Final Nashville mayoral debate focuses on key black vote

Megan Barry David Fox

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The first debate between David Fox and Megan Barry was in front of a predominately African-American church audience in the north Nashville area, and so will the last one Thursday night at Mt. Zion Baptist at 6:30 p.m.

Both sides know the black vote is key to a victory and there is plenty of talk about it on the campaign trail

Case in point was at a rally Thursday morning where Metro County Clerk Brenda Wynn introduced Barry before a group of Nashville women called “trailblazers.”

Megan Barry (Photo: WKRN)
Megan Barry (Photo: WKRN)

“When it comes to Megan elevating people of color to leadership positions, I am one,” said Wynn in a reference to the initial Metro Council vote where she was appointed to the position.

Fox’s campaign manager Chris Turner said his candidate has been working had to win a share of the black vote.

“If you look back a month and see into the future, and saw that North Nashville was the battleground, you would think that David Fox was doing pretty darn well,” Turner told News 2. “He is meeting voters where they live, he is talking the talk with them and its not just empty rhetoric and its not where have you been the eight years.”

Chris Turner (Photo: WKRN)
Chris Turner (Photo: WKRN)

Neither Barry or Fox was strong in the African-American vote when they finished first and second in the August general election.

Those votes went predominantly to third place finisher Bill Freeman and Criminal Court Clerk Howard Gentry, the only African-American in the seven-person initial race, which was taken down to two since no candidate won 50 percent plus one of the votes.

Barry says the candidates have the questions before hand for tonight’s debate.

“What folks want to know about is recruiting and hiring of African-Americans in Metro Government. They want to talk about access to contracts and the impact of gun violence disproportionately on African-American youth,” she told reporters today.

The answers could help determine who will be Nashville’s next mayor.

Both sides concede its is a very close race where each says getting their voters out to the polls will also be key.

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