The 2018 Nashville special election for the unexpired terms for mayor and council District 1 was held on Thursday, May 24. Mayoral frontrunners Carol Swain and David Briley squared off in what was officially a nonpartisan race.
Mayor David Briley won a major victory, wining with 54% of the vote, defeating Swain with 23%, and preventing a runoff election.
After his win, Briley issued the following statement:
I am humbled by the honor Davidson County voters have granted me. They have placed their trust in me, and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to continue serving all residents of Davidson County.
Early tomorrow I’ll go back to work on our back-to-basics agenda, and the commitment that Nashville’s continued success should benefit our entire city. Together we can make that happen by sharpening focus on stronger schools, affordability, managing growth and traffic solutions that keep us moving. I look forward to working with our Metro Council to make progress on those issues that are important to families and neighborhoods across our great city.
Other notable candidates were: Erica Gilmore (5.6%), Harold Love (5.3%), and Jeff Carr (4.6%).
The special election was prompted by the resignation of former Mayor Megan Barry on March 6. The election was originally scheduled for August 2, to coincide with the state primary elections; however candidate and NAACP President Ludye Wallace successfully sued to have the election held earlier.
According to Wallace’s suit, state law and a 2007 Metropolitan government charter amendment required an earlier election if the next general metropolitan election was more than twelve months away. The Tennessee Supreme Court agreed with Wallace’s argument, unanimously ordering a mayoral election between May 21 and May 25.
The election ruling also effected the election for council representation for District 1, North Nashville; a seat vacated by Nick Leonardo when he was appointed as judge by the Nashville Council.
Jonathan Hall received 34% of the most votes with Judy Cummings coming in second with 28%. Other notable finishers were: Gwen Brown-Felder (12%), Ruby Baker (11.6%), and Sylvester Armor (11.1%).
With the highly contested seat fielding five notable competitors, no single candidate received more than 50% of the vote; forcing a June 28th runoff election.
“This is something we anticipated, and this is when the work really starts,” said Frontrunner Jonathan Hall. “Nothing changes; we are going to continue to work with what we have been doing and we are going to make it official on June 28th.”