Former Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain tells The Tennessee Star she is considering a run for Mayor of Nashville in the upcoming special election and will secure the necessary paperwork to start the process today.
“On Monday, I will be downtown at Ladies Day on the Hill from 9::30-12: 30 pm. I will pick up the paperwork at 1:00 pm,” Swain says.
Swain has until the filing deadline of Thursday at noon to obtain 25 signatures on the filing petition and submit it to Metro Nashville Davidson County government officials qualify for the ballot.
The outspoken conservative tells The Star that she will make a final decision on her candidacy between now and Thursday morning as she gathers signatures.
“Carol Swain has the consistent conservative credentials and the intellect to be a legitimate candidate for mayor, particularly since she does not fit the mold of a typical Republican candidate,” conservative political commentator and media consultant Steve Gill tells The Star.
“She also has the credibility to oppose the transit tax increase since she opposed the gas tax increase that contains a provision which allowed Nashville to hold a vote on this transit issue,” Gill adds.
On Saturday, Swain wrote in an op-ed published at The Star that “Nashville needs a choice, not an echo, in mayoral election.”
It is beginning to look like Nashvillians will have no real choice when they cast their August 2 ballots for the city’s next mayor. The closing date for candidates to file their papers is noon April 5, and, so far, no strong candidates have risen to challenge interim Mayor David Briley. Consequently, there is no different vision for the city. Briley is about continuity and carrying forward the vision Megan Barry and the business leaders and developers cast for the city. No one seems to question if Megan Barry’s vision for the city was what native Nashvillians needed or wanted.
“Before we start digging downtown tunnels and laying 20-plus miles of new tracks, Nashville has plenty of higher-priority issues that must be addressed. Start with health care, criminal justice reform, quality education, and race relations,” she continued, adding:
We have traffic woes and transportation issues that will not be fixed by the passage of the proposed $5.2 billion transit plan, with its projected long-term cost of $9 billion. As Ben Cunningham pointed out in an October 2017 op-ed, it is a “19th century solution to a 21st century problem. It is a boondoggle benefiting a wealthy few, while doing absolutely nothing to reduce the traffic congestion affecting anyone entering/departing the city from/to Bellevue, Brentwood, Franklin, North Nashville, or Antioch. It will worsen the traffic situation in the city and draw resources away from the buses used by low-income groups. Competing alternative plans using technological advances and ride-sharing, which are much more cost effective, have not been seriously considered by the Democratic mayors pushing for the costly light rail system.
Violent crime was on the rise last year in Nashville. Our murder rate of 107 was the city’s second-highest ever, just five fewer than Nashville’s all-time record of 112, set in 1997.
Swain tells The Star her final decision will depend on how much financial and volunteer support steps forward in the next few days.
Steve Gill agrees with Swain’s clear eyed assessment of her potential candidacy.
“Her biggest challenge will be raising the funds necessary to make the run off election. One on one against any of the other candidates she could be formidable,” Gill tells The Star.
Both of the two other credible candidates in the race–Acting Mayor David Briley and Council Member Erica Gilmore–support the $9 billion transit plan on the May 1 referendum ballot and a continuation of former Mayor Megan Barry’s progressive agenda for the city.
The Tennessee Supreme Court is expected to decide next week whether the special election will be held on May 1, May 26, or August 2.