Mayor 2019 | Nashville Public Radio

Mayor 2019

Nashville's leading mayoral candidates, from left, are David Briley, John Cooper, John Ray Clemmons, and Carol Swain.

Nashville votes for mayor this summer, following a tumultous episode in 2018 in which former mayor Megan Barry resigned suddenly, casting David Briley into the city's highest office.

David Briley won a special election to complete that term, but now faces challengers: State Rep. John Ray Clemmons, At-Large Metro Councilman John Cooper, and retired Vanderbilt University professor Carol Swain are mounting serious efforts. There are 10 candidates in total.

The race culminates with early voting in mid-July, followed by Election Day on Aug. 1.

Editor’s note: WPLN is conducting in-depth interviews with candidates who meet at least one of the following criteria: hold or have held an elected office; raised at least $25,000; or have the support of at least 10% of voters in a credible, scientific poll.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

Nashville Mayor-elect John Cooper plans to announce the members of his transition team early this week, as he begins the city's unprecedented transition to a new administration.

Chas sisk / WPLN

A little more than 90,000 people cast ballots for mayor during this runoff election, according to the unofficial results. That's a decrease of about 10 percent compared to the general election in August.

Many voters in Nashville told WPLN during interviews at the polls that they were unenthused by the campaigns.

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán / WPLN

Nashville voters have chosen a new mayor.

Metro Councilman John Cooper defeated incumbent Mayor David Briley by about 40 percentage points, with nearly 70 percent of the vote. Nashville’s mayor-elect said he will prioritize funding neighborhoods that have not received the benefits of the city's growth.

Meribah Knight / WPLN

Councilman John Cooper will be Nashville's next mayor.

During early voting, he came in more than 40 points ahead of incumbent Mayor David Briley, who already conceded to Cooper minutes after the first results came in.

In the runoff for Nashville mayor, the candidates disagree on something fundamental: the core duties of the job.

The difference has emerged recently, with Councilman John Cooper describing the role as mostly administrative, while incumbent David Briley is injecting more partisan political stances into the contest.

Nashville bus
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Nashville’s bus system took a funding hit this year, and some routes will be eliminated later this month. But both candidates for mayor say they’d put a lot more money toward bus services next year.

The candidates agree, broadly, that WeGo’s bus service needs to get better.

David Briley and John Cooper
WPLN Staff

Read the transcript for the special show. 

Nashville’s next mayor will be chosen on Sept. 12, and the two in the runoff — incumbent David Briley and Metro Councilman John Cooper — have been making their case to voters in what has become an intense runoff campaign.

In this one-hour program, WPLN goes deep with the candidates on key subjects, like housing, transportation, the Metro budget and the role of the mayor. 


In one-on-one conversations with WPLN's Tony Gonzalez, Mayor David Briley and Councilman John Cooper share their thoughts on the big issues facing Nashville this election season — including policing, transportation and managing the city's growth. And you'll hear analysis from Tony Gonzalez and reporter Meribah Knight. 

Nashville mayor forum

Nashville’s mayoral finalists have both opposed a property tax increase the past two years. But now, late in the campaign, Mayor David Briley has started to share a scenario in which he might be willing to make that move. 

Nashville runoff election candidates
Staff / WPLN

Metro Councilman John Cooper enters the runoff for mayor as the early favorite to unseat incumbent David Briley. Cooper seized a 10-point lead in the first round of voting, but the next six weeks leading up to election day on Sept. 12 will be crucial to both candidates.