Nashville Mayoral Candidate Fran Bush Plans on Raising $500,000 for Her Campaign

Nashville Mayoral Candidate Fran Bush Plans on Raising $500,000 for Her Campaign

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, Fran Bush in studio to talk about affordable housing and campaign financing.

Leahy: It’s so much fun interviewing our good friend Fran Bush. Fran, you’re running for mayor.

Bush: Yes.

Leahy: Your priorities, we’ll get to your priorities and your funding. So, number one, more police officers, more money for police. What are a couple of your other priorities as mayor?

Bush: The thing that keeps popping up all the time is what the big affordable housing here in the city.

Leahy: The big A, affordable housing.

Bush: We have to address this issue, and there are so many different ideas that I have if I’m elected for mayor. And I’m one of those that I am a listener and then I execute. So I’m going to be able to identify more resources for affordable housing. I’m going to be really involved because I have worked with developers, and they want to work with you, and they want to work with a community.

And so I want to come up with ways that we can really work together and really tackle this affordable housing in different ways. I think some of the things that are happening now are working, but there’s so much more we can do, and I have so many ideas to get the work done for affordable housing.

Leahy: What would one of those ideas be on affordable housing?

Bush: With affordable housing, it comes with, again, you have to have built relationships and building those relationships, because I have been an HOA president for so many years.

Leahy: Hold it. You’ve been a homeowner’s association president? Oh, my goodness.

Bush: Yes.

Leahy: Oh, my goodness. So you live in a development, and there’s a homeowners association, and you’re the president of it?

Bush: Yes, president. I’ve been president of not only one newly developed community but two. So I had an opportunity to really build relationships with those contractors, those developers. And when you build relationships with developers, they want to work with the community.

And a lot of times we don’t really know that. We think, oh, they’re going to buy the land and they’re going to build. No, it’s much more relationship development in that process. So when these communities were being built, I made sure sidewalks were put in. I made sure we had a greenway, and we had space in places for our kids. I was very instrumental in working with developers to make sure that happened and held them accountable.

Leahy: Those are your top priorities?

Bush: Some of them, yes.

Leahy: Some of them. Let’s talk about money. Some of your opponents have already announced they’ve got a million bucks in the bank. How much money do you think it will take to win the August 3rd election or to get into the runoff?

Bush: I personally will say this. When I first ran for school board, I didn’t have a lot of money. What I did was I had a heart and passion for people, and that actually filled that gap, should I say, because it was about the votes.

So I touched people and I was able to identify that. I’m just like you. The only difference is I want to be your leader. If I have to fill that financial gap, that’s okay, because the most important thing for me is to be very intentional about working in the community and touching people. I’m just like you. I work every day.

I put food on the table for my kids. I support my kids and my husband. Just be a part of society and be able to be a leader that has experience. And that’s what you want in your next mayor. You want someone in Nashville that can regain the trust of their mayor.

And because of my history on the school board and being able to execute, be able to make a difference, and be able to change laws. I changed the law. Students can’t go back virtual unless it’s absolutely if there’s some type of emergency. And even then, it’s very limited time to be out of the classroom. So because of my fighting stance down on the local level, the legislature made a law.

Leahy: Other candidates have said to win or to get into the runoff, there’ll be an election on August 3rd. If no one gets 50 percent of the vote on August 3rd, then the top two finishers go to a September 13th or 14th runoff election. Most people that I’ve talked to and most candidates say you’ll need $2 million to be able to do that. Do you have an expectation that you can raise $2 million for Fran Bush?

Bush: You know what? I’ll be honest when it comes to the financial gains of running a campaign, sometimes it’s a turn-off and not just people, but I think Nashvillians want to send a clear message that they want the right person as their next mayor. The financial piece is not as important.

They’re wanting someone that can really be a leader and be able to move the needle in the city. As far as all the issues that we are having that we need to address, and not even just issues, but things to continue to move our city in the right direction.

Remember, probably 70 percent of Nashvillians are not millionaires, right? They’re people just like you and me. And they don’t care about the money. They care about substance and who can lead the city.

Leahy: I think the issue with the $2 million is it’s sort of the nuts and bolts to be able to get your message out. There’s going to be at least 10, maybe more people running, and there are just so many people you can talk one on one to.

So to get your message out, you’ll have to do radio, direct mail, digital marketing, and maybe television. Maybe. And if the other folks are spending $2 million, $3 million, $4 million, and you’re spending, how much do you think you’ll spend?

