Former Nashville school board member Fran Bush announces run for mayor

Former Nashville school board member Fran Bush announces run for mayor

Former Nashville school board member Fran Bush announced Friday that she is making a run for mayor.

Bush posted the announcement to her Facebook page around 9:30 a.m. Friday. Mayor John Cooper announced last month that he won’t seek a second term — a move followed by a growing list of people announcing mayoral runs.

“While serving my time as a school board member for Metro Nashville Public Schools for four years, I was able to learn on behalf of 80,000-plus students, their families, teachers, support staff and bus drivers,” Bush said in her announcement.

Bush said her work as a school board member focused on supporting students academically, fighting for pay raises and pushing for new school buildings and renovations.

“My work also included being the only board member who championed getting our students back in the classroom during an unprecedented time during COVID-19,” Bush said.

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Bush was vocal on her disagreement over schools staying closed due to COVID-19. While on the board in 2021, she faced controversy when she told teachers “quit your day job” if they did not feel safe returning to schools during the pandemic. The Nashville Education Association then filed a complaint against her. Bush lost to Cheryl Mayes for the District 6 seat on the MNPS Board of Education in August. She had served since 2018.

A Nashville native and graduate of Tennessee State University, Bush said she’d focus on neighborhoods, affordable housing, homelessness, crime prevention and safety, education and infrastructure if elected mayor.

“I am ready to step my game up, roll up my sleeves and do the good work to make Nashville the greatest city in this country,” Bush said.

Bush joins current Metro council members Sharon Hurt and Freddie O’Connell, as well as economic development veteran Matt Wiltshire and former AllianceBernstein COO Jim Gingrich in the race. Tennessee State Sen. Jeff Yarbro also announced he’d run for mayor on Friday.

May 18 is the qualifying deadline for the Aug. 3 election.