2023 Nashville Mayoral Debates Held at Belmont University & American Baptist College


Belmont University is hosting televised debates for the leading candidates for Nashville mayor. The first debate was held on May 18, 2023. More debates are scheduled throughout the summer.

Candidates join co-moderator David Plazas from The Tennessean and Carrie Sharp from News Channel 5 on stage for a 90-minute question and answer session.

Of the fifteen candidates that have petitioned to run for mayor, nine participate in Thursday’s debate. Debate participants were chosen based on two factors:

The candidate raised at least $50,000 by the March 31 reporting period of the Davidson County Election Commission.

The candidate presently holds an elective office in a county or legislative capacity.

“It is not a perfect formula,” Plazas said. “But we believe it will allow us to focus on candidates who have made a concerted and organized effort to court voters’ support and/or who have a record of current public service.”

The panel of candidates include State Senator for District 20 Heidi Campbell, at-large Metro Council member Sharon Hurt, District 19 Council member Freddie O’Connell, Davidson County property assessor Vivian Wilhoite, State Senator for District 21 Jeff Yarbro, former educator Natisha Brooks, AllianceBernstein COO Jim Gingrich, business strategist and former political aide Alice Rolli and former economic development and housing executive Matt Wiltshire.

The debate series is sponsored by The Tennessean, NewsChannel 5 and the League of Women Voters of Nashville, with Belmont University hosting May and June debates and American Baptist College hosting the July 6 event.

Next Nashville Mayoral Debate Dates and Locations:

  • June 22 at Belmont’s Fisher Center
  • July 6 at American Baptist College
  • August 24 at Belmont’s Fisher Center

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