Nashville’s special election for vice mayor ended with a lopsided victory Thursday night for Jim Shulman. The two-time Metro councilman captured 65 percent of the vote over fellow Council Member Sheri Weiner, who had been serving as acting vice mayor.
In all, 30,024 people voted. That’s a third of the vice mayor turnout in the 2015 contest, which appeared on a much larger ballot.
Shulman will now lead the council. He said the group’s priorities must include close attention to the Metro budget, school safety, affordable housing, and traffic solutions.
“My preference is less talk, no more studies,” he said. “Let’s figure out what we can do right now to start addressing some of these issues.”
Shulman said the council has been buffeted for months by intense decision-making. So he wants the members to regroup and refocus until the council’s term concludes about a year from now.
He said he’ll push for Metro budget discussions to begin far earlier than normal.
“This election was to put a vice mayor in there for one year. If we’re going to make a difference we need to start very, very quickly. And it’s kind of a sprint to the end.”
My hearty congratulations to newly elected Vice Mayor Jim Shulman. I look forward to continuing to work with you in your new role for the betterment of the city.
— Mayor David Briley (@MayorBriley) September 7, 2018
Shulman also identified contract procurement as an area in need of reform.
“There’s concerns that we’re not meeting certain goals that we’ve set both for minority-owned businesses and women-owned businesses,” Shulman said.
Outside of the council, Shulman is the executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability.
Weiner, of Bellevue, will continue to serve as a district council member. In a statement Thursday night, she congratulated Shulman while calling the campaign “challenging.”
“The difficulty of being misrepresented has been offset in many ways by the incredible support of true friends,” she wrote. “With another election behind us, we now have stable leadership in Metro for the coming year and can focus solely on doing the work we’re charged with doing.”