Metropolitan Nashville & Davidson County Mayoral Race
In 2007, David Briley’s campaign in the five-way Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County mayoral race hired Nesbitt Research to detail the records of four candidates who served on the City Council (Buck Dozier, Karl Dean, Robert Clements and David Briley). Our examination of Dozier found he had served in several appointed positions for which he was accused of being unqualified. We reviewed local media reports and found that in 1994, Dozier had been appointed fire chief despite having no firefighting experience. We then obtained and reviewed documentation including budgets and audits providing original source analysis of his performance and later resignation. We examined council minutes and discovered Dozier had missed 12 percent of council votes and had an inconsistent history on taxes and government spending. Our inspection of campaign finance records alongside contracts uncovered a pay to play relationship in which Dean had doled out more than $1.6 million in no-bid legal work to donors who were funding his mayoral bid. Although our candidate lagged in fundraising, we mounted a spirited campaign based on a thorough understanding of our opponents.