John Cooper Has Financial Advantage Over David Briley, Campaign Finance Records Show

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A review of public filings on Davidson County’s website shows Nashville mayoral candidate John Cooper took in a substantially greater number of contributions versus his competitor in the runoff election, incumbent Mayor David Briley.

This, according to The Tennessee Star’s review of the most recent campaign finance disclosure reports of what the candidates took in between July 24 and Sept. 2 of this year.

According to those numbers, Cooper took in $628,478 in contributions, whereas Briley took in $352,429.

Cooper accepted donations from groups such as the Associated Builders and Contractors, Amazon.com, The Johnny Cash Museum, and the Tennessee Wine and Spirit Retailers.

Also, Friends of the Police — Andrew Jackson Lodge No. 5 donated $8,100 while the United Steelworkers District 9 donated $5,000, according to the reports.

Briley, meanwhile, accepted contributions from a variety of attorneys and people in the construction industry. The Tennessee Realtors PAC donated $5,100, while the Nashville Business Coalition, Inc. donated $8,100, according to the reports on the county’s website.

According to The Tennessean’s research of those same records, Cooper has spent more than $1 million in this campaign versus Briley, who has spent less than half of that.

“The most recent campaign finance disclosures in the Nashville mayor’s race show much of the special interest money that bet on Briley in the general election came in for Cooper in the runoff,” according to The Tennessean.

The paper went on to say “a full array of law firms, lawyers, real estate executives and government consultants contributed to Cooper’s campaign” and that “his contributors read like a who’s who of Nashville political influencers — a contrast from those who donated to his campaign in the general election.”

As The Star reported last month, Cooper got 35 percent of the vote in the August primary election, while Briley got 25 percent of the vote.

Cooper said more than 70 percent of voters want a new direction for the city, and they said as much by voting for someone other than the incumbent mayor.

“We need a mayor who is committed to recruiting and retaining the best of our city because this city needs a lot to get done,” Cooper said on the night of the primary election.

“While we’re at it, let’s find the courage to pause and consider what we should preserve, what we should honor about what made Nashville special all along.”

Cooper also said that night that “city finances are out of balance” and that shouldn’t go on “in this time of our greatest boom.”

The runoff election between Cooper and Briley is scheduled for Sept. 12.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to chrisbutlerjournalist@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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