Real estate magnate Bill Freeman, who finished third in the 2015 election for Mayor of Nashville behind David Fox and eventual winner, former Mayor Megan Barry, said on Wednesday he will not be a candidate for Mayor of Nashville in the upcoming special election.
“I think Nashville will be best served by having Mayor Briley focused on what’s best for our city for the remainder of this term. As a result, I’ve chosen to refrain from entering the race,” Freeman said, as NewsChannel 5 reported:
Freeman said he considers his decision a personal one and did not discourage others from entering the race.
“It is certainly within the capability of Nashvillians to determine what’s best for Nashville. To discourage anyone from running for office is downright un-American,” stated Freeman. “I simply feel that Mayor Briley is the right person for Nashville right now. I’ve weighed the options, and I feel that my continued role with Freeman Webb will serve Nashville well, with our strong initiatives to meet Nashville’s needs for affordable housing.”
Freeman also added Mayor Briley must “remain balanced in his approach,” and he cautioned against allowing undue influence on key decisions from outside interests.
The co-founder of Freeman Webb, the real estate investment and property management giant that dominates the market in much of Nashville, also took a shot at the Nashville Chamber of Commerce in a statement he released:
Seeing the undue influence that our Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce has attempted to create is worrisome. Our chamber actively discouraged anyone to run in this election practically the minute we heard of Barry’s resignation, and that is concerning. The influence of any outside entity, be they a quasi-governmental agency or ‘big business’ interests or a combination of both factors, is concerning. Our chamber does not have the best track record in representing the will of all Nashville, simply put. You only have to look across the county line to see how many corporations have chosen to put roots down in other counties to see that, or to see their failures in redeveloping the fairgrounds or the failed AMP project or their heavy-handed approach to influencing our public schools. I hope that Mayor Briley sees that what’s best for Nashville may not line up with what the chamber thinks is best for Nashville.