Briley leads in fundraising, Swain backed by honky tonks

Nashville Skyline
Posted at 12:46 PM, Apr 12, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Mayor David Briley is winning the fundraising race to be Nashville's next mayor, but new campaign disclosures show lower Broadway businesses are backing former Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain.

Incumbent Mayor Briley raised $189,348 in the first quarter ending April 10. That brings his total war chest to over $400,000. Briley's individual donor list reads like a who's who of Music City, including prominent attorneys, real estate developers, health care executives, CEOs and members of the Frist family.

Carol Swain wasn't far behind this quarter with $118,158 in first quarter donations. This was her first round of fundraising and lags well behind in total cash on hand with $116,198. Swain enjoys support from several of Nashville's most notable bars and honky tonks, including Winners and Losers, Tootsie's, and Honky Tonk Central. Honky tonks also banded together earlier this year to form a political action committee to influence the race.

Demoratic State Representative John Ray Clemmons reported $41,064 in donations. A $100k loan puts him ahead of Swain in cash on hand.

The last regular Metro mayoral race in 2015 broke fundraising records. Candidates in that race spent $16.8 million, making it the most expensive local race ever. Megan Barry came out on top in that race but fell to a scandal related to her affair with her security detail. Briley was elected last year in a special election to fill her seat.