Sharon Hurt enters Nashville mayor's race
Metro Councilmember Sharon Hurt is running for mayor of Nashville, setting the stage for a crowded and competitive election next year.
Why it matters: Hurt has won two countywide elections and boasts the deep neighborhood connections needed to fuel a mayoral run.
Context: She's a longtime Bellevue resident, who performed well in those precincts in her council elections in 2015 and 2019.
- Hurt also served as the top executive with the economic development and business advocacy nonprofit Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership — a role that put her at the forefront of North Nashville politics for two decades.
State of play: Mayor John Cooper took the procedural step of filing his paperwork to run again and held at least one large fundraiser earlier this year. But he hasn't announced if he'll seek re-election.
- Metro Councilmember Freddie O'Connell and former Metro official Matt Wiltshire have also entered the race. It's still early in the process and several others have sent signals they may run.
What we're watching: Cooper, and his brother U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, have always performed well in North Nashville where they are known commodities. But so is Hurt, creating a likely electoral battleground in 2023.
- The biggest unknown for Hurt, who has been a pro-business, social progressive and fierce advocate for North Nashville institutions, will be her fundraising prowess.
The intrigue: Nashville has never elected a Black mayor. In a race where the top contenders so far are Ivy League-educated Democratic white men, Hurt represents this election cycle's best chance to reverse that trend.
What she's saying: "I represent people who have been underestimated by politicians, because I am one myself," Hurt told the Nashville Banner. "I'm just an ordinary person that has been called to do work. I've been doing it all my life. This is a part of my DNA — lifting people up."
More Nashville stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Nashville.