Nashville’s Top Republican Candidate for Mayor Alice Rolli on Her Surge in the Polls as Early Voting is Underway

Jul 20, 2023

As the Nashville mayoral election cycle heats up and early voting has begun, leading Republican candidate Alice Rolli joins The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy in-studio on Thursday to discuss her campaign up until now and her plans for Music City.


Michael Patrick Leahy: 6:06 a.m.; broadcasting live from our studios on Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee; it’s Thursday, July 20th, 2023.

We are delighted to welcome to our microphones for the full hour Alice Rolli, who is a candidate for mayor of Nashville-Davidson County.

And Alice, the momentum of your campaign is really moving.

You know, when you first came in here, I thought, well it’s gonna be hard for a Republican to do well – but you had a particular strategy and your advertisement is on Fox News. You’re doing some advertisement with us here, on this station, and you’re reaching out to the conservatives, and it seems to be doing very well.

I saw the recent poll. You’re in third place and rising 20 percent for Freddie O’Connell, 15 percent for Matt Wilshire, 13 percent for you.

Of course, margin of error, is about 4 percent. These polls are not exactly done by national firms. Dave Rosenberg put this poll together – so perhaps a little asterisk, but still, I think there’s momentum in your campaign that I’ve noticed.

And you’re getting some pretty good remarks and good reports. Tell us a little bit about it. How the campaign’s going?

Alice Rolli: Well, Michael Patrick, thanks for having me back on, and it is two weeks from today, right when you welcomed us on Thursday, I realized two weeks from today is election day – but we want you to vote early, if you like.

Michael Patrick Leahy: Early voting has been going on for a little over a week, and it continues till what, next Friday?

Alice Rolli:  Yes. Through the 29th.

Michael Patrick Leahy: 29th, okay. Good.

Alice Rolli: And I don’t have a calendar in front of me and it’s a little bit early. I don’t want anybody to hear the wrong day of the week – but the 29th of July – my husband’s birthday. So it’s a good day to end.

Michael Patrick Leahy: So again, I think what’s interesting because, when you started your campaign there were a number of skeptics – including yours truly.

And boy, you have run a very good campaign.

Alice Rolli: Thank you.

Michael Patrick Leahy: You’ve worked hard on it.

Alice Rolli: Worked hard – I hired a team really knowing that I was going in being outspent.

I hired a team that has won a lot of down-ballot races, being outspent 10 to one. And I think you can see in some of these recent polls ones that we’ve seen publicly, and then I have to imagine ones that contributed to Jim Gingrich’s, you know, decision, as he mentioned in his remarks on Monday, his statement to the press–

Michael Patrick Leahy: He withdrew.

And Jim said he’d seen the polling data. And that’s why he withdrew.

And look, you know, he certainly has the right to do this. And he lived here more than three years. And You know, but he spent about $2 million- mostly on television ads on, you know the various local television networks here, and didn’t seem to be catching on.

And he probably said, ‘Well, I burned through 2 million bucks. I don’t need to burn through anymore.’

Alice Rolli: Well, I really came to respect Jim at these forums as, as really the only two business people in the room.

We would look at the numbers and he was great at articulating that and was actually kind of nice to have a friend so you didn’t feel totally alone in the wilderness in articulating what we could both see that the spending in the city is up dramatically, but the results are down.

And he was helpful at articulating that.

He’s an excellent business leader. And actually, I think the courage that it took for him to say, “I’m gonna step back for the good of the city to see how maybe staying in the race could have led to someone else winning.”

I think that was a really sacrificial act on his part.

Michael Patrick Leahy: So here’s what’s interesting. We went to an event on Saturday. It was a fun event – Edwin Warner Park. A pretty nice turnout. The Davidson County Republican Party. And they had a straw poll.

Alice Rolli: They did.

Michael Patrick Leahy: And so on the presidential side, it was, I think, Trump got 56 votes, DeSantis 20; Vivek got 11, and then smattering among the others.

But what really struck me was the mayoral race. I mean, it was a landslide. You got 91 votes.

You spoke there, Natisha Brooks spoke there, and she’s also a Republican.

There are only two registered Republicans in the 12-person field, now 11-person field. She got five votes.

Jim Gingrich got one.

This tells me that you have solidified your base among Republicans in Davidson County.

Alice Rolli: I hope so. I hope I’ve earned their respect. I think they’ve seen the consistency in our message, and I hope to have the opportunity to serve all Nashvillians.

Michael Patrick Leahy: When we come back, we’ll get into the issues a little bit and there’s some craziness going on in Metro Nashville Public Schools.

You’ve identified that, and we’ll talk about that when we get back.

This is The Tennessee Star Report. She’s Alice Rolli, I’m Michael Patrick Leahy.

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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 “Alice Rolli” by Alice Rolli. Background Photo “Nashville City Hall” by Luckiewiki. CC BY-SA 4.0.