Nashville voters will determine the city’s future next Thursday, and The Tennessee Star will provide coverage and analysis, live from Jason Aldean’s Kitchen + Rooftop Bar on Broadway.
The Star CEO and Editor-in-Chief Michael Patrick Leahy will host a special edition of The Tennessee Star Report from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. next Thursday on 98.3 FM and 1510 AM WLAC/iHeartRadio.
Nashville voters are expected to find out next Thursday whether incumbent Mayor David Briley or challenger John Cooper will lead the city into the next decade.
Polls in the Nashville/Davidson County Mayoral and Metro Council runoff elections close at 7 p.m. and listeners will have results available in real time.
The three hour broadcast will be the best place for residents to find out who is elected mayor, whether conservative Steve Glover will win one of the four open Metro Council At-Large seats, and who wins the 35 district based Metro Council seats.
Former Nashville mayoral candidate Carol Swain is scheduled to appear on the broadcast.
Swain said she expects Cooper will win the election — and by a large margin.
“I would anticipate I would get a few write-in votes, because people have told me they cannot pull the lever for either candidate. I expect Briley to not have improved much above his runoff performance,” Swain said.
“Many people feel the city needs a new direction and even though there is not much difference between Briley and Cooper ideologically there is the perception, at least, that Cooper will do a better job of looking out for regular Nashvillians than Briley has done. The people that are voting for Cooper, I believe they want a change. When people say anybody but Briley it is because they are fed up with Briley and his pandering to any group that walks by, except conservatives and Christians.”
Tea Party activist Ben Cunningham, also scheduled to appear on next Thursday’s broadcast, said Nashville is booming because of low taxes and “light touch regulation” at the state level.
“This election will determine if Nashville voters destroy that prosperity by marching in liberal lockstep in the exact opposite direction,” Cunningham said.
Local activist and former Davidson County Republican Party Vice Chair Lonnie Spivak, also scheduled to appear on the broadcast, said the next mayor will face an enormous budget challenge.
“We have an over-sized city council that is overwhelmingly progressive. Under-funded emergency funds, and a budget that does not balance as required by law,” Spivak said.
“The next couple months will be a huge challenge for the next mayor, and his approach to this budget crisis will be a peek into how he intends to govern. As a conservative, I hope he lives up to the fiscally moderate he campaigned as, but only time will tell.”
Tennessee Star Senior Report Laura Baigert said 75 percent of voters in Nashville’s primary election last month voted for someone other than Briley.
“That seems to be a referendum on Briley’s performance this past year as mayor. Nashville voters also emphatically rejected the $9 billion transit plan last year, one that Briley supported, while his opponent Councilman John Cooper opposed it and correctly referred to it as a $9 billion plan, not the $5.4 billion Briley and his predecessor claimed,” Baigert said.
“It will likely come down to whose supporters are more energized in what must be a campaign- and election-weary electorate as well as their level (of) concern for fiscal responsibility in Nashville/Davidson County.”
Swain, meanwhile, said the early voting results should predict whether Briley or Cooper will win.
“What I have observed from my own run for office, those early numbers don’t change very much, and so I think that whomever we see from the early voting that that may set the stage for the rest of the evening,” Swain said.
“I just think the Democrats do a good job of getting out their supporters, and by the time of the election you can get a pretty good sense of how everyone voted by those numbers.”
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