NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Outgoing Metro Councilmember Freddie O’Connell has been elected Nashville’s next mayor.
A Nashville native, O’Connell had served District 19 since 2015, representing the downtown area.
“Look around! What a great room. You could be anywhere today and you’re here, in Nashville, in Music City, with me, with each other, and I want you to stay,” he said during his victory speech. “I grew up here. My parents are here. Some of the best friends I’ve ever had in my life are here. Some of my favorite people I ever worked with offered me a job here, and now I’m raising my family here. I love this city and her people.”
There were 12 candidates on the original Aug. 3 ballot to replace Mayor John Cooper, who announced in January that he would not seek re-election after only one term in office.
O’Connell and Alice Rolli finished the Aug. 3 election with the most votes, but neither of them received the needed 50% of the vote to win, so the mayoral race ultimately was decided in a runoff election Thursday, Sept. 14, with O’Connell receiving just over 64% of the vote compared to Rolli’s approximately 35%.
“Starting tomorrow, we’re going to begin a transition process that focuses on three important things that we’ve all talked about for the past year—how Nashville grows, how Nashville works, and how Nashville moves,” O’Connell said. “We’re going to organize the mayor’s office around these principles, concentrating on how we make it easier to stay here, the cost of living in Nashville, and the quality of life for Nashvillians.”
Despite the results, Rolli remained in good spirits throughout the evening and wished O’Connell the best moving forward.
“Our family has great hope in Freddie and we want to see the city succeed, and Freddie and I met more than a decade ago at a planning table for NashvilleNext and we value a lot of things in our community, and so we want him to be successful,” Rolli said during a one-on-one interview with News 2.