2 Conservatives Enter Nashville Mayor's Race

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Two conservative candidates have officially entered the Nashville Mayor’s race.

Former conservative radio host turned podcaster Ralph Bristol and conservative television personality and former professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University Carol Swain announced their candidacy on Monday.

Neither candidate has ever run for public office and both are self-described outsiders.

Bristol said his top priority would be the transit issue.

“This is the worst idea and the most expensive idea,” said Bristol about the transit referendum.  “We’ve got no one running for mayor who is against it.”

Bristol proposed an alternative plan that would center around better bus service and automated vehicles.  He also said open government was a priority.

“If I’m elected mayor, you are going to watch the way sausage is made, and you will have a part in making it.”

Bristol said he planned to run a low-budget campaign that would begin with videos featuring his viewpoints on social media.  He hoped his message would spread from there.

Swain filed paperwork to run for Mayor on Monday. She said her top priorities would be reducing crime, increasing affordable housing and improving infrastructure.

“I personally believe the city is headed in the wrong direction, and voters should be able to choose between two competing visions,” said Swain.

She also opposes the transit plan.

“It does not serve the interest of Nashvillians,” said Swain. “It will not serve traffic woes. It will make it worse.”

NewsChannel5 Political Analyst Pat Nolan said the two conservative candidates may face challenges in the historically blue Davidson County, and they may end up splitting the conservative vote.

“There appeared to be room for at least one conservative in the race,” said Nolan. “I would say those two together would take votes away from each other.”

Last week, council member Erica Gilmore spoke exclusively to NewsChannel 5 just hours after announcing she’s running for Nashville Mayor. Gilmore, one of five at-large council members, is also challenging Mayor David Briley.

Briley announced his intentions to run just two days after being sworn in, following Megan Barry’s resignation in early March. 

Candidates have until Thursday to qualify to run.

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