Fox 17’s Harriet Wallace Joins The Tennessee Star Report and Handicaps the Nashville Mayoral Race

On Thursday’s Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast Wednesday on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Gill and Leahy were joined by special guest host, and WZTV Channel 17’s, Harriet Wallace joined the duo and discussed the upcoming Mayor race in Nashville and who potentially could run.

Towards the end of the show, Wallace confided that Nashville is in a crisis and that a candidate is desperately needed that is compassionate and business minded. She also noted that Nashville has not done a good job of nurturing and producing qualified successors for the city.

Gill: Harriet Wallace with WZTV Channel 17 also hosts a political show with Scott Couch on Channel 17 Sunday mornings at 9:30am. If you aren’t tuning in and watching, well then you’re screwing up. I mean let’s just tell it like it is.  You’re messing up. You’re not going to know what’s going on. Anyway, Harriett’s with us.  Let’s talk a little bit about the mayors race. I mean…

Wallace: I’m rubbing my hands together.  Let’s go.

Gill: We’re there.  The mayor’s race, Briley, by all accounts is going to run for re-election. And who’s going to face him?

Wallace: So the qualifying deadline, my understanding is next month.  So we will definitely know for sure who’s putting their name in the hat. Now remember we’re turning over, well, let me not say turning over, but we are lifting the Mayor seat, Vice Mayor, Metro Council, and all of that could effect a lot of our city department leaders. I mean, Nashville could change here in a matter of months.

Gill: Are people getting tired of elections?

Wallace: Yes, yes, yes.

Gill: Then we had a special election for Vice Mayor. We had the…

Wallace: There’s one coming up for district thirty five I think it is, early voting.

Gill: Every time you turn around we’ve got another election going on and people are sick and tired of it.

Wallace goes on to describe how Nashvillians are overwhelmed, tired, and irritated because of the elections spawned by the Megan Barry scandal.

She noted that current Mayor David Briley and Metro Council Member John Cooper are likely candidates, while real estate maven Bill Freeman, and Renata Soto, the founder of Connexion Americas, are among the potential candidates.

Gill: In a multi-candidate race you’re going to see a run off.

Wallace: Yeah, for sure.

Gill: So the question becomes, who makes the run off? And that’s the challenge.  Is can you make the run off, and then if you make the run off can you beat whoever else makes the run off. So, if you’ve got five, six candidates, to make the run off you may only need twenty-five percent of the vote. So, Renata Soto, if she captivates that Latino-Hispanic base, if she captivates kind of that, embrace illegal immigration the female vote. She gets the twenty five, twenty six.

Leahy: Now she’s leaving Conexion Americas which she’s founded seventeen years ago. She says, she’s not going to run.  Do you think that’s the case Harriett?

Wallace: I don’t know. I think everyone says, I don’t know (Chuckles) you know, or that I’m not when they’re not ready to announce. Again, I think there’s momentum.  She definitely has a platform to, a hot platform to run on. I just, I don’t know.  I can’t call.  The question is, how viable will her chances be because if she…how strong of a base does she have outside of the immigrant community is the question.

Gill: If Bill Freeman doesn’t run, who fills that void of a business, pro-business, job creator that none of the other candidates seem to be able to fill? Who fills that void?

Wallace: Is there anyone to fill that void. Honestly I don’t know.  I think that is the problem of Nashville. I don’t know that we have raised, that we’ve invited, that we’ve prepared successors for this city. I don’t know.  But here’s what I do know.  Whoever it is, has to be the right candidate. We are, our city, our city is in crisis right now. Our schools are in turmoil, our police department, our fire departments, they’re frustrated. They feel under appreciated and underpaid. We have frustrated citizens who are like, “I love Nashville but I can’t afford to live here. You all are pushing me out.  You don’t care about me you only care about these people moving in here who have these high paying jobs.” And then you’ve got people moving here who aren’t, we’re showing the average cycle of two to three years, then they’re gone. And then what’s left?  So, they’ve got to be business smart like you said, business savvy. They have to be compassionate. They’ve got to be a unifier.  They’ve got to be strong, but they’ve got to be caring.

Gill and Wallace concluded the segment discussing the special elections and speculating a Nashville Mayoral run of Carol Swain, Jeff Carr, or Erica Gilmore.  Wallace thought that Erica Gilmore might get into the race because of how much she loves Nashville and is not done.  Jeff Carr, she believes may be a candidate due to his recent social media feeler post asking if he should or should not run and additionally because he won the transit.

“I don’t know just hang tight everybody, hang tight,” concluded Wallace.


Listen to the full segment here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 am to the Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Harriet Wallace” by Harriet Wallace.  












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