On Monday, the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police dealt a blow to the campaign of Acting Mayor David Briley, the front runner in the May 24 special mayoral election, when they decided not to endorse him.
“The FOP Mayoral endorsement process has concluded. Our endorsement rules require that a candidate receive at least 50 percent of the total ballots returned, plus one, in their favor. Based on that information, none of the candidates running received the total needed to receive our endorsement,” the NFOP said in a statement released to its members.
“Thank you for taking the time to participate in the voting process. If there shoud be a runoff vote, we will conduct another ballot at that time,” the statement continued.
Briley finished in first place with 41 percent of the vote, well below the required 50 percent needed to obtain the NFOP’s endorsement.
The NFOP endorsement vote percentage was virtually the same as the 43 percent support Briley received in a Tennessee Star Poll of the mayoral race released last Monday.
As is the case with an NFOP endorsement, Briley will need to receive 50 percent of the vote in the May 24 special election to avoid a runoff with the second place finisher.
As was the case in The Tennessee Star Poll, former Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain finished in second place in the NFOP endorsement race, receiving 23 percent of the ballots cast, putting her 18 points behind Briley.
That finish, however, is significantly higher than the 9 percent second place finish Swain recorded in the earlier Tennessee Star Poll, which placed her a full 34 points behind Briley.
At-large Metro Council Member Erica Gilmore chose not to ask for the NFOP endorsement, and therefore received to votes from members.
Thirteen percent of NFOP members who cast their ballot in the mayoral endorsement preference did not select a candidate.
Four other mayoral candidates sought the NFOP endorsement. Former radio talk show host Ralph Bristol received 17 percent, State Rep. Harold Love (D-Nashville) received 3 percent, Jeff Napier received 1 percent, and Julia Clark-Johnson received less than 1 percent.