Credit: Courtesy Fox 17/WZTV

Alice Rolli called out District Attorney Glenn Funk at Tuesday Night’s Fox17 Mayoral Debate for not prosecuting certain crimes. 

Due to the format of the debate, she did not get much time to expand on her statement. The debate lasted 25 minutes, with multiple commercial breaks throughout. During that short time, Rolli and Freddie O’Connell were given 45 seconds each to answer eight questions, with the option for a 30-second rebuttal to each other’s answers. Topics included public safety, school safety, downtown crime, traffic, taxes, permanent supportive housing and battles between Metro and the state. 

“Especially with stolen guns, we’re not prosecuting those crimes,” Rolli told the Banner following the debate. “I recognize that they are hard crimes to prosecute. But I think if we see the work that the DA in Hamilton County and to a certain extent the DA in Shelby County is doing, they have a little higher rate of prosecuting them. So I’d like to see that happen.”

State Republicans have singled out Funk in Nashville and District Attorney Steve Mulroy in Memphis for not prosecuting marijuana possession, but Rolli says that her main focus is stolen guns.

“If it’s a challenge in the interpretation of the law and we need to change the law to be able to get a higher prosecution rate, then let’s hear that,” says Rolli.

The rest of the debate was less substantive, with the candidates retreading ground that they had already touched on during many of the general election forums. But despite having only two candidates — compared to the eight that were at most of the pre-Aug. 3 mayoral forums — the debate was rushed with both candidates running out of time to give detailed answers.

O’Connell Picks Up Endorsements from Wiltshire, Union

Matt Wiltshire, who finished third in the general election for mayor, has endorsed Freddie O’Connell for mayor. 

The endorsement came midday on Monday in the form of a video shot outside of Eakin Elementary School, which Wiltshire and O’Connell both attended and where Wiltshire says he and O’Connell joked about having their first debate had they both made the runoff. 

“Over the course of this runoff, I hope that you’ll really listen to the candidates, that you’ll attend the forums, that you’ll ask tough questions, and that you’ll think about ‘what does our city really need right now?’ And if you do, I think you’ll come to the same conclusion that I have,” says Wiltshire in the video. “Nashville is ready for Freddie.”

Although he came in third, Wiltshire finished second in 17 of the biggest precincts and picked up a substantial portion of the African-American vote. He received 17 percent of the vote compared to Rolli’s 20 percent in the general election. Jeff Yarbro and Heidi Campbell, who came in fourth and fifth place and have also endorsed O’Connell, collectively received 20 percent of the vote. Of the major candidates, only Sharon Hurt and Vivian Wilhoite have yet to endorse.

SEIU Local 205 has also endorsed O’Connell following a vote by members of its political committee. The labor union, which represents both public and private sector workers, had previously endorsed metro council candidates, but had not endorsed anyone for mayor in the general election. 

“Freddie is different from the last few mayors. He’s not from the corporate world. We want a mayor who will think of us when he’s in that office making the budget and setting the priorities for the city,” said Donna Clay, a MNPS support staff employee of 11 years, in a press release from the union. “Freddie says he wants us to stay. I believe he is concerned about all of us. We are supporting Freddie because we want to stay!”

Other SEIU endorsements:

At-Large candidates:

  • Chris Cheng
  • Quin Evans-Segall
  • Olivia Hill
  • Delishia Porterfield

District candidates:

  • Mike Cortese, District 4
  • Eric Patton, District 11
  • Tasha Ellis, District 29

Zulfat Suara, the incumbent at-large councilmember who won her seat outright in the general election, was also endorsed by SEIU Local 205.