Bush: I’m going to have several fundraisers throughout the city. My goal is to do a lot of digital marketing. Social media is where my platform is. Social media, social media, social media. My website is

People can go there. They can donate to my campaign. If you believe what I’ve done for the past four years, and I have made a huge difference, and you believe that I can do the same thing for my city, for our city, then please go and support me.

Leahy: So, a lot of our listeners are saying, you know, I’d really like to have somebody who isn’t a left-wing lunatic for mayor. And you’ve demonstrated that you have common sense. You’ve demonstrated that in your four years on the Metro Nashville School Board.

But they also say we need somebody who can win. And to win you need $2 million. You are not quite getting to how much money you have in your budget or that you think you’ll be able to raise. Can you give us an idea of what you think your budget will be?

Bush: And again, it’s so up in the air with what budget I will need. Again, the donations are definitely greatly appreciated and needed. But I’m very strategic in how I reach people. So I’ve done it and I know how to get it done. Again, my platform if I don’t raise a million dollars or 2 million, my goal is to reach people. And my message will resonate throughout the city because of social media.

Social media is pretty much the prime time right now. That’s where everybody is at. They are on their phones all day and scrolling and being able to do their own research. So I don’t really have a complete budget. What I do have is that I will have a budget and a plan to get there.

Leahy: What do you think that minimum number is that you’ll be able to raise between now and the election?

Bush: $1 million and $2 million, that is a stretch for me, I don’t have that. In my head, I would say half a million.

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.















Nashville Mayoral Candidate Natisha Brooks Outlines Her Agenda Items

Nashville Mayoral Candidate Natisha Brooks Outlines Her Agenda Items

Live from Music Row, Friday 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 mayoral candidate Natisha Brooks in studio to discuss her stance on the Titans Stadium deal, reduction of Metro Council members, police support, education, and fixing the budget.

Leahy: We are in studio with the sartorially splendid Natisha Brooks. She’s running for mayor. That website will be up in a couple of days over the weekend. Natisha, are you ready for the big question?

Brooks: Yes, I’m ready.

Leahy: All of the experts tell us that to mount a successful campaign for mayor. The election is going to be in August. August 3rd.

Brooks: Correct.

Leahy: You need about $2 million.

Brooks: That is correct.

Leahy: Now, I looked at your financial reports from the time you were in for Congress. There were fewer zeros on that report.

Brooks: Yes.

Leahy: And so the question is, do you agree that will take $2 million to win?

Brooks: Oh, yes.

Leahy: You do?

Brooks: I already predict the outcome. Myself against Sharon Hurt. And if you don’t know who Sharon Hunt is, she’s going to play the color card. We’re going to do the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We’re going to play the character card. Bring character back to Nashville.

Not your color. We’re not vying to try to be the first black mayor. We’re trying to bring character, not color. Character back to Nashville. Folks., we will raise the money.

We have to raise at least $2 million to help take this city back. Hit that donate button. Donors, PACs, I’m coming for you. We love your prayers, but, Michael, we need your cash.

Leahy: (Chuckles) Love your prayers but need your cash.

Brooks: Need your cash.

Leahy: This is why people love Natisha. Just right to the point.

Brooks: We need your cash.

Leahy: And you think you can raise $2 million? It’s a long order. Color me a little skeptical on the ability to raise $2 million from scratch.

Brooks: Catholics, Methodists, we believe. We’ve got faith. We’re going to raise it. I need you to hit I need your cash. We need your cash. We got to get out there, get ahead. By the way, some of you will wake up Monday morning and see signs all over Nashville. Ms. Brooks is already ready to put at least $100,000 of my own money into the race.

Leahy: Now, let me ask the next question. You know, there’s this little deal out there where I’ve talked about it, and I think it’s a terrible deal. It’s where the Tennessee Titans have basically stuck their hand out and said, Tennessee state taxpayers give us some money.

And the state of Tennessee inexplicably is giving them half a billion dollars. And then Metro Nashville is doing all sorts of things to leverage their special taxes and privileges that have been given to them by the state legislature to use that for bonding to raise another $750 million.

And then the NFL supposedly is going to give $800 million. But it doesn’t look like there’s really a lot of it actually coming out of the pockets of the family that owns the Titans. It’s a $2.2 billion deal. As mayor, do you oppose or favor this stadium deal?

