Nashville

Cooper trounces Briley in Nashville mayor’s race

Metro Council member John Cooper trounced incumbent David Briley to be elected Nashville’s next mayor. The result wasn’t unexpected, but the 39-percentage point margin came as a bit of a surprise.

Cooper is the brother of U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Nashville).

Here’s a release from the Cooper campaign.

NASHVILLE, TN – At-large-Councilmember John Cooper has defeated Mayor David Briley to become the ninth Mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. According to the Davidson County Election Commission, unofficial election results show that Cooper defeated Briley by a vote of 70 percent to 30 percent.

In a speech at The Nashville Palace, Mayor-elect Cooper thanked the voters and laid out plans on how to build a Nashville that works for everyone. 

Excerpts from the speech are included below:

As Mayor, I will work every day to continue to listen and learn. To put neighborhoods first and make sure that this Administration reflects the values of our city and her people in all of our actions. To restore trust that our people and their needs come first.

In the speech, Mayor-elect Cooper also spoke to the issue of fiscal responsibility:

I’ve been told that I care too much about the numbers. But if we don’t get the money right, we can’t get anything else right. Because in government, to care about finances is to care about people. That is how you make their dreams real.

Paying attention to the bottom line allows us to support people on the front line — our teachers, our police, our firefighters, our bus drivers, our paraprofessionals. And yes: teachers are the real developers we need to support. 

He also expressed gratitude to Metro employees and invited the entire city to come together and move Nashville forward:

And to the great people who work hard for Metro every day, I need your ideas and your help in the work to come. It is my job to support you in our work ahead. 

For everybody who voted for me, thank you. For everyone else, know that I will work every day to earn your trust and respect. This is a city for everybody. 

We’re going to have more growth in the next five years than in the last five years. Those new cranes are lifting up our skyline. We need to lift up our people with it. That is our challenge — using this prosperity to build a better, more livable city. This is the moment to make Nashville work for everybody. 

We started at two percent in the polls. Hundreds of volunteers and more than a thousand donors — from every district — got us here.

But this isn’t the end. I need all of your help. We must not waste this moment. Together, we will make a Nashville for everybody. Thank you!

Tennessee GOP wades into Nashville mayor’s race

The Tennessee Republican Party is sending out mailers targeting Nashville Mayor David Briley, who is in a tough re-election battle against Councilman John Cooper. The runoff election is on Thursday.

The mailer seems to align Briley to the so-called Squad in Congress and attacks the mayor for his efforts to limit local law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration agents. Briley’s recent executive order has also been criticized by new House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville). The mailer does not mention Cooper.

The reverse side of the mailer endorses Steve Glover’s at-large Council bid.

Glover has announced plans to sue to block Briley’s immigration policies.

 

Nashville mayor blasts comptroller’s letter as ‘political document’

Nashville Mayor David Briley is blasting a letter from state Comptroller Justin Wilson‘s office questioning the city’s finances as “essentially a political document.” The letter, Briley said, was instigated by Councilman John Cooper, his opponent in Nashville’s mayoral runoff next month.

“It’s my understanding that Councilman Cooper and his conservative, Republican friends on the council solicited it,” Briley said in a candidate debate Monday evening. “So he certainly should know a fair amount about it.”

The comptroller is elected by the Republican-controlled General Assembly, which has a long track record of nullifying ordinances enacted in the heavily Democratic city.

Cooper, the brother of U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Nashville), called the letter a “big wake-up call” as Nashville’s debt has doubled over the last four years.

“The facts speak for themselves,” Cooper said. “It’s not Republican and Democratic — I’m, of course, a long-time Democrat myself — it’s dollars and cents. Are we being well-managed? Are we on it?”

Briley cited the city’s strong credit rating from Moody’s as an objective seal of approval for the Nashville’s finances.

“Our finances are, in fact, under control,” he said. “And when the final budget is assessed at the end of this year, you’ll see that our fund balances are actually up over last year.”

The runoff is on Sept. 12. Early voting is underway and runs through Sept. 7.

Rep. Clemmons to run for Nashville mayor

Democratic Rep. John Ray Clemmons tells The Tennessean’s Joey Garrison he will run for Nashville mayor this year.

“I’m prepared to provide that strong, decisive leadership that Nashvillians expect and deserve,” Clemmons told the paper.

Clemmons, 41, will challenge incumbent David Briley, who was elected to fill the unexpired term of former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry last year. Because it is an off-year election, Clemmons won’t have to give up his House seat to run.

Clemmons defeated incumbent Rep. Gary Odom, a former House Democratic leader, in the 2014 primary for House District 55.

 

Ernst & Young announces 600 new jobs in Nashville

Gov. Bill Haslam announces on Nov. 13, 2018, that Ernst & Young will add 600 jobs in Nashville. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

A press release from Gov. Bill Haslam’s office:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Ernst & Young LLP (EY) officials announced today that the global professional services firm will invest more than $20 million to establish a facility to deliver tax managed services for clients and tax technology operations in Nashville. EY expects to create more than 600 jobs over the next five years.

“EY’s decision to create hundreds of technology and service delivery jobs in Nashville affirms our ongoing efforts to bring high quality jobs to Tennessee,” Haslam said. “Tennessee’s pro-growth policies continue to attract leading international businesses to our state. I’d like to thank EY for making this major investment in Middle Tennessee and bringing us one step closer to making Tennessee the top state in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

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Vote clears way for Nashville soccer stadium

The Nashville Metro Council has cleared the way for the construction of a Major League Soccer stadium. The Tennessean reports that a 31-8 vote to demolish existing structures at the state fairgrounds site was key to allowing the $275 million project to proceed (the measure required a two-thirds majority, or 27 votes).

A statement from Mayor David Briley:

I applaud the Council for its final approval of legislation to bring Major League Soccer to Nashville. This project will have a positive and lasting impact on our entire community. It embraces growth and new opportunities while ensuring every resident benefits and thrives along with it.

 This project will provide needed upgrades to the Fairgrounds, essential affordable housing, broad minority business opportunities and increased safety protections for our workers.

This project will improve the Fairgrounds facilities but it will not change our customs or the activities we cherish. I pledge to all of those engaged in these discussions over the past months that I am listening. Together we will build on the years of community tradition at our Fairgrounds and I look forward to continuing to work closely with you as this project moves forward.

Former mayoral candidate and business partner buy Nashville Scene and Nashville Post

The company owned by Nashville entrepreneur and former mayoral candidate Bill Freeman and his longtime business partner Jimmy Webb has acquired the Nashville Scene, the Nashville Post and Nfocus from holding company SouthComm, according to an article in the Scene.

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Briley wins Nashville mayor election with 54.47 percent of special election vote

David Briley, who has been serving as Nashville mayor on an interim basis since the resignation of former Mayor Megan Barry, won the position at the ballot box Thursday in a special election.

Briley got 44,707 votes, 54.47 percent of those cast for the 13 candidates seeking the race. He thus wins the seat outright, avoiding the need under Nashville’s rules for a runoff that would have taken place had Briley fell below 50 percent.

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Briley raises more money in Nashville mayor’s race than all other candidates combined

Nashville Mayor David Briley, who holds the position on an interim basis, has raised more money than all other candidates in Thursday’s mayor election combined, reports The Tennessean.

His total: $720,200, including $317,315 raised over the past six weeks. No. 2 in fundraising was Carol Swain, a former Vanderbilt University professor Carol Swain and a conservative commentator, at $115,560.

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Nashville no longer interested in hosting 2020 Republican National Convention

Nashville has dropped the idea of hosting the Republican National Convention, reports Michael Collins, following up on an article in The Hill listing Tennesse’s capitol city among several others around the nation doing the same. Apparently, the cost of providing security  is a leading concern.

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