The Math and the Moment

November 30, 2022

As we approach the end of the year, the 2023 Nashville's mayor's race, vice mayor, and Council races are the only elections on the horizon.

It's an exciting, important moment. But we need your help.

Here's the good news: we're in the race. We've already raised more money than I've ever raised for anything—and I'm the candidate who set a fundraising record for all district Metro Council races in the history of the city. People keep asking, "Can he raise the money?" And we keep answering: "Yes."

Here's the heavy news: we can't stop. There are 8 months left, and there won't be a day where part of my job isn't being the fundraiser in chief for the great team we've built and hope to expand. Citywide races over 500 square miles are expensive!

A mayor's race means meeting people where they are from downtown to the county line in every direction. That means a full mix of field, mail, digital, and TV. We don't want to be obnoxious, but we do want to be known to everyone thinking hard about the future of the city over the coming year.

To do everything we want to do, our ideal budget puts us right around $1m.

In local elections in Tennessee, individuals can contribute up to $1600.

Here's what that means:

This doesn't actually seem that hard! And we're actually well on our way, but you probably get a sense of why every day is going to be about this work. Because let's finish the picture out:

Now's where it gets really tough:

And one more thing:

  • We are up against at least 3 independently wealthy individuals who can contribute $1m to their own campaigns.

This is a pretty clear illustration of why it's so difficult to separate the power of money from the practice of politics: it's expensive to run a big, countywide race! And, unfortunately, that means these races favor the independently wealthy.

And it also helps explain why to any local or state elected official, watching tens of millions of dollars flow into unwinnable Senate and gubernatorial races is very difficult. Because getting critical mass small dollar support in local races is hard!

But I'm proud to say we already have hundreds of investors in the campaign. And I'm excited because if you're receiving this email, it means we think you can help us fill in the picture.

You don't even have to do it all at once! We've got several monthly sustainers, which is a great way to break up a large donation into small pieces over the course of the campaign.

Literally, in my 45 years growing up in this city, 25 years working in our local tech economy, and 15 years serving the city in multiple ways, I've collaborated closely with enough people, touched enough people with the work, or shared enough in community with enough people that I believe we can do this.

If you invest, you'll be joining musicians, Metro Schools teachers, police officers, librarians, neighborhood leaders, healthcare workers, and so many other people who help our city work together.


Thank you, and my best ...


Freddie O'Connell

Metro Council, District 19

Mayoral Candidate 2023


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