In a statement posted on Facebook Thursday, businessman David Fox announced he has decided not to run for Nashville Mayor in the upcoming special election to replace Megan Barry, to whom he lost in a runoff in 2015.
“While I would like to run and would love to be mayor of Nashville because it’s an extraordinary platform from which to help people and to ensure that our city is in good shape, I have decided not to enter the race,” Fox said.
The area businessman explained that a number of factors, including the personal financial cost of a campaign, the long odds of winning a short campaign, and the stress that a campaign puts on the family persuaded him to stand down this special election cycle.
Fox was complimentary of acting Mayor Briley, saying, “I know David Briley to be a good person with a great family. We became friends 14 years ago when his son and our oldest son were born hours apart and a room apart at Baptist Hospital. Any differences I have with David are only on policy issues.”
Still, I think it’s important that we have a mayor who recognizes we are over-spending our way into trouble. Nashville government spending is up by more than 6% this year, versus population growth of 1% and 2% inflation. By increasing spending at twice the normal rate, we’ve caused our reserve accounts to fall below targeted minimums at a time of historic economic growth, when our reserves should be overflowing. Good fiscal management should prompt us to be more disciplined in our spending, but I’m afraid the path we are on now will just lead to hikes in our property taxes.
I’m encouraged that someone like Jeff Carr is considering a run. I’ve known Jeff for years and know him to be an excellent person who has dedicated his life to helping others, beginning with his student leadership at TSU decades ago. And Jeff is fiscally conservative enough to keep us out of financial trouble. He is playing a pivotal role explaining why the transit referendum needs to be voted down so we can have a far more effective and affordable transit system here. If Jeff chooses to run for mayor, I’ll enthusiastically support him.
After his defeat by Barry in 2015, Fox returned to his life as a private citizen. However, he has returned to the public stage recently as a staunch critic of the of the $9 billion transit plan introduced and strongly supported by the Mayor’s office.