Citing an inability to raise sufficient funds, Metro Councilman Michael Craddock has withdrawn from the mayor’s race, leaving Mayor Karl Dean with no serious challengers standing in the way of a second term.
“After prayerful consideration and speaking with my wife and advisers, I have decided to withdraw from the mayor’s race,” Craddock said in a statement Thursday. “Even though I was asked repeatedly by a large number of people to enter the race, I am faced with making this difficult, but correct, decision.”
Mayoral candidates had until last Thursday to qualify for the Aug. 4 election. They had until today to withdraw.
Craddock, one of Dean’s fiercest critics on the council, faced long odds to unseat the mayor, who enjoyed a massive financial advantage. In April, Dean reported having $525,000 campaign cash on hand, compared to Craddock’s $8,700.
Craddock, term-limited from his Madison-area council seat, also still has $20,000 in debt from last year’s unsuccessful Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk race.
“It is widely understood that it takes significant financial backing to run a legitimate campaign, especially against an incumbent,” Craddock said. “I was unable to raise those funds. That’s the harsh reality of politics. While I believe the debate would have contributed significantly to the democratic process, this belief cannot compel me to put my family through a tough campaign.”
Craddock’s exit means Dean lacks a well-known candidate that could reasonably mount a serious campaign.
In a statement issued by his campaign, Dean thanked Craddock for his service.
"I know Councilman Craddock has a passion for public service and a passion for this wonderful city — something we both share," he said. "While we don't always agree on issues, I appreciate his dedication and service to the people of Nashville."
Other candidates who have qualified to run are Marvin Barnes, Bruce Casper and James Keeton.