Belmont University hosted the first live, televised 2019 mayoral debate last night with Nashville’s leading mayoral candidates participating.
Co-sponsored by The Tennessean and NewsChannel 5, the debate provided voters an up close perspective on the positions of current Mayor David Briley, State Representative John Ray Clemmons, Metro Councilman John Cooper and retired Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain. Moderators David Plazas (opinion and engagement editor of The Tennessean) and Rhori Johnston (NewsChannel 5 anchor) questioned the candidates on a variety of issues impacting Nashville, including infrastructure, transit, education, affordable housing and even scooters.
“Belmont always seeks to be an engaged member of this community, bringing people together to talk about issues, whether it’s a mayoral, gubernatorial or even a presidential debate,” Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said. “This city’s course directly impacts our alumni and campus community, and we want to do our part to help educate voters in a race that determines Nashville’s future while also modeling active citizenship for our students.”
Belmont and the two news organizations have a long track record of hosting successful debates, forums and public policy discussions. Early voting in the mayoral race begins July 12 with election day on Aug. 1.
The debate was broadcast live from Belmont’s McAfee Concert Hall on NewsChannel 5 and streamed on NewsChannel5.com and Tennessean.com. All tickets for the free event, which was open to the public to attend, were reserved prior to last night’s debate. Belmont political science students Matthew Nicholson, Mark Wardlaw and Jace Wilder, along with University staff, served as volunteer hosts for the candidates.
Belmont will be hosting a second mayoral debated in McAfee Concert Hall with news partner WKRN on Tuesday, July 9. A limited number of tickets remain available for this debate and can be reserved for free here.