Thursday, May 18, 2023

2023 Nashville mayoral debate: Key moments as candidates seek to set themselves apart

 by Cassandra Stephenson and Vivian Jones, The Tennessean, May 18, 2023- Core city services and restoring Metro’s relationship with the state were key points of debate as candidates vying to lead Nashville as mayor sought to set themselves apart during the first of The Nashville Mayoral Debates on Thursday evening. ...

 Eleven candidates qualified to be on the ballot .. Two other petitions are still undergoing verification. Nine candidates were invited to participate in the debate based on their fundraising totals and elected positions: 

  • Natisha Brooks, former educator
  • Heidi Campbell, state senator representing parts of Nashville
  • Jim Gingrich, former chief operating officer of AllianceBernstein
  • Sharon Hurt, at-large Metro Nashville Council member
  • Freddie O'Connell, Metro Nashville Council member representing Nashville's downtown district
  • Alice Rolli, business and education strategist, and former political aide to former Gov. Bill Haslam
  • Vivian Wilhoite, Davidson County assessor of property
  • Matt Wiltshire, former economic development director with experience in affordable housing
  • Jeff Yarbro, state senator representing parts of Nashville

.. Here are some of the top moments of the debate. ... 

“We made most of our affordable housing less affordable when we raised property taxes,” Rolli said. “We contributed to the housing costs of our older housing stock, which is by definition more affordable.” ....

... Rolli also took a swing at current city leaders — including several candidates on the stage — for dragging Nashville into national issues. “We need to get out of the business of nationalizing city hall,” Rolli said. “In my city hall, we will not have a pro-life rally, and we will not have a pro-choice rally. We will be completely focused on a pro-first graders reading rally, and a pro-filling the potholes, and pro-fixing our debt. That is the job of the city.” (There is too much info to fairly pick and choose what to repeat from this article. If you subscribe to The Tennessean, read it at this link.)

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