Meet The 13 People Running To Be Nashville’s Next Mayor | Nashville Public Radio

Meet The 13 People Running To Be Nashville’s Next Mayor

May 3, 2018

The field of Nashville mayoral candidates is thick: Thirteen people have filed the necessary paperwork to run for Nashville's top office.

They veer from the unorthodox  — a master barber, a former limo driver — to the more traditional lawyers and politicians.

More: WPLN's Complete Coverage Of The 2018 Mayoral Election

To familiarize voters with the menagerie of contenders, WPLN put together a quick and dirty cheat sheet. Who are these people? What are their big ideas?

And why do they feel qualified to lead this city? 

Carlin Alford

Carlin Alford

AGE: 47

CURRENT DAY JOB: Alford is an account manager at software company BOLDplanning Inc. He’s also the head coach of the Middle Tennessee Storm, a local minor league basketball team.

PUBLIC SERVICE: Alford has never held public office.

PERSONAL LIFE: Alford is married to his wife of 16 years and is the father of a daughter and a son.

HIS BIG IDEAS: Alford says people are at the core of his platform and that residents must make the well-being of children a top priority. “Of the many priorities for this campaign, ‘rebooting’ Metro Nashville Public Schools is at the top,” he said. “Developing a valuable and attractive local workforce starts with education and touches everything from city budget, to transit, to corporate relocation and community and police relationships.”

David Briley

David Briley

AGE: 54

CURRENT DAY JOB: After Megan Barry resigned in March, David Briley took over as mayor. Before that his main gig was as a plaintiff attorney with Bone McAllester Norton.

PUBLIC SERVICE: The grandson of Beverly Briley, the first mayor of Metro Nashville, Briley served as vice mayor during Barry’s administration. Before that he was an at-large councilman. As a council member, he served on the Budget and Finance Committee, the Charter Revision Committee, the Greenways Commission, the Personnel Committee, the Ad Hoc Committee on Solid Waste and the Water Rate Oversight Committee.

PERSONAL LIFE: Briley is married to attorney Jodie Bell. He has one son, Sam.

HIS BIG IDEAS: “A focus on getting us back to the basics,” Briley wrote. “With our economy booming, that means stabilizing the city budget and providing more attention on neighborhoods, stronger schools and more affordable housing so that Nashville moves forward with no one left behind.”

Ralph Bristol

Ralph Bristol

AGE: 68

DAY JOB: Bristol is a retired TV and radio broadcaster, covering local news as a reporter, news director and conservative talk show host.

PUBLIC SERVICE: Bristol is a U.S. Air Force veteran.

PERSONAL LIFE: Bristol is married with two stepchildren, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

HIS BIG IDEAS: “I’m running to be the first truly non-partisan mayor, independent of any party or fundraising machine. I’m promising open government, meaning public discussions with all stakeholders in big decisions, not just the loudest or richest. I’m going to establish a model for solving problems without using more and more tax dollars to do it."

Jeff Obafemi Carr

Jeff Obafemi Carr

AGE: 50

CURRENT DAY JOB: Carr is the pastor and founder of The Infinity Fellowship Gathering, an interfaith spiritual community in Nashville.

PUBLIC SERVICE: In 2009, Carr was the mayoral appointee to the Metro Arts Commission. More recently, Carr led a program to build 20 micro-homes for the homeless in South Nashville called Infinity Village.

PERSONAL LIFE: Carr is married to his wife, Kenetha. He is the father of five children.

HIS BIG IDEAS: “This campaign is essentially for an unexpired term of just over one year. As an experienced executive with over three decades of tangible accomplishments, my approach is to build on what I have unique expertise in first, and with priority.” His goals are to deliver a new transit plan (he was the lead spokesman against the May 1 referendum), cut youth violence rates, create an affordable housing plan and assess public schools.

Erica Gilmore

Erica Gilmore

AGE: 42

CURRENT DAY JOB: Gilmore is the assistant dean of student conduct at Tennessee State University.

PUBLIC SERVICE: Gilmore serves as an at-large council member and has previously been the president of the Minority Caucus, Metro Council Speaker Pro Tempore and council member for District 19. She is also the chair of the Health, Hospitals and Social Services Committee. 

PERSONAL LIFE: Gilmore is the daughter of state Rep. Brenda Gilmore and Harry Gilmore, and she has one daughter, a graduating senior at Martin Luther King Jr. High School.

HER BIG IDEAS: “I would work with the public and private sector to create affordable housing, invest in salaries that make the teaching profession attractive again, and ensure that all people who want to work, have access to living-wage jobs; jobs that allow them to care for their families and invest in the local economy,” Gilmore wrote. “I would work to ensure stronger community-police relations so we build a city where all are welcome and where all feel safe."

Albert Hacker

Albert Hacker

AGE: 36

CURRENT DAY JOB: Hacker is a clinical consultant for a medical devices company.

PUBLIC SERVICE: Hacker has never held public office.

PERSONAL LIFE: He is the father of two sons, Joven, 9, and Noah, 10.

