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Cooper heats up the Nash mayor's contest, Briley leads the money race


NASHVILLE, Tenn.(OSBORNE)  -- David Briley is winning the money race as candidates to be Nashville’s next mayor begin the final 100 days of campaigning.

Four candidates are running for the city’s top post, including current mayor Briley, state lawmaker John Ray Clemmons, former Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain, and Metro Councilman At-Large John Cooper.

Nashville Business Journal reporter Meg Garner says the most recent quarterly reports show Briley has raised just over $189,000. Clemmons raised nearly $41,000 over the same period. Swain brought in just over $118,000.

Cooper entered the race this past week and so has not yet reported contributions.

Garner says some of the biggest names in the Nashville business community have thrown Mayor Briley their support.

“There have been repeated calls throughout the past year for stability at Metro Government. So you see a motivator behind why they would endorse Mayor Briley so avidly in terms of fundraising.”

Garner says conservative Republican Carol Swain has done surprisingly well, considering she started the campaign with fewer dollars on hand. She says Swain is getting significant funding from the big tourist venues downtown.

“The honky tonks on lower Broad obviously represent a huge cash cow for Nashville, and I think that there has been a desire for owners to have an elevated voice in Nashville’s political conversation.”

Swain has also attracted the support of conservative mid-state businessmen Lee Beaman and David Black.

The Nashville mayoral election is set for August 1.

Look for a link to Meg Garner’s complete Business Journal analysis of campaign financing in this story at WMOT.org.