Freddie O'Connell speaks during a mayoral forum hosted by the Banner, Nashville Scene and Nashville Post Credit: Hamilton Matt Masters/Nashville Post

TIRRC Votes, the political arm of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, is endorsing Freddie O’Connell in the race for mayor.

“For us, on the eve of early voting, with thousands of Nashvillians considering who to vote for, we are excited to say that Freddie is our choice to lead the city,” says TIRRC Votes executive director Lisa Sherman Luna. “We need someone who understands all the levers to pull and the importance of including immigrant families in decisions and policies about our city, and so for us, it was Freddie’s enthusiasm, his commitment and his readiness but also his vision for our city.”

While the endorsement does not come with a financial contribution, TIRRC Votes aims to reach more than 21,000 households and 32,000 immigrant voters with their endorsement. They have also reached out to more than 67,000 pro-immigrant voters through text message and have a team of 60 people knocking on doors. They expect to knock on thousands of doors with their endorsement of O’Connell. 

“He has a proven track record of being a champion for immigrant and refugee families in Metro government,” says Sherman Luna, referencing his no vote on Metro’s license plate reader pilot as well as the support he has given to policies that benefit immigrants. 

TIRRC Votes is part of the Nashville Justice League, an alliance of three organizations: TIRRC Votes, The Equity Alliance and the Central Labor Council. While the NJL endorsed a list of Metro Council candidates, TIRRC votes is the only organization in the group so far to make an endorsement for mayor. 

“I’ve learned from and worked with TIRRC for almost 20 years as they’ve helped to make Nashville and Tennessee more fundamentally welcoming communities,” O’Connell told the Banner in a statement. “I’m deeply honored to have earned the endorsement and support of one of the most effective voter mobilizing organizations in the state and look forward to continuing to partner and collaborate with them.”

O’Connell also recently picked up the endorsement of District 13 Councilmember Russ Bradford. 

In other endorsement news, term limited Coucilmember At-large Bob Mendes, who previously endorsed Freddie O’Connell, is also endorsing District 34 Council Member Angie Henderson in her race to win the vice mayor’s seat over incumbent Jim Shulman.