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The Race Is On To Be Nashville's Next Mayor

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Posted at 6:03 PM, Aug 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-07 16:57:44-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The two top-vote winners in the August 6 Nashville Mayoral race got to work early Friday morning as they prepared for the next election in September.

Megan Barry and David Fox edged out five other candidates to make it into the runoff election on September 10. Both candidates did not waste any time drumming up support.

"We're already starting the next phase of the campaign. We were fundraising, up early this morning talking to media, talking to supporters. So we're off to the races already," Barry said.

Fox said he was on the phone all morning talking to supporters.

"It's been really fun, but really hectic. We have so many inbound calls, and texts, and voice mails, that I am struggling to keep up with it, but it's exciting," Fox said.

Raising money to finance the next five weeks of campaigning is high on the priority list for both candidates. Fox has a $1 million fund-raising goal during the first week of the campaign.

Another priority was to win over the voters who cast ballots for the other five candidates they competed against during Thursday's election.

"We're going to do a heavy, ongoing canvassing, as we've done for the last eight months, just door knocking and learning from voters what they want to see from the city," Fox said.

Fox and Barry's strategies for earning new votes were similar.

"Which is getting out and talking to voters, and making sure folks know there's an election, we want to make sure our voters turn out, and talking to people about what matters to them, what matters to Nashvillians," Barry explained.

Many people feel the start to this second round of campaigning may have a different tone after Fox's victory speech Thursday night.

"He was drawing the comparisons that she's going to be way left, and all the rest of us are more in the center, and to the right," said NewsChannel 5 political analyst Pat Nolan.

The speech had some wondering if this non-partisan race will become a two-party election battle. Fox said his comments will not lead to that type of race.

"It's not partisan, it's how we view finances, and how central a role these social issues play. For me it's not much of a role at all, that's not my bag, getting into these culture wars," Fox said. "I'm fiscally conservative, socially moderate. I love the way Nashville has improved and embraced so many people, and I've found that combination is a pretty common one within Nashville."

Barry has embraced her stance on both political and social issues, and made mention of them during her victory speech. Friday she said she was a caught off-guard by Fox's comments.

"I was disappointed. This is an non-partisan race and one of the things that we've done, and I've been able to over the last eight years, is to be a member of the Metro Council in a non-partisan way," Barry explained.

Both candidates know their work is cut out for them over the next five weeks. Fox joked he fits into a pattern for Nashville mayors.

"Capable, not terribly charismatic mayors, who can get the job done, don't draw headlines everyday, but you know when you're going to be at night, somebody is looking after the store," Fox said.

Barry said she is ready for the hectic pace ahead in the race to be Nashville's next, and possibly first female, mayor.

"It's going to be very busy, and I wouldn't have it any other way," Barry said.

The two candidates have been set to lay out their vision for Nashville during NewsChannel 5's Mayoral debate on Monday, August 24 from 7 p.m. until 8 p.m. The debate will air in partnership with Vanderbilt University and the League of Women Voters. It will be held at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt.

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