Funding the Police, Top Priority for Independent Nashville Mayoral Candidate Fran Bush

Feb 22, 2023

Live from Music Row, Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed independent mayoral candidate for Nashville, former Metro School Board member Fran Bush in studio to discuss her top priority for the city.

Leahy: We are delighted to welcome to our microphones once more our very good friend Fran Bush, who last week, well, didn’t surprise me, announced for mayor. Welcome, Fran!

Bush: Well, good morning, everyone. Thank you for having me.

Leahy: It’s always great to have you. Last time you were here, you served on the Metro Nashville Public School Board.

Bush: Yes.

Leahy: And as I talked about it, there were eight left-wing lunatics and one person with common sense. You were the person with common sense.

Bush: Yes.

Leahy: Now you ran again for re-election as an Independent and some left-wing lunatic with a whole bunch of money won. Now there are nine left-wing lunatics in the Metro Nashville School Board. But guess what? You announced last week that you’re going to run for mayor.

Bush: Yes. Yes, yes, yes. I’m really excited about this opportunity. And just as you’ve said, four years on the school board and did a lot of great work. A lot of work that was sometimes hard, took a lot of courage. Of course, our biggest moment was getting our students back in the classroom.

Leahy: You were a champion of that.

Bush: Yes. We had to get those children back in the classroom because now we’re seeing the domino effects of the lack of academic support that they got during that time. So now, it’s no secret, my work is my work, and I just want to make sure I take care of Nashville. That’s my next goal.

Leahy: It’s a crowded field. I think maybe 10 people have announced. I don’t know, a long list of people have announced. On the side of sanity right now, I would say Natisha Brooks, who’s announced, is a conservative Republican, and then you and then all the others are like insane left-wingers. But I don’t think you describe yourself as a Republican. You describe yourself as an Independent. Is that right?

Bush: Yes. To me, it’s about listening to both parties. It’s about being able to be fair. It’s about I may think Democrats may have some issues that I agree with, and I may feel that Republicans have things I agree with. It’s just one of those things that’s important to me. If I am elected the next mayor, that’s what I want to do.

I want to work across the aisles. I want to be able to have conversations with the legislature and our own governor. I think that that’s what’s been missing in a mayor. We see a lot of things that are so divisive on the lower level, and it’s because we’re not talking to each other. So that’s why it’s so important for me to bring us together. I know we’re not going to agree on everything, but it’s important to have the conversations for Nashvillians.

Leahy: I think it’s pretty clear that you could talk to Governor Lee, you could talk to Speaker Sexton or Majority Leader Jack Johnson, and then you can talk to Democrats. So you have that going for you. What’s your big issue as mayor, what are the top two or three big issues you want to focus on?

Bush: One of the big issues I want to focus on is crime and safety. We’ve seen a spike in crime in our city because we’re growing so fast and our men and women in uniform really need a lot of support. And so my plan is to we have to recruit more officers and we have to be more intentional about safety.

And I want to be able to carve out, especially those young adults between that 14 and 26 years old that we see commit more crime now in our city. So my goal is to support those organizations that are boots on the ground.

I want to have those conversations so we can be able to best support them, so they can go into the schools or go into the after-school programs and identify those young people that potentially can get into that type of trouble.

Leahy: So more money for the police department and more officers for the police department.

Bush: Yes.

Leahy: And the police chief, John Drake is his name?

Bush: Yes.

Leahy: Do you support him?

Bush: I do. I support him. I would love to sit down and have that conversation. I hadn’t had a chance to sit down.

Leahy: Have you ever met him?

Bush: I’ve met him. But not a conversation just yet.

Leahy: But that’s on the agenda.

Bush: That is definitely on the agenda along with so much more that’s plagued our city that we need to address.

Leahy: So the number one priority of your administration, if elected, would be to increase funding for the police and increase the number of police officers.

Bush: Absolutely.

Leahy: I think I’m hearing some cheers in our audience.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Fran Bush” by Fran Bush. Background Photo “Metro Police Car” by Josh Beasley. CC BY 2.0.