Mayoral candidate Alice Rolli Credit: Campaign photo

One of Alice Rolli’s first events after making the runoff for Nashville mayor was to go to the Republican Party state executive committee meeting in Wilson County, where party leaders were busy trying to shut down a special session on gun violence.

“The Tennessee Republican Party encourages Gov. Bill Lee to reconsider and not have a special session Aug. 21, 2023,” read a resolution that passed unanimously, according to the Chattanooga Times-Free Press. Lee called the session on Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Rolli previewed at the meeting the crime message she hopes will help her win.

“And I know that we can take Councilman O’Connell on this message alone: Business owners, if you have a business in Davidson County, or if you come to visit Davidson County, you see the rise in crime, you see what is happening when we don’t let police do their jobs,” Rolli said to the GOP leaders. “You see what’s happening when we politicize basic decisions like should we use technology to help police officers with things as simple as license plate readers.”

License plate readers have been a controversial topic and her opponent has been skeptical. At the conclusion of a pilot program, the Community Oversight Board concluded that some of the placement of LPRs was discriminatory. MNPD disputed this claim.

On Tuesday, Rolli said that she doesn’t have any more partisan Republican items on her calendar.

“It’s a good question,” she told the Banner when asked about how the visit squares with her statements about avoiding state and national political issues like gun control and abortion. “Probably should have thought about it a little bit more.”

Rolli said she spent less than an hour with the executive committee. The vote against a special session came at the end of a long meeting. 

Rolli said she also attended the December executive committee meeting with a friend and that was when she first heard about “plans to hurt Nashville,” like cutting the size of the council and taking the airport authority. Her argument to a reporter was that it was better to have someone in those rooms talking to state Republicans than not.

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...