Democrat Bill Freeman says he will not run for Mayor of Nashville in the upcoming August 1 election.
While Freeman never officially announced his intentions to run this year, he was one of the top potential candidates that local pundits thought were most likely to run against incumbent David Briley.
Tennessee state Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville) has already announced his candidacy for mayor. Metro Council-at-Large members Erica Gilmore and John Cooper are also considering entering the race, according to reports.
A Freeman candidacy would have made the mayoral election more expensive because Freeman has resources to spend more on media and other election expenses. He co-founded the real estate investment, management and brokerage company Freeman Webb Inc.
Freeman ran for Mayor once before. He lost to Megan Barry in 2015.
Here’s part of a statement he released Monday afternoon.
I have chosen not to run in the election for Mayor of Nashville, and it has been the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. In many ways, I feel that this time in Nashville’s history is the singular point where I could have made a positive impact on the direction of our city. I’ve arrived at this difficult decision for personal reasons, and I am so grateful to the many people who encouraged me to consider running for this office.
Freeman goes on to say Nashville is “at a critical point in our growth”. He recommends raises for Metro employees, and warns that growth should not “push everyone but our most successful residents to the side.”