RELEASE | Pro-Immigrant Candidates and Voters Win Big in Council Elections



CONTACT:  Hamp Price,

Pro-Immigrant Candidates and Voters Win Big in Council Elections
Twenty TIRRC Votes Endorsed Candidates Win, Advance to Runoff

NASHVILLE, TN – Immigrant voters and their allies took a huge step towards electing a historically progressive and pro-immigrant Metro Council on Thursday night, according to TIRRC Votes. Twenty of the twenty one candidates that TIRRC Votes endorsed won their race or advanced to the run-off. 

“Nashville voters showed that we want leaders who will make Nashville a truly welcoming city,” said Stephanie Teatro, co-executive director of TIRRC Votes. “We’re on our way to electing a pro-immigrant majority to the Nashville Metro Council that can pass bold policies to protect and invest in immigrant families.”

A historic number of first and second generation immigrants were on the ballot this year. Mina Johnson (District 23), Sandra Sepulveda (District 30), Fabian Bedne (At-Large), and Zulfat Suara (At-Large) are all headed to run-off elections.

Although TIRRC Votes was only founded in 2018, the organization ran one of the largest voter mobilization campaigns in Davidson County this cycle. Leading up to Election Day, the TIRRC Votes campaign team — comprised of more than 60 young people from more than 20 countries — contacted more than 20,000 voters and knocked on the doors of more than 8,500 immigrant voters. 

TIRRC Votes plans to continue campaign operations into run-off elections with the goal of engaging tens of thousands of voters through door-to-door canvasses, phone banking, digital outreach, and direct mail. TIRRC Votes will also be considering additional endorsements leading up to the September 12 run-off election. 

This summer, TIRRC Votes has become a leading political organization in Nashville. The campaign launch party in May drew 500 people and the Immigrant & Refugee Candidate Forum on June 10 drew more than 700 people. These two events were among the most attended of any political event in the city this election cycle.

“Nashville’s immigrant community and our allies will play a powerful role in shaping the future of our city,” Teatro said. “From the neighbors in Hermitage who protected their neighbors to the hundreds who have come out to a TIRRC Votes event this summer, it’s clear that Nashvillians don’t want to see their neighbors ripped away from their families. On September 12, we can elect champions to the council who will advance policies to protect our communities and to better reflect our values.”


TIRRC Votes was launched in 2018 to strengthen and expand our democracy by building power in immigrant and refugee communities and advocating for equitable and inclusive public policy. TIRRC Votes is affiliated with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC).

Rebecca Hall