The Nashville Voice Backs Briley While Examining Cooper’s Track Record

The Nashville Voice continues to endorse Mayor Briley for reelection as we ask, "Who is John Cooper?"

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Mayor David Briley (left) faces a runoff against Councilman John Cooper in September.
Mayor David Briley (left) faces a runoff against Councilman John Cooper in September.

By The Editorial Board

Early voting has begun in Davidson County as voters choose between Mayor David Briley and Councilmember John Cooper.

During the General Election, The Nashville Voice proudly endorsed the incumbent David Briley to continue as the mayor of Nashville. It is still our belief that Mayor Briley’s track record is proof of his commitment to support the more vulnerable members of our society including people of color, women, and the uninsured.

We noted in the past the following factors that lead to our endorsement:

  • Mayor Briley has hired the most diverse leadership team in the history of the city with a notable number of women of color working on his direct staff.
  • His support of the historic Equal Business Opportunity Program, requiring Metro Nashville to implement race and gendered subcontracting goals, is one of the biggest changes in support of minority-owned businesses.
  • The mayor fully funded Nashville General hospital, a location that continues to provide healthcare to the uninsured and underinsured of our city.

As we examine Mayor Briley’s opponent, At-Large Council Member John Cooper, it is clear Cooper cares about Nashville, yet of the two candidates, he does not appear to be the progressive mayor that can lead Nashville into the future.

For example, according to ballotpedia.org Councilman Cooper has personally loaned his campaign $1,455,000 through July 23, 2019. While Mayor Briley has raised the majority of his campaign funds through individual donors.  Cooper’s decision to self-fund alienates him from the average voter and donor. When you self-fund your campaign you do not have to connect or engage with Nashvillians for their support.

Another factor that is of concern is the number of right-wing voters who supported Cooper during the general election. Exit polling from the Beacon Center showed that nearly 40 percent of voters who supported Carol Swain during her unsuccessful run for mayor in 2018 voted for him during this election.

During his time as Council At-Large, Councilman Cooper voted against funding for police body cameras and opposed the police oversight board, even after the community stood up and said how important these issues were to them.

The most compelling reason for our Endorsement of Mayor David Briley is the fact that we do not know what type of mayor Councilman Cooper will be based on his voting record as Councilman At-Large and his business record as a private citizen.

The incumbent as a proven progressive record, the other does not.

In consideration of both candidates’ track records, we believe that Mayor Briley is not only the more progressive candidate but also the right person to navigate the growth of Nashville for all of its citizens.

Early voting continues in Davidson County until September 7th, with the election to be held on September 12th.

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