Tenn. Supreme Court: Nashville Mayoral Election Must Be Held In May

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that Nashville must hold a special election in May instead of August to fill the office of mayor.

The Davidson County Election Commission voted in March to hold the mayoral election on August 2. Mayoral Candidate Ludye Wallace filed a lawsuit shortly after that vote, claiming the Election Commission violated the Metro Charter and state law with the vote.  

Both sides presented their arguments to justices Monday afternoon.

On Tuesday, the court’s decision reversed a ruling of the Davidson County Chancery Court that upheld the action of the Davidson County Election Commission in setting the election to coincide with the August 2 election.

Under state law, the commission now has to set a special election to be held between May 21 and May 25.

As of right now the election commission will hold the mayoral election on May 24, with early voting will start May 4. Officials estimate it's going to cost taxpayers $1 million.  

"It will be a very busy next couple of months for our staff, we have a May election, May 1, put that to bed,  then have early voting for the mayor's election," Jeff Roberts with the Davidson County Election Commission. 

The election is necessary after Megan Barry resigned on March 6. If the election is still held in August, the winner would serve until August of 2019. 

Click here to read the Supreme Court’s opinion in Wallace v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, et al.    

"The Supreme Court has ruled, and I'll be ready for the election. I appreciate all the support I've already received, and I'm looking forward to a strong campaign over the next six weeks." - Mayor David Briley 

"I welcome it. I just recruited a Treasurer, so I can soon collect enough money to spend on the essentials.  I've been campaigning regularly, without expenses, for nearly a month, and I started with a pretty solid base of support, so I'll be ready - and Nashville is ready to first defeat the Transit tax, then follow up by electing someone committed to spending and taxing discipline and open government. It's not to late to correct some of the mistakes of the last administration, and the sooner that starts, the better." - Ralph Bristol 

“As I said when I launched my campaign — I’m running this year, rather than next year, because of what Dr. King called ‘the fierce urgency of now.’ Nashville needs a mayor with a strong mandate from the voters. The sooner Nashvillians can have an elected mayor, the better. This election is larger than any one individual. Nashvillians want a champion for the middle and working class. As I travel our great city, I see a rising tide – a vast movement – of Nashvillians who can’t wait. I’m running to be their champion. There’s a hunger and a yearning for bold, visionary leadership to ensure Nashville has a large, vibrant, and growing middle class. This agenda is too important to wait."  - Erica Gilmore 

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