Sunday, September 18, 2022

Who is running for Mayor of Nashville in 2023?

by Rod Williams, Sept. 17, 2022- Below is a rundown on who is likely running for Nashville mayor in 2023. This list comes from a recent article in The Tennesseean, an article in Axios Nashville, an article in The Nashville Scene, and other sources. These are listed in subjective order of the likelihood that they will seek the office and the seriousness that one should take their candidacy.

Mayor John Cooper has yet to announce whether he plans to run for reelection in 2023. He is fundraising and has appointed a treasurer for the 2023 race. It can be assumed he is running. 

Freddie O'Connell: District 19 Council member Freddie O'Connell has served two terms representing this downtown district. He has pushed for improved transit infrastructure and increased affordable housing as well as services for Nashvillians experiencing homelessness. He has announced he is running. (link)

Matt Wiltshire: He previously served as economic development director under three mayoral administrations and most recently served as a public-private partnership coordinator for the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency. He is a declared candidate.

Hal Cato: He is one of Nashville's most prominent nonprofit executives, serving as CEO of Thistle Farms, a faith-based program that helps women who are victims of human trafficking. (link)

Sharon Hurt: She is a term-limited Councilmember-at-large and retired as CEO of the Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership (JUMP), (link)

Jim Gingrich: He is a former top executive at AllianceBernstein.

Rep. Bob Freeman:  He is the District 56 Representative and son of Bill Freeman. Bill Freeman is Chairman of Freeman Webb, Inc. a real estate investment, management, and brokerage company. Bill Freeman is a mover and shaker in Nashville and a major fundraiser for the Democratic Party. If Bob Freeman runs, money would be no object and Bill Freeman could call in a lot of IOU's on Bob's behalf. 

Odessa Kelly: She is a local activist progressive Black woman who is currently running for Congress against U.S. Rep. Mark Green. Assuming she loses in this Republican district, she may enter the race for mayor.  There is a constituency for a more radical candidate. She probably could not win an election for mayor but may pull off enough of the progressive vote to open a path for someone else to present a serious challenge to presumed front-runner John Cooper.

Quincy McKnight: He is a Black Republican who run for but then dropped out of the GOP 5th congressional race saying he planned to run for mayor. To read criticism of Quincy McKnight published in this blog follow this link.  While he could be a spoiler, if he actually runs, I doubt he would be a serious contender. 

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