As his last day in the state legislature was winding down yesterday, Nashville Rep. Mike Turner mentioned the legislature's particular interest in Nashville, evidenced by a number of bills aimed specifically at Nashville.
Had he considered, Pith asked, the possibility that he might be on the other side of that equation if he becomes mayor in 2015?
"I think I've got a pretty good relationship with them, and I don't think we'll have some of the same problems that we might be having now," said the House Democratic Caucus Chairman, who is outgoing in both senses of the word. "Not to say that Mayor Dean's done anything wrong, I've just been around a long time and have a relationship with these guys and they know me, and most of them trust me."
In January, Turner confirmed what many had assumed — that he was "looking at" running in Nashville's upcoming mayoral race. After what he told Pith yesterday, it's fair to say he's actively considering it.
"We're going to get out of here and I'm going to run a poll — I've already run one poll," he said. "A small poll, inexpensive poll, which was very encouraging. I'm going to do another one in July and I hope that I'm going to get my family together, we'll go on vacation somewhere — we're still working on where that's going to be between now and July — and we're going to make a family decision."
Along with family considerations, Turner also noted that a run for mayor would mean he'd have to leave the fire department a couple of years before getting retirement. As anyone who's seen the freewheeling, outspoken Democrat work the legislature would assume, he thinks he has a pretty good shot if he does run.
"It's something I've always wanted to do," he said. "It's something I think that I'm qualified to do and I think I'm positioned to do it with my experience here and also I worked for the city for almost 30 years so I understand how Metro works, so we'll see how it goes. I don't have a whole lot of personal wealth like some of the people who may be running, but my name recognition is up there pretty high and they'll have to spend a million dollars just to get where my name recognition is, so we might be starting even."
At-Large Metro Councilwoman Megan Barry is the only candidate officially in the race so far, but the list of people openly considering a run includes former Metro school board chairman David Fox, Democratic money men Charles Robert Bone and Bill Freeman, LEAD Academy founder Jeremy Kane, and more.