Top row, from left: Burkley Allen, Chris Cheng, Delishia Porterfield, Howard Jones. Bottom row, from left: Jeff Syracuse, Olivia Hill, Quin Evans-Segall, Russ Pulley Credit: Campaign photos

Delisha Porterfield and three other female candidates won at-large positions on the Metro Council on Thursday, creating a female majority for the first time in the history of the body.

Porterfield amassed more than 49,000 votes en route to first place. Attorney Quin Evans-Segall finished second, followed by incumbent at-large councilmember Burkley Allen and Olivia Hill, a retired Vanderbilt employee. Hill is the first elected transgender woman in Metro history. 

Hot sauce entrepreneur Chris Cheng finished in fifth place, followed by Howard Jones, and current councilmembers Jeff Syracuse and Russ Pulley. The loss is especially painful for Syracuse, who began his quest for the position last summer and raised more than $400,000.

Porterfield pursued the at-large seat after one term in the District 29 seat, from where she led the charge to reinstate Rep. Justin Jones after his expulsion, which was notable because Jones beat her for the District 52 state house seat in the 2022 election. She was one of the loudest voices against the Titan’s stadium deal and raised a total of $150,087 throughout the election season, the lowest of those who won the election, in part due to her joining the race so late in the game. Porterfield received endorsements from a number of progressive organizations from around the city, including Nashville Justice League, The Equity Alliance Fund, TIRRC Votes and a number of labor groups. 

Evans-Segall is an attorney who served on Nashville’s industrial development board. Although typically a rather invisible government body, during her time on the board she pushed back on deals the city was making, such as one with the Montgomery Bell Academy. She was the highest spender in pre-general campaign finance disclosures, and the highest fundraiser in runoff period. She won the support of a wide range of progressive groups, politicians and public figures, including endorsements from the Nashville Justice League, SEIU Local 205 and Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition Votes.

Burkley Allen was one of the two at-large incumbents who ran this term. Going into the general, she was a favorite to win a seat outright, but was edged out by both Zulfat Suara and Delishia Porterfield. Her fundraising numbers were second only to Jeff Syracuse. She received endorsements and donations from a long list of pro-business groups, as well as the Fraternal Order of Police and the firefighter’s union. She previously served two terms as the District 18 councilmember. 

Olivia Hill is the first transgender woman elected to the Metro Council. She has been an active LGBT advocate in Nashville for years and made headlines when she sued Vanderbilt for allegedly discriminating against her for being transgender. Her fundraising numbers consistently put her near the bottom of the pack, but it was balanced out by the endorsements and support she received from progressive groups and figures from around Nashville.

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...