Forrest Shoaf

Forrest Shoaf

Business executive, banker and lawyer Forrest Shoaf has died, the Tennessee Journal reported. He was 71.

Shoaf’s long career in Nashville-area business and politics included stints as CFO and general counsel at Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores Inc., partner at Bass Berry & Sims, legal adviser to Lamar Alexander’s 1996 presidential bid and managing director at both Avondale Partners and J.C. Bradford.

Later in life, he was chief administrative officer at Resurgent Financial Advisors and led private equity and venture capital efforts at local investment group XMi Holdings.

He was also a political candidate in his own right, running in the 2002 Republican primary for the 7th Congressional District ultimately won by Marsha Blackburn. Prior to that year’s redistricting, Shoaf had expected to run in the Nashville-based 5th Congressional District.

“When I go out in the morning to get the paper, I’m in the 7th District,” he said. “When I lean over the curb to pick it up, I’m in the 5th.”

He later called the campaign the “biggest damn-fool mistake” of his life and a “cure for narcissism.” Ahead of the 2014 election cycle, he considered moving to the 4th Congressional District to mount a GOP primary challenge of the embattled Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais but decided against it.

As an investment banker, Shoaf worked with local media executive Bruce Dobie on his sale of the Nashville Scene to Village Voice Media in 2007. Shoaf would go on to serve on boards for Dobie’s later endeavors. The Scene is now owned by FW Publishing, which also owns the Nashville Post.

Shoaf attended West Point and Harvard Law School. 

“Forrest Shoaf was a good friend, fine attorney and a patriot,” Alexander told the TNJ in a statement Wednesday. “We had fun together, especially in the New Hampshire presidential primary in 1996. I can still see him up early in the morning and late at night putting up campaign signs in the snow. Honey and I send our condolences and respect for his life to his family."

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