HIS BIG IDEAS: Hacker declares himself “an independent with no political ties” who intends to eliminate financial waste in Metro government. “With 12-year-olds and teenagers being arrested for carjacking, I can make a pretty good case to Gov. Haslam to tap into his school safety fund that he passed a few weeks ago to re-implement the expansion of the Youth Life Learning Center's after school activity programs in city parks around Nashville,” Hacker said. He also said he'd “seek out the prenatal parent coaching data from the national nursing association" to help reduce neglect, child abuse and malnutrition. "Finally, what kind of politician would I be if I didn't try to fix the roads!”

David Hiland

David Hiland

AGE: 42

CURRENT DAY JOB: Hiland is a licensed master barber and owner of Forty Ten Barber Studio in Green Hills.

PUBLIC SERVICE: Hiland is a US Army veteran.

PERSONAL LIFE: Hiland is married with four children.

HIS BIG IDEAS: “My concerns are basically the people’s concerns,” Hiland said, “including the public school system, the forgotten-about parts of Nashville (Madison, Antioch, Boudreaux), the opioid epidemic in Nashville, youth leadership programs, disabled veterans and combatting homelessness.”

Julia Clark-Johnson

Julia Clark-Johnson

AGE: 58

CURRENT DAY JOB: Clark-Johnson is a former teacher.

PUBLIC SERVICE: Clark-Johnson’s campaign website says she served on the Board of Trustees of St. Louis public schools and “has a proven track record for serving eight consecutive terms as a public servant.”

PERSONAL LIFE: She is the mother of two adult children, a daughter and a son.

HER BIG IDEAS: Clark-Johnson provided a lengthy list of ideas, including renovating Nissan Stadium and creating jobs in the process. “I will revamp the education system, road and highways, fix the transportation system, create a safe haven for all musicians and artists seeking to promote their work here, create a safe haven for all innocent Nashville residents, care for the residents who have personal issues, and review the cost of affordable housing, review the cost of utilities, and renovate old buildings,” she wrote.

Harold Love

Harold M. Love

AGE: 45

CURRENT DAY JOB: Love is the state representative for House District 58.

PUBLIC SERVICE: Love serves as the House Democratic Caucus Secretary and chaplain of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.

PERSONAL LIFE: Love is single and has no children.

HIS BIG IDEAS: “We have gotten away from some of the basic foundations of our society, and we need to get back to the basics in education, safety, housing and healthcare,” he said. Love wants to get more MNPS graduates into college and work on creating safer neighborhoods — “developing an environment where wages are not suppressed and people believe they are not being left behind the prosperity the city experiences,” he said. Love said he would also budget more money for the Barnes Housing Trust Fund and pursue health initiatives.

Jeff Napier

Jeff Napier

AGE: 52

CURRENT DAY JOB: Napier is a semi-retired mechanic and limo driver.

PUBLIC SERVICE: Napier is a US Army Veteran.

PERSONAL LIFE: Napier is engaged. He has two children, a daughter and son in their 20s.

HIS BIG IDEAS: Napier says his platform is based on getting a handle on “out-of-control government spending, and stopping the perpetual tax increases.” He also wants to address bullying in schools by standing against teachers who “look the other way,” and combat youth crime by bringing an amusement park back to the fairgrounds and by giving more money to the Metro Police youth violence and vice units. “The platform also covers the arena of affordable housing and filtering and purging out the ones who use it fraudulently, and make that service available to the ones who legitimately need it,” he wrote.

Jon Sewell

Jon Sewell

AGE: 37

CURRENT DAY JOB: Sewell is an actor on the sitcom “Still the King” on CMT. He is also the owner of The Packing Plant, an arts-centric commercial property.

PUBLIC SERVICE: Sewell has never held public office.

PERSONAL LIFE: He is married to his wife and father to two young children.

HIS BIG IDEAS: Sewell, who appears to be running as a joke, said he has a four-fold approach to government reform that he would be “bad at executing.” “I am asking my supporters to actively support the more seasoned politicos,” Sewell wrote. “If it’s all an act, you might as well go with an actor.”

Carol Swain

Carol Swain

AGE: 64

CURRENT DAY JOB: Swain is a conservative TV commentator and a former professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University. 

PUBLIC SERVICE: According to her website, Swain has served on the Tennessee Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

PERSONAL LIFE: Swain is the mother of two adult sons and grandmother of five grandchildren. She is also one of eight siblings.

HER BIG IDEAS: Swain said her first priorities would be to develop “affordable, common sense transit solutions to regional congestion issues” and to improve infrastructure by repairing potholes, roads and bridges. She also wants to “end cronyism in City Hall and no-bid contracts, and combat violent crime through improved police and community partnerships.”

Ludye Wallace

AGE: 78

CURRENT DAY JOB: Wallace heads the Nashville chapter of the NAACP.

PUBLIC SERVICE: Wallace served two terms on Metro Council.

PERSONAL LIFE: Wallace is listed as “single” on his Facebook page.

HIS BIG IDEAS: Wallace is the reason the mayor’s race was moved up. In a lawsuit against Metro, he challenged an interpretation of the Metro Charter that had scheduled the election for August and argued that a longer, more expensive mayoral campaign would hurt candidates like himself. However, when reached for comment, Wallace told WPLN that he was not campaigning for mayor.