Exactly 1,605 people in Davidson County voted for former Nashville mayoral candidate Carol Swain as a write-in candidate against U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN-05), who ran unopposed in this month’s U.S. Congressional elections.
Swain said Wednesday that she encountered many people who told her they wrote in her name for Cooper’s seat when they voted.
“They were white and black, even people who were Democrats,” Swain said.
“I am certainly humbled by the fact that so many people, on their own initiative, wrote me in. I think it is unfortunate that Jim Cooper was able to run unopposed and we were not able to get a candidate on the Republican side.”
Cooper received 250,001 votes in his Fifth Congressional District race this year, according to unofficial election returns on Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s website.
The Star asked Swain if she would, in the future, formally run for Cooper’s seat.
“I have learned from my mayoral bid never to say never. I am firmly convinced that unless you are independently wealthy, unless you can put $1 million into a campaign, it is almost hopeless. Whoever runs against Jim Cooper or any sitting member of Congress has to be independently wealthy or they have to be able to raise several million dollars. I would not want a situation where all of my time was spent on the phone all the time calling up people begging for money,