NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayoral candidates Megan Barry and David Fox battled for major endorsements in the final weeks before the election.
With applause and prayer, more than 100 leaders and members of the African American community came together at Jefferson Street Baptist Church to put their weight behind their candidate, Megan Barry.
“This is overwhelming the support that I have,” said Barry Monday morning following the announcement.
Local pastors said Barry was the one to fix issues with education, investment disparity and crime that impact the African American community.
“So much is going on in our communities and we need someone who will fight for us,” said Pastor Breonus Mitchell, sporting a Barry campaign button.
It was support that could prove critical. With Barry and David Fox advancing to the runoff, analysts believed they both lacked much African American support in August.
Instead, many of those voters split between Howard Gentry and Bill Freeman, which meant thousands of votes were still up for grabs.
“Now if we can bring all that together that's a powerful force in the city of Nashville,” Pastor Mitchell said.
However, candidate David Fox didn’t see it that way.
“People in the media and the talking heads talk about the African American vote and that's a big mistake,” he said in a phone interview Monday, “African American voters have a diversity of opinions.”
Fox said he'd been knocking on doors and was confident that once voters heard his stance on the issues, they would pull for him.
“I just feel really passionate about building wealth in the African American community which builds employment and also profoundly improving the quality of education,” Fox said.
In a community with a strong connection to faith, the support of so many local pastors was difficult to overlook.
“As we move forward all of these people are going to lift me up,” Barry said, “so on election day we will move forward together.”
But the battle for votes in the final weeks before the polls close was just getting started.
Monday morning the Fox campaign announced an endorsement from the Fraternal Order of Police.
Around the same time Barry’s campaign announced an endorsement from Nashville Firefighters.