Sep 20, 2022 - Politics

Hal Cato decides against run for Nashville mayor

Hal Cato speaking on stage.
Hal Cato. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The Green Room

In a surprise move Tuesday, prominent nonprofit executive Hal Cato announced in an email that he will not be running for mayor.

  • He'd spent the last several months meeting with political and business leaders to discuss entering the race.

Why it matters: Cato presented a formidable challenge for Mayor John Cooper, who has not yet officially announced his re-election intentions.

  • Cato left his role at the helm of Thistle Farms earlier this year. He also held the top job at the nonprofit Oasis Center.

What he's saying: "Having grown up in and with Nashville, I believe we're at a critical moment that will define our city's priorities, as well as who can thrive here, for years to come," Cato said in his note. "After a lot of consideration, I have decided that I am not the right next leader for our metropolitan government."

State of play: Metro Councilmember Freddie O'Connell and Matt Wiltshire, who ran the city's economic development office and worked on affordable housing issues for the Metro Development and Housing Agency, are the only confirmed candidates.

  • Councilmember Sharon Hurt confirmed to Axios earlier this month she's pondering a run as well.
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