By Kaitlin Housler
NASHVILLE, TN — Nashville mayoral candidates Freddie O’Connell and Alice Rolli have picked up endorsements in the past week from former candidates in the race that failed to make it to the runoff election scheduled for September 14.
State Senators Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville) and Heidi Campbell (D-Nashville) endorsed O’Connell this week.
On Twitter, Campbell, who finished fifth place in the August 3 election, wrote, “There is no question that @freddieoconnell is the right choice in this election! Let’s volunteer, donate, and campaign to get him over the finish line!”
O’Connell responded to Campbell’s endorsement, saying, “I remember years ago jumping on a video call to support Sen. Campbell as she campaigned to reach the State Senate. She stands up strong for Tennesseans and the values Nashvillians hold dear, and I’m honored to have her support.”
Yarbro, who finished in fourth place, also announced his support for O’Connell on social media, posting a photo of an O’Connell campaign sign in his yard, adding, “We’ve got some new signage in the Yarbro yard. Alright Nashville, let’s elect a Mayor. I’ve got @freddieoconnell’s back and hope you will too.”
O’Connell responded, “Jeff and I have been friends for a long time. It’s never easy to compete for the same thing with a friend, but our friendship was built on an intense desire to create better futures for more people. The friendship and that shared goal will continue. Thank you, Senator!”
Meanwhile, Rolli picked up the endorsement of former MNPS school board member, business owner, and parent advocate Fran Bush this week. Bush garnered 503 votes in the general election.
“I’m proud to endorse Alice Rolli for Mayor. Alice and I share a great deal in our concerns for the safety of our children and the need for SROs in every MNPS school,” Bush said in a statement. “We believe in the power of early literacy to change educational outcomes. We want to support parents in making the best choice for their children’s education. Alice’s inclusive style of leadership is what we need to bring to the Mayor’s office to ensure our city is strong in all neighborhoods and to build an improved foundation for our families and for our future.”
Rolli responded to Bush’s endorsement: “When I think about the Nashville we want to be, I think about citizens like Fran Bush who have been a light for all of us. Fran is a business owner, community leader, education leader, and mom. She’s fought for a stronger Nashville for Nashville families and I’m honored to have her support. Her endorsement of our campaign isn’t just about endorsing me for mayor. It’s about her belief that the voices of Nashville’s parents and kids need a seat at the table to get Nashville back on the right track.”
Out of 101,245 votes cast in the mayoral election earlier this month, O’Connell received 27,470 votes (27.1 percent), while Rolli received 20,458 votes (20.2 percent).
O’Connell currently serves as a member of the Metro Nashville Council and has described himself as the “only truly progressive candidate for Mayor.”
Rolli, a Republican, was the former assistant commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development in the administration of Governor Bill Haslam.