Mayoral candidate John Cooper spent more money in the last three weeks than all of his opponents put together.

Campaign disclosure forms filed with the Davidson County election commission show that Cooper spent nearly a million dollars between July 1 and and July 23. Much of money was spent on advertising.

Records show:

  • Cooper spent $953,689
  • Incumbent David Briley spent $427,861
  • John Ray Clemmons spent $152,340
  • Carol Swain spent $91,661.

Briley’s donations during this time period came from a mix of attorneys, realtors, architects and construction companies, some of whom are Metro contractors.

More than $18,000 of Briley’s campaign donations came from people associated with the Amazon project in Nashville Yards.

The project is being developed by a San Diego company called Southwest Value Partners. Briley’s campaign disclosure forms show Southwest Value Partners employees gave Briley a total of $11,200 in the last few weeks.  A political action committee – a PAC - run by one of Southwest Value Partner's employees gave Briley another $7,500.

Employees at the commercial real estate company Southeast Venture donated a total of $6,000 to Briley during the last three weeks.

Briley reported that the PAC Greater Nashville Hospitality Association donated $8,100 to his campaign.

A lot of John Cooper's money came from his own pocket; campaign records show he has loaned himself $1.45 million for the mayor's race so far. 

Briley's campaign issued this statement:

"John Cooper is doing his best to buy this election. He has sunk $1.45M into his campaign – five times the amount he's raised from individuals. We are proud to be running a community-wide campaign with more than 1,000 individual donors who have contributed $1.2 million so far. Nashville deserves more than a millionaire developer trying to buy the mayor’s office. Being mayor is about bringing our community together and building consensus. By reaching for his pocketbook instead of asking Nashvillians to place their trust in him, John Cooper is doing neither of those things."

The Cooper campaign sent the following statement: 

“We are following the Phil Bredesen model. This allows us to be Mayor in the right way. John’s willingness to spend his own money on a campaign for good governance shows the level of his commitment and that he is not beholden to special interests.  We have had well over 600 donors contribute since our campaign kickoff on April 15, 2019.”

Briley has the most cash left in his campaign fund:

  • Briley $199,603
  • Cooper $136,458
  • Swain  $49,973
  • Clemmons  $32,338

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Nancy Amons is an award-winning member of the News4 Investigates team. She has been breaking stories in Middle Tennessee for more than 20 years.

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