Nashville Mayor John Cooper to not seek reelection

Posted at 10:26 AM, Jan 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-31 21:39:12-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Mayor John Cooper will not be seeking reelection. Cooper was elected as the Nashville mayor in 2019.

On Tuesday, the ninth mayor of Nashville made the announcement to not run for a second term.

"We're leaving Nashville in great shape for the next mayor," Mayor John Cooper said.

Cooper will leave city hall after eight years of service. Before being elected mayor, he served for four years an At-Large Member of Metro Council.

Nashville faced a state takeover for financial mismanagement the very week Cooper was elected mayor. From there, he went on to weather catastrophic tornadoes, the COVID-19 pandemic and the bombing on Second Avenue.

"Almost from the moment that John Cooper came into office it was all about dealing with disasters," said Lisa Quigley. "It can really make a four year term feel like eight or even more."

NewsChannel 5 political contributor Lisa Quigley is very familiar with the Cooper family. She was the chief of staff for the mayor's brother, former congressman, Jim Cooper.

"There was never really a hint of scandal in either of their careers. No one ever made any type of observations about the Coopers that they were in it for themselves. They were in it for the public good," Quigley said.

The mayor's announcement has at least one state lawmaker now seriously considering entering the race. Rep. Bob Freeman told NewsChannel 5 that Cooper's decision "changes everything." Davidson County Property Assessor Vivian Wilhoite also posted comments on social media indicating she is considering running for Mayor.

The three people who have officially entered the race are Metro Council member Freddie O'Connell, affordable housing advocate Matt Wiltshire, and At-Large Council member Sharon Hurt. Others who are interested have until May 18 to get on the ballot.

Election day is Thursday, Aug. 3.

Watch Mayor Cooper's full announcement below:

Nashville Mayor John Cooper to not seek reelection