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Nashville Election Sets Records Regarding Women, Race

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Posted at 4:44 PM, Sep 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-14 09:35:57-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - With Election Day over, Nashville has elected a new mayor and Metro Council, and Pat Nolan, News Channel 5's political analyst, said it's one for the record books.

"It was a big day not only for women in terms of electing Megan Barry being the first female mayor in Nashville's history, but also to elect what appears to be a record number of women to Metro Council," he said.

The record was 11 in the last term. This year people went to the polls and voted in as many as 15 female council members.

Nolan said they also voted in a record number of people of color.

"You saw an increase of African American presence in county wide races when we had all the judicial races last year, so you see that emerging," he said. "I don't know how much larger it is, but perhaps it's being utilized more effectively."

In the Southeast area of Nashville alone, all six districts on the map are represented by people of color and four of them are also women.

So Nolan said the area of African American political power is changing.

"It's always been thought, where's the black political power, well it's in the north part of the county or it's in the area around Jefferson Street," he said.

Jacobia Dowell represents district 32 in Antioch. She said the council leaders we have now, regardless of gender or race, are just a reflection of Nashville.

"I think the diversity you see on the council is just indicative of the change that we're seeing in Nashville as we become more of a metropolitan city and we attract people from all over the country to our city," she said.

All 40 members have been set to be sworn in on September 25. The first council meeting has been planned for October 6.