Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Conditions Ripe for Liberal Nashville to Elect Conservative Mayor



Nashville is a hard-left city in the center of a hard-right state, but voters there might soon elect a conservative named Alice Rolli as their next mayor.

This all depends, of course, upon just how fed up those voters still are on election day. They have good reason to feel disgusted with the current system, especially in this rotten national economy.

In Nashville, crony capitalism reigns supreme. City officials give generous incentives to corporations. One past example includes the former ABC series Nashville, which took government incentives to film on location. 

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Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, the largest non-gaming, in-hotel exhibition space in the world, accepted incentives to build a water park — for hotel guests only. But good luck enjoying that water park if you are a city resident and are lower or middle class. As of June 2023, the least expensive hotel room is nearly $400 a night.

During COVID-19, Nashville Mayor John Cooper and other Metro officials closed the city’s restaurants and other businesses. This, even though business owners promised to take reasonable precautions to protect people’s health.

Consequently, the city took in far less tax revenue.

Cooper’s solution — jack up property taxes by 34 to 37 percent to make up the difference. Members of the Metro Nashville Council gladly went along. 

Cooper, a Democrat serving out his first term, announced earlier this year he won’t seek reelection. 

TAX FATIGUE 

Rolli recently signed Americans for Tax Reform’s (ATR’s) Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

“In signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, Rolli has made a commitment to Nashville residents that she will oppose efforts to impose net tax hikes,” ATR said in a statement this week.

“Despite Tennessee’s relatively low state tax burden, there is reason for Nashville residents of all political and ideological stripes to have tax fatigue.”

How likely are Nashville voters to send a conservative to the mayor’s office?

Right now, that’s hard to ascertain.

In 2019, conservative Carol Swain lost the general election with 22 percent of the vote. Four years prior to that, conservative David Fox got 45 percent of the vote in the runoff election to Megan Barry. Barry later got caught in a sex scandal and resigned from office

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Rolli, on her campaign website, said she will recruit and retain more firefighters, police, EMT and other first responders for the city. She’ll focus on making sure more of the city’s elementary students are literate. Rolli believes transportation and attainable housing require regional solutions.  

Rolli was previously assistant commissioner of strategy for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. She also worked as special assistant and later campaign manager for former U.S. Republican Senator Lamar Alexander.

The election to replace Cooper is scheduled for August 3. 

If no candidate receives support from more than 50% of the electorate then the top two candidates will advance to a Sept. 14 runoff. 

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