NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- A long-time mid-state political commentator gives Mayor Megan Barry passing marks for the way she’s handled her admission of an extra-marital affair, but says her political fate is yet to be decided.
At end of January Barry revealed she’d carried on affair with the head of her Metro Police security detail. Barry has said the affair began in September 2015 soon after she came into office. She has not said when the affair ended.
Middle Tennessee State Professor of Political Science Kent Syler says Barry should get credit for admitting to the affair voluntarily, accepting full responsibility, answering early questions, and not letting the aftermath interfere with simply doing her job.
But he also says her biggest challenge still lies ahead: keeping the public’s trust through three ongoing investigations.
“The public will have to watch and wait and listen and see what the investigations find and then make a judgement at that point about the mayor’s ability to continue to lead the city.”
Syler says it also remains to be seen how Barry’s affair will impact her many initiatives, especially her ambitious $5 billion transportation plan.
“It’s a bold transit plan that the mayor put together. It was always going to be a heavy lift under the best of circumstances, and it was always going to be something of a referendum on her leadership.”
Voters will get their first chance to speak to those issues when proposed tax increases to support the transportation project appear on the May 1 election ballot.