Screenshot from an ad for Alice Rolli by the Save Nashville PAC.

With less than four weeks to go in the mayor’s race, a conservative PAC will hit the airwaves this week warning about rising crime and “once-great cities” designed to turn out right-leaning voters.

Save Nashville PAC was formed on June 16 and lists Robert Echols and Tom Landstreet as officers and a West Nashville P.O. box as its address. The PAC has reserved more than $150,000 in broadcast TV ads over the next three-and-a-half weeks for two ads. 

“Wake up, Nashville!” says the voiceover against images of unruly mobs. “How many once-great cities around the U.S. are now complete disasters? Is Nashville next? Alice Rolli will protect Nashville and keep it a clean, safe city. Help save Nashville. Vote Alice Rolli.”

The second ad focuses on crime, arguing that Rolli will fill vacant police officer positions and “let them do their job.” 

The ads are the first independent expenditures of the campaign in support of a single candidate. The approach follows a similar strategy to the 2015 mayoral race, when David Fox made it to the runoff with a simple, conservative message, while a sharper-edged PAC, run by his brother, produced tougher ads. Fox is Rolli’s treasurer. 

PACs are not allowed to coordinate with campaigns. 

The size of the ad buy represents almost as much money as Rolli’s campaign had on hand — $166,000 — at the end of June. Even though Rolli will be heavily outspent by Democrats in the field, she has a path to the runoff if she can consolidate typical Republicans in this nonpartisan race. Republican Carol Swain got 22 percent of the vote in 2019, which could be enough to reach a runoff in a field with so many well-known or well-funded Democrats.

Landstreet and Echols are both longtime Republicans and members at Belle Meade Country Club. Landstreet, the PAC treasurer, is co-founder and president of Trusco Investment Management, a Nashville-based private equity firm. He previously worked for Laffer Associates, an economic policy group that gets its name from conservative economist Arthur Laffer, who’s best known for his time on President Ronald Reagan’s Economic Policy Board, and also donated to mayoral candidate Matt Wiltshire. Landstreet is also a former contributor to Forbes, where he wrote a column arguing that Democrats are responsible for economic inequality

The Banner left messages with Landstreet asking for comment on the campaign. 

Steve is a three-decade veteran of newspapers, working around the country at places like the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune before returning home to Nashville in 2011 to edit The City Paper and Nashville...