Tennessee state Sen. Jeff Yarbro enters Nashville mayor

Tennessee state Sen. Jeff Yarbro enters Nashville mayor

State Sen. Jeff Yarbro is throwing his hat into the race for Nashville’s next mayor.

Mayor John Cooper announced last month that he wouldn’t seek a second term, creating a wide-open race for the city’s top elected position.

Yarbro announced his campaign Friday.

“It’s time for us to invest in ourselves,” Yarbro said in a statement. “This has to be a city where you can not just make a living but build a life. Our city’s future can’t be set by investors from all over the country or legislators from all over the state. We — the people of Nashville — have to decide our own future.”

He joins current 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.

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

More:Nashville mayoral election 2023: With John Cooper out, here’s who’s running

Yarbro has served as a Democratic state Senator representing parts of Nashville since 2014, and he works as an attorney Bass, Berry & Sims law firm. He was reelected to the District 21 seat last year. State senators serve four-year terms.

He was previously the Senate minority leader and is often an outspoken dissenting voice in the chamber and committee meetings controlled by a Republican supermajority.

In his campaign announcement, Yarbro said it sometimes feels like the city doesn’t prioritize its residents.

“We want Nashville to keep being a place where people come to chase their dreams, but it also has to be a city with safe neighborhoods, affordable homes, great public schools, and city services that folks can count on,” he said. “The cranes dotting Nashville’s skyline don’t represent our highest aspirations – our greatness is found in the neighborhoods and communities we call home.”