With Mayor John Cooper announcing this week that he will not run for reelection, the 2023 mayoral race became wide open.

Several new candidates are now considering jumping in. But for those who launched bids before Cooper’s announcements, this week also saw a campaign finance reporting deadline that provides new insight into the race.

Ex-Metro official Matt Wiltshire and Metro Councilmember Freddie O’Connell (plus Cooper) filed campaign finance reports covering the second half of 2022 and the first two weeks of 2023.

Wiltshire leads in the money battle after he brought in nearly $900,000 in contributions and another nearly $350,000 in personal loans to his campaign. He spent $149,314.77 during the reporting period and has more than $1 million remaining on hand.

O’Connell, meanwhile, raised $244,255.33 during the reporting period and spent $70,565.86, leaving him with $262,956.99 on hand.

Cooper raised $130,655.00, spent $166,607.36 and had $259,583.39 on hand for a race he will not run. Cooper also personally paid off $725,000 in loans he made to his campaign in 2019, according to the report.

Many of the more prominent contributors to the campaigns of O’Connell and Wiltshire covered their bases by donating to both candidates. Those giving to both O’Connell and Wiltshire included former mayors Megan Barry and David Briley, former mayoral candidate Charles Robert Bone, downtown developer Tony Giarratana and Hal Cato, who considered a run for mayor before accepting the job leading the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

Both Bone and Barry are now considering runs for mayor in 2023 following Cooper’s decision to bow out.

Hurt only started fundraising in December and reported raising $5,200 and spending $354.69.

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