at it. That's probably a year away for me. I am more concerned right now with this election cycle and who we put in the White House," Freeman concluded.
Bill was born and raised in Donelson, TN along with his five sisters where he attended public schools. He attended high school at Peabody Demonstration School (now University School) before going on to the University of Tennessee.
Bill’s career in real estate began as a teenager, when he held a summer job as a maintenance man and grounds keeper at family-owned apartment complexes. At 16, he became the youngest person in the country to graduate from the Realtors’ Institute and receive the GRI designation, and at 17, he acquired his first piece of income producing real estate.
Prior to founding Freeman Webb, Inc., Bill was director of Downtown Urban Development for the Metropolitan Nashville Development and Housing Agency (MDHA). He also spent four years as a real estate securities sales representative with Freeman Brothers Realtors.
Bill serves as Chairman of Freeman Webb, Inc., a real estate investment, management and brokerage company he co-founded with partner Jimmy Webb in 1979. Bill and Jimmy met at Nashville’s Junior Chamber of Commerce over 35 years ago and they have grown Freeman Webb into one of the area’s most successful full-service real estate companies.
Today Freeman Webb has about 500 employees and manages over 15,000 apartment units. Their first employee is still with the company and many others have been with Freeman Webb for 15, 20 and even 25 years. Freeman Webb has been recognized for three consecutive years as a “Best Place to Work.”
A strong supporter of charitable and community organizations, Bill currently serves on the board of directors of the Nashville State Community College Foundation and has served on the boards of the Tennessee State University Foundation, the Nashville Area YMCA, the Nashville Public Television Council and Children’s House.
An alumnus of the Leadership Nashville program (1979-1980), he has served as commissioner of the Nashville Convention Center and on the board of The Tennessee Housing Development Agency. He was named Man of the Year by the Nashville Area Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1977.
Bill was chosen as one of Nashville Business Journal’s 2014 Power Leaders in Commercial Real Estate. He was also honored as one of the five American Diabetes Association’s 2014 Fathers of the Year..
Bill enjoys spending time out at his farm and training his two hunting dogs, labs Paddy and Pitch. He is an elder at Hillsboro Presbyterian Church, where he and his family have been going for over 30 years.
Bill is a devoted husband to his wife, Babs Tinsley Freeman, father to their three sons, Bob, Harvey and Mike, and grandfather to Bob and Rachel’s two daughters.
Meanwhile Michelle Davis, a volunteer for the Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign spoke at the Mass Meeting Saturday along with State Representative John Ray Clemmons for the Hillary for America Presidential Campaign.