Former Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain has raised more than $40,0000 in the two weeks since she announced her campaign for Mayor of Nashville, her campaign said on Tuesday.
“It is clear that there is a groundswell of support for a leader that can bring integrity, honesty and fairness to City Hall,” Swain said in a statement released by her campaign.
“My administration will restore faith and trust in the metropolitan government. I will work tirelessly to ensure all Nashvillians’ right to live and work in a safe and affordable environment. I will not let you down,” Swain added.
“Donations are streaming in from the citizens of Davidson County and from supporters around the country. The campaign is pushing ahead, asking supporters to share Carol’s vision for a better Nashville; one that works for and with the people, not against them,” the statement said, adding:
Dr. Carol M. Swain is running for Mayor of Nashville because she is the only candidate that can bring common sense leadership and transparency to City Hall. Dr. Swain’s “Blueprint for Nashville” lays out the policies that she will advocate for during her term as Mayor. As a political outsider, Dr. Swain is not beholden to special interests and will fight for fairness in government.
Swain appears to be the only candidate on the ballot for the May 24 special mayoral election who has raised sufficient funds to mount a credible challenge to Acting Mayor David Briley, who announced last month that he has raised $400,000.
Unlike any of the 13 other candidates–including Briley–Swain has the potential to quickly nationalize her fundraising efforts, due in part to her decades of media exposure as an articulate conservative academic who has been featured prominently on conservative media outlets such as FoxNews, Salem Radio Network, Breitbart News, and as well as mainstream media outlets.
With the election only 37 days from now, Swain has little time to equal Briley’s war chest –expected to be somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million–but due to the distinctive appeal of her campaign to grassroots activists, she will not have to match him dollar for dollar to be competitive.
Swain’s fundraising could potentially explode geometrically if it catches on nationally.
Several national conservative leaders–Dinesh D’Souza, Dick Bott, and Eric Metaxas–have already endorsed her, and sources tell The Tennessee Star a major figure in the national conservative movement is expected to be a featured speaker at a big fundraiser for Swain that is scheduled for Nashville next week.
A number of local Republicans and conservatives tell The Star lighting could strike for the Swain campaign over the next few weeks if all the necessary elements start to align.
A Tennessee Star Poll released on Monday suggests that one of those elements may already be present.
Though Acting Mayor David Briley has a substantial 34 point lead over second-place Swain, 43 percent to 9 percent, he is 7 points below the 50 percent margin he needs to avoid a two person runoff.
With 32 percent of likely Nashville/Davidson County voters undecided, and with Briley on the wrong side of the $9 billion transit plan referendum on the May 1 ballot three weeks before the special mayoral election (voters oppose the transit plan by a 62 percent to 28 percent margin, according to The Tennessee Star Poll), the acting mayor may be in for some unexpected rough waters between now and the May 24 election.
In politics today, 37 days can be a lifetime, a cautionary note Hillary Clinton overlooked on October 1, 2016.