Brooks: Currently, right now, Michael, we oppose it, and I’m going to tell you why. One, if someone would put a concrete plan in front of Natisha of how we’re going to pay for the stadium, and that’s why you need to vote Natisha for Nashville for mayor, we’re the only ones that are going to be able to work with the Tennessee State Legislature.

I’m going to be up there, and we’re going to have to have a talk because, Michael, if you looked at the plan so far, where we are parking, Michael, with all this money? Where the stadium is going to be, where are we going to park and why do we have to pay for it?

And I tell people all this all the time. You all know I transplanted from Texas. I say, you can Texas my Tennessee and Tennessee my Texas. But, hey, I would love to sit down and talk with the owner a little bit. I know she’s got a new general manager over there, but right now the answer is no. I am not in favor of the new Titan Stadium currently, right now.

Leahy: What I would suggest is when you say, why don’t you finance it entirely Amy Adams-Strunk? We think it’s a great idea if you pay for it.

Brooks: Yes.

Leahy: Not the city citizens and the voters of Nashville, Davidson County.

Brooks: And the 40-member Metro Council. Just 30 seconds on that. I am in favor of squeezing that down.

Leahy: To 20.

Brooks: You got it!

Leahy: It’s interesting to me; it’s been framed as a sort of punishment, supposedly.

Brooks: Retaliation.

Leahy: Retaliation for not hosting the Republican National Committee convention here in 2024. To me, I mean, I’ve lived in this area for 31 years. When I first moved here, and I heard they had a 40-member Metro council, I said, how do they ever get anything done?

Brooks: Exactly. Let’s just say, Michael, we win. Can you imagine us with 40 members? I don’t want to use the word against because Natisha is going to work, but how can we work with a 40-member council? And how many conservatives do we have down there? We got Swope.

Leahy: Three or four.

Brooks: Three or four. What are we going to do, Michael?

Leahy: Okay. Speaking of what are we going to do? So you’re on the record. Your goal is to raise $2 million.

Brooks: That is correct.

Leahy: You are opposed to the stadium deal.

Brooks: Correct.

Leahy: You favor reducing the council size from 40 to 20.

Brooks: Yes.

Leahy: What are your other agenda items?

Brooks: One, the number one is we have to talk about, everyone knows this. I’m the three C’s. Christian, conservative, constitutionalist. That’s very important to me.

I need you to understand that constituents. But the very first thing I want everyone to know is I am pro-blue. We’re going to take 30 seconds to talk about Memphis. I know Chief Drake myself, personally. He’s a great guy.

Leahy: John Drake here. The police chief in Nashville.

Brooks: Yes. And he’s been here a long time.

Leahy: Long time.

Brooks: Hey, I was in a car accident the other day, Michael.

Leahy: Are you okay?

Brooks: I’m okay a little bit, but I’m not okay that it took 45 minutes for an officer to come to the scene. And just so that you know, is an off-duty officer that got out of his car to help me. We need to talk and sit down about our police. They’re not going anywhere. If we’re going to do a Titan Stadium, let’s increase our police force.

I’m strongly pro-blue. Very pro blue. So that’s one thing. The other thing I want to get something done about this homelessness. Somebody said, well, Miss Brooks, don’t go left on us. I’m not going left, folks. I’m not going left. But one thing I do have to do is have some empathy about folks being on the streets.

Because of our 34 percent tax increase, we got folks that are not one check away from the streets, they’re almost under, just under away from the streets. And just because you’re rich and you live in a $2 million home or $3 million home, I don’t believe in punishing the rich.

Hey, I support the rich. I congratulate the rich. But just because we’re rich or you’ve got money doesn’t mean you need to be taxed more. So, as always, let’s get this budget going. I’m in education.

Let’s talk about the school board. My main focus on the budget with the school board is talking about that curriculum. As you know, Governor DeSantis in Florida did away with the AP Black American History, and I know a lot of African Americans are fired up about it.

Leahy: And the reason is that the last quarter of it was basically left-wing ideology.

Brooks: That is correct.

Leahy: They’ve resubmitted it, by the way.

Brooks: That’s right.

Leahy: And apparently he’s going to prove the resubmission without the left-wing junk.

Brooks: I saw that. But we’ve got to work with education.

Leahy: The problem with education is all the mayor does is say, oh, we approve your budget.

Brooks: Exactly.

Leahy: And then they can spend whatever they want. Are you going to change that?

Brooks: We’re going to change that.

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

– – –

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 “Natisha Brooks” by Natisha Brooks. Background Photo “Tennessee Capitol” by Ichabod. CC BY-SA 3.0.