Live from Music Row, Monday 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 Nashville Republican Mayoral Candidate Natisha Brooks in studio to explain her position on metro council size and run off election legislation.
Leahy: Entering the building in the studio with us, along with mayoral candidate Natisha Brooks is our favorite caller on this program, Bernadette. Good morning, Bernadette.
Bernadette: Good morning, Michael. How are you?
Leahy: First I have to apologize because I went down to get both of you to come in and apparently you said hi, I’m Bernadette, to which I was, like, not even paying attention. And so then you’re sitting in here and you start talking. You’re in the studio and I recognize that voice. Who is that? And I said, are you, Bernadette? And you said, I told you didn’t I? (Laughter) Didn’t you?
Bernadette: I did. But it’s okay, Michael. It’s okay. I forgive you. It’s Monday morning.
Leahy: How did I not hear that?
Bernadette: It’s okay.
Leahy: So the great Bernadette. We’ve been on this program now for, I guess four and a half years. And you are one of our most prolific callers, Bernadette:
Bernadette: I just really enjoy your show and I love calling in to talk to you.
Leahy: You’re gonna hang around here. You and Natisha are gonna hang around in the second half of this hour so you can get to meet Crom Carmichael.
Bernadette: I’m excited.
Leahy: Because you’ve called many a time.
Bernadette: Yes, I have.
Leahy: And now Natisha of course, I’ve been giving her a hard time about raising money and she smiled and gave me some good answers. Tell me how the two of you met, Bernadette. And Natisha is the one running for mayor.
Leahy: And you’re working on her campaign?
Bernadette: Yes, I am. I had heard about her with the fifth district race and I was, In the fifth district until they redistricted me to seven. So I was really impressed with her message and the fact that she was getting into the race, considering the odds weren’t all that great, at least she was willing to fight. So when I came across my phone with a news break that she was gonna be running for mayor, I immediately reached out on Facebook.
Brooks: She did.
Bernadette: And asked that I, if I can be of any kind of assistance to her campaign because I really believe in her message and what she’s all about. I feel like she’s the best candidate for the job because she does have the heart of the people in mind and not just about money or position and power.
Leahy: That terrible thing, money. (Brooks chuckles) I keep giving you a hard time about money.
Brooks: Keep bringing it up, Michael. Keep bringing it up because it makes people say, I need to donate to the campaign. We need your cash.
Leahy: We’ll get back to Bernadette here in just a minute. I still can’t believe that she said hi, I’m Bernadette.
Bernadette: You just kept walking.
Leahy: I just kept walking. It did not register.
Bernadette: That’s quite all right.
Leahy: No, not really. But now you’re here. I’m excited to have Bernadette and Natisha in here.
Brooks: I’m excited to have Bernadette on our team.
Leahy: Crom’s going to be delighted to meet you, Bernadette. Let’s go back to Natisha. Let’s talk about two bills that passed into law and the other is under consideration. I’ll ask about the one that passed into law right now.
Metro Nashville Council has 40 members. 39 right now. Steve Glover’s resigned and hasn’t been replaced yet. 40 members. When they had full strength, the Tennessee General Assembly, passed a bill. And signed it into law.
Brooks: Yes, they did. By.
Leahy: That the Metro Council now is gonna have a maximum of 20 members?
Brooks: Yes, that’s correct.
Leahy: What are your thoughts on that thought?
Brooks: One, if you can’t get it done in 20, you probably can’t get it done in 40. Thought two. I’m still a little disturbed about the 2024 Republican Convention. We shut down the city, Michael. We said we had to shut it down during COVID and then the one time when we have our chance, downtown businesses, businesses that failed, businesses that closed, had a chance to gain the money that they lost and what do we do with the Metro Council?
We say it’s a safety concern. A safety and security concern, as if Chief Drake, the great one, can’t have security and safety for the RNC. I believe that was a huge retaliation. Now, on the metro side, they say that the state is retaliating. The main thing is this, Michael. It’s not about the red or the blue right now. It’s about the green.
It’s about the money and saving businesses. We didn’t shut the country down. We didn’t shut the city down. So if there’s going to be 40 people and the next mayor, hopefully, us, that was gonna be very difficult to work with 40 people that are already against you before you even go into the office.
And then listening audience, you have to have a mayor that is willing to work with the state legislature. And right now, Michael, they are not willing to work with the state legislature. So hey, that’s what happens.
Leahy: It’s gonna happen. It’s gonna be 20. Are you happy or you would, you have voted in favor of it? Do you think it’s a good move?
Brooks: If I was a state legislator would’ve voted in favor of it.
Leahy: Let’s talk about some more of the legislation up at the Tennessee General Assembly right now. So there’s a law, I think the chances of passing are like 50/50. And what the law would do is it would get rid of the runoff elections. Right now if there’s a race for mayor on August 3rd, if no candidate gets 50 percent of the vote then the top two go to a run off on September 13th.
Brooks: That is correct.
Leahy: Now this bill would change that. And it would basically say whoever gets the most votes wins on August 3rd wins. I think the odds of it passing are about 50/50 right now. Do you favor that law or do you pose it?
Brooks: Actually, I favor it and I’m gonna tell you why. One, so many people are confused right now with so many elections going on. You got May, you got August, September, October, and then the money that is put into these elections for such low turnout. Let’s just go ahead and have one election and be done with it. Plurality, not a majority.
Leahy: That would make the odds of you winning greater.
Brooks: That’s great.
Leahy: Don’t you have some self-interest in that?
Brooks: I do. That’s true, Michael. (Leahy laughs) I do have some self-interest in that. Conservatives show up, then we win the race.
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 Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Natisha Brooks” by Natisha Brooks. Background Photo “Tennessee Capitol” by Carol M. Highsmith.