Gabrielle Hanson, a mayoral candidate in Franklin, Tennessee, has stirred up controversy due to her anti-LGBTQ+ stance and her past legal troubles that she has not fully disclosed. Hanson, a self-identified MAGA Republican, is running on a platform emphasizing “conservative values,” but recent revelations about her history have raised questions about her transparency.
In the 1990s, Hanson pleaded guilty to charges related to “promoting prostitution,” and she also faced allegations of money laundering and organized criminal activity during the same period. In a recent social media video, Hanson attempted to explain her past, claiming that she had worked as a college student in Dallas, Texas, answering phones for what she believed was a casting and modeling agency. However, doubts have been raised about her narrative, as legal experts suggest that her role would not typically lead to criminal charges if she had only been answering phones.
Hanson’s legal history includes a money laundering charge dated April 1, 1993, as well as charges for promoting prostitution and engaging in organized criminal activity with an offense date of March 8, 1995. She maintains that she accepted a plea deal due to financial constraints. However, discrepancies in her story, including the use of an alias, have cast doubt on her claims. Critics argue that victims typically do not use aliases, further fueling skepticism regarding her version of events.
Hanson’s controversial actions extend to her political career as well. In April, while serving on the Franklin City Board of Alderman, she voted against approving a permit for a Pride event, citing concerns about organizers’ trustworthiness to hold the event at a city park. Her aide, Erin Mazzoni, made unsubstantiated claims during a speech, alleging that LGBTQ+ individuals were providing children with inappropriate items. These statements were made without supporting evidence.
Hanson’s campaign website prominently features a page focused on “Restoring traditional values and protecting families,” filled with anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and claims of upholding moral principles. Additionally, Hanson and Mazzoni are accused of misrepresenting a group of women from a 2016 gathering in Chicago as supporters of Hanson’s campaign, despite the women denying any affiliation with her.
As the mayoral race in Franklin unfolds, the controversy surrounding Gabrielle Hanson’s past and her stance on LGBTQ+ issues continues to be a focal point of debate among voters and the LGBTQ+ community. The lack of transparency regarding her legal history and the divisive rhetoric of her campaign raise important questions about her qualifications and suitability for public office.