Who is winning the race for (Nashville)mayor. What the polls show.

A right-leaning disgruntled Republican comments on the news of the day and any other thing he damn-well pleases.


A recent Tennessee Star/ Triton poll shows the following in the mayor’s race (link):

  • David Briley 27.8 percent
  • Carol Swain 22 percent
  • John Cooper 19.8 percent
  • John Ray Clemmons  10.8 percent
  • Undecided 19.5 percent
Image of John Cooper

John Cooper

For any candidate to win, he must receive more than 50% of the vote or there will be a runoff between the two top contenders. Carol Swain is performing well  but I do not see a path to victory for her.  There is no way she will reach the 50%+ threshold.  If she makes a runoff, she will be crushed.  I think she is probably near her peak. I would be surprised if any significant number of the “undecided” break her way.

We must face the fact that Davidson County is a Democratic enclave. Davidson County has been solidly Democrat ever since the Civil War.  While most of the state has flipped to Republican, if anything, Davidson County has become more solidly Democrat.  Also, the old conservative Democrat is a thing of the past.  Nashville is a city dominated by very progressive Democrats.

While the mayoral race is non-partisan, the citizens of Nashville are just not going to elect a Republican.  The best a Republican can do is garner about 35% of the vote. If one looks at the last presidential race, or governor’s race, or Senate race, Republicans did not do well in Davidson County.  If a moderate talented pro-business person like David Fox who was only loosely affiliated with the Republican Party could not win, Carol Swain cannot win.  I wish it was different, but it is not.

Unfortunately, Carol Swain has a record.  She is a scholar, an author and a pundit who has expressed her views in books and network TV news and webcast. I agree with most of her opinions on the cause of the dysfunction in the Black Community, on the sanctity of life, on the danger from radical Islam, immigration, and other issues, but in progressive Nashville she will be smeared as homophobic, Islamophobic, misogynist, xenophobicand racist if she becomes a threat to the liberal establishment.  At this point they can play nice, but let her become a threat and the gloves will come off.  There is no reason to go after her now.  In fact, I bet Briley is hoping she is his runoff opponent, if he cannot win outright.

I like Carol Swain.  I supported her last time she ran and this election before Cooper got in the race, I supported her.  I sent her a contribution. She is smart, has a compelling life story, and I share her values. However, once John Cooper was in, I switched my support to him.  Even when supporting Swain, I did not think she could win.  When the choice was only between Briley and Clemmons, I was glad to have Carol in the race.  Briley would not solve our city’s problems and Clemmons would make them worst are a faster rate, I reasoned, so even if Swain couldn’t win, I wanted an alternative to two progressives who would continue down the wrong path.

I support John Cooper because I believe he will fix what is wrong with Nashville. He will change course.  He  has the knowledge and the commitment to fixing Nashville’s finances. Nashville is booming, yet we cannot give employees a decent raise, our police and fire are understaffed, our schools are failing and getting worse, we can’t build sidewalks, traffic is snarled, and our infrastructure is crumbling and we Nashvillians have the highest debt per person of any city in America. But, we are not undertaxed, in my view; we are mismanaged. The way I see it those are our major issues and the social issues are irrelevant. John Cooper is the person we need for mayor at this time.  I am sure there are issues with which I will not agree with him, but on the important issues he is much better than Briley and much, much better than Clemmons and he is electable.


John Cooper (Nonpartisan) is a candidate for Mayor of Nashville in Tennessee. Cooper is running in the general election on August 1, 2019.

Cooper is an at-large member of the Nashville Metro Council in Tennessee. He was elected in 2015.

Cooper holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard University and an MBA from the Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt University. His professional experience includes running a real estate business, managing a technology investment bank in San Francisco, and working as a corporate finance specialist in New York.

John Cooper completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey in 2019. The survey questions appear in bold and are followed by Cooper’s responses.

What would be your top three priorities, if elected?

My top priorities after taking office are: 1. Restoring public trust in Metro through transparency and accountability 2. Fiscal stewardship; rebalancing the city’s priorities and refocusing our budget to address all neighborhoods’ needs, not just downtown. 3. Addressing the costs of growth by focusing on our economic and community development efforts on people and not just buildings. I will invest in our schools and neighborhoods, come up with a real affordable housing plan, and address our transportation needs within my first term.

What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?

I am most passionate about responsible public finance. It may not be the most exciting part of governing, but that the decisions that leaders make about how the government spends money determine the level of services they are able to provide for their constituents. As the saying goes, “You show me your budget, I’ll show you your priorities.” Fixing almost all of Nashville’s present issues- affordable housing, police officer retention, teacher salaries- begins with better managing our finances.

What do you believe are the core responsibilities for someone elected to this office?

I believe the core responsibilities of the mayor are to provide high-quality universal services and care for our most vulnerable citizens. We have to provide the resources and support for a great school system, provide adequate funding for our emergency services workers, and make sure that the costs of growth are not falling upon our citizens who need our help the most. Nashville has gotten away from these primary responsibilities, and it is my intention to get our priorities back in line.

What legacy would you like to leave?

I would like to be remembered as the Mayor who got our city back on track. The citizens of Nashville feel that with all of the national attention we are receiving, we have started to prioritize tourism and development to the detriment of our neighborhoods and residents. I want to get back to investing in human capital and increasing livability. I want to create a Nashville a city that works for everyone.

Mayors have many responsibilities, which vary from city to city. Which of those do you personally consider the most important in your city?

The most important job for the Mayor of Nashville is managing the budget. The budget is the document from which all decisions flow; it’s how our city’s priorities are determined. The Mayor of Nashville needs to be a financial manager with experience in long-term capital planning, and that why I am the right Mayor for Nashville right now.

If the mayor in your city is not a member of the city council and oversees the day-to-day administration of the city government, what do you believe is the ideal relationship between the mayor and city council?

The Mayor and administration should work with the Metro Council, not against them. The Nashville Metro Council is full of talented, dedicated individuals with vast institutional knowledge who should be consulted on major initiatives for the city. If I am elected, I will make sure that my office and our city’s agencies cooperate fully with Council members and reach out to them for input on projects about which they possess expertise.

What do you perceive to be your city’s greatest challenges over the next decade?

Nashville is going to grow more over the next five years than it has in the previous five years. Our greatest challenge is going to be how we make that growth work to the benefit of all of our citizens and all of our neighborhoods. If we are able to harness the benefits of this economic boom, we have an unlimited potential for the future.

What do you believe is the ideal relationship between your city and the state government?

For too long, we have perpetuated a cycle with our state leaders where when Metro takes almost any major action, the state immediately pre-empts it and stifles the initiative. As mayor, I will make every effort to establish a mutually beneficial working relationship with our state leaders so that we can operate without the constant threat of preemption.

Cooper has a wife, Laura Fitzgerald, and three sons. His father, Prentice Cooper, served as the governor of Tennessee for three terms, and his brother, Jim Cooper is a member of the United States House of Representatives representing Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District.

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