Carol Swain received a phone call on April 1 that would change her life and the Nashville mayoral race. On a day that ironically marked April Fool’s day and Easter, an influential friend reached out to her in an attempt to convince her to do what countless others had already proposed—run for mayor of Nashville.
“I named all the reasons why I couldn’t run,” said Swain. “I would need a staff; I would need money; I would need a campaign manager. He was really clever, though and said: ‘Just pull it. Just pull the paperwork.’”
Carol Swain had always said that her calling in life was to hold politicians accountable and not to be one.
“And then the lord reminded me that he has seasons,” she said.
She went to bed on Easter Sunday thinking about her friend’s words and did what many of us do when we have some indecision.
“I prayed, and the next morning when I woke up I had a 12-issue position,” she said while pointing to her campaign flyer that contains her ‘Blueprint for Nashville.’
“That might not make any sense for people who don’t understand spiritual things,” Swain said. “I didn’t hear God say ‘Carol run for office.’ All I know is that on Easter I prayed about running and I woke up with the issue positions. I jumped out of bed, grabbed a notepad, and wrote down the policy positions.”
Swain said she then looked at the other candidate’s websites and noticed that none of them have any issue positions.
She quotes Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
Swain pulled the paperwork that day, got the required signatures, and turned it in that day.
Swain’s blueprint is the backbone of her campaign, and her vision for a better Nashville.
“It’s a non partisan race, and the most important thing about me is I’m a devout Christian,” she said.
“I’m running because I’ve spent most of my life urging other people to get involved and to try and change thing. I saw that the people who are running did not have any issue positions and that it was going to be more of the same.
“Some of the city fathers, for lack of a better name, were saying that Nashville needs continuity and stability and that’s why you need to elect Briley—continuity and stability when you’re going in the wrong direction?”
For Swain, it wasn’t just that Mayor Barry had an affair and needed to step down.
“She was leading the city in the wrong direction. So I stepped up, not for myself or because I needed something else to do, but because I have the most name recognition. I have been very vocal, and at the end of the day, people were pleading for me to run.”
“Where there is no vision, the people perish,” she repeated. “I feel that I have a responsibility and that this is what I need to do at this season in my life. I’m the only one who can address these problems because it will take an outsider.”
Carol Swain is an award-winning political scientist, and former professor of political science and professor of law at Vanderbilt University. She rose from poverty and an abusive marriage to earn five degrees, including a Master of Studies in Law from Yale.
You can learn more about Carol Swain at www.swainformayor.com.