Brian Wilson on The Drive: Davidson County Metro Council to Reduce Its Numbers from 40 to 20, Backlash for 2024 RNC Convention Kill

Brian Wilson, the host of The Drive on WTN 99.7, broadcast weekdays from 3 pm to 7 pm, discussed the Metro Davidson County City Council’s decision to ‘kill off’ the 2024 RNC Convention in Nashville and the upcoming bill set forth by both the Tennessee House and the Senate to eliminate nearly half of the council’s seats.


As you will remember, the state of Tennessee and Nashville, Tennessee, was up and under consideration to host the 2024 RNC convention. The word that was floating around behind the scenes was that it was Tennessee’s for the asking. And all that had to be done was you had to, you know, go through a few you rather rudimentary and what would normally be in other places, just sort of fun to revote that would allow that to happen.

And one of those votes had to come from the Metro Davidson County Council. The county council, absolutely, I think for very petty and political reasons, decided that they were not going to support something that would have brought millions of dollars to the city of Nashville. Would have been a real feather in a cap.

It would have been a tremendous thing to tell the story of Nashville on the national stage as the 2024 convention comes along. But they said no, that we can’t agree to the terms that have been asked of us regarding security measures.

Well, others were happy to do that. And even though what is it? Minneapolis? It was Minneapolis. Wasn’t it? Milwaukee. Milwaukee! I’m sorry. It started with an M. Milwaukee! Their council, full of Democrats, had no problem at all saying, we’ll take that money. We’ll take that exposure. And they passed it.

And then since we sort of fell out of contention, we lost what was ours. We had it! Trust me when I say it was ours. And then there was some talk, well, maybe we can fix this and put in another bid for 2028. And the council killed that as well. That was something that did not sit well with the state legislature, which, as you know, we have supermajorities that are Republican in both the House and the Senate.

And they have been fuming. The anger has been simmering for some time now, pretty upset. And I think there was a feeling within the state legislature that they wanted to look for an opportunity to express the depths of their displeasure with the Metro Davidson County Council for doing something that seemed to be political and petty.

All right, so here’s my scoop. Members of the Tennessee General Assembly, having not forgotten how the Metro Council killed off any chance for the RNC convention coming to Nashville in 2024 and 2028, have decided to take action. Reliable sources tell The Drive that early next week, a bill will drop into the Tennessee House hopper that would, if passed and signed into law by the governor, reduce the number of seats on the Davidson County Metro Council from 40 seats to somewhere around 20 seats.

They will have strong support for this measure in the House from leadership at the highest levels. Not clear how this will play in the Tennessee Senate, but I get the sense that on both sides of that building, in the House and in the Senate, in the state legislature, and the General Assembly, there is a simmering anger over the things that the council had done.

And I think there is a good chance that this measure will pass which would force the Davidson County Metro Council to reduce its numbers from 40 to somewhere around 20. The exact number, maybe 21, 22, maybe 25, but greatly reduced the number of people who represent Nashville in Davidson County. That is going to absolutely send tremors. The Davidson County Council is going to be livid.

The mayor is going to be upset, but I have a feeling that this is going to happen. Now the question is, he passes the House and passes the Senate. What would happen if it went to the governor’s desk? Would he sign it? Unknown, unclear at this time. But one way or the other, this will drop early next week, maybe Monday, maybe Tuesday.

The state legislature, the General Assembly, comes in on Tuesday, and our guest on Tuesday will be Speaker of the House, Cameron Sexton. I’m sure we’ll be able to get him to talk about this if we can’t get something on Monday. But this is a big deal that changing the entire charter, I guess, for Davidson County is something that the state legislature can do and there may be other moves around the state as well.

It’s just that this is all the information I was able to lock down. So to repeat once again, I think because of the simmering anger over what happened when the Davidson County Council killed off the potential for the RNC to hold its convention here in 2024 and 2028, they are now going to take action next week.

A bill will drop early next week that would have passed and signed into law by the governor reduced the number of seats on the Davidson County Metro Council from 40 seats to somewhere around 20. I have it on really good authority; I’m not wrong about this.

So that’s going to be something that will, I think, set off tremors and a big battle here in the Nashville area. And it’s going to make for very interesting watching if you do like I do, and watch the activities of the General Assembly with great interest.

So we’ll continue to follow up on that story and we really do appreciate the things that we have been able to tell you this in advance of that happening, I think Monday or Tuesday, but early next week one way or the other.

Listen to the full episode here:

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Photo “Nashville City Hall” by Nicolas Henderson. CC BY 2.0.












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One Thought to “Brian Wilson on The Drive: Davidson County Metro Council to Reduce Its Numbers from 40 to 20, Backlash for 2024 RNC Convention Kill”

  1. Cannoneertwo

    And what prevented Franklin/Williamson County from stepping up to the plate and hosting this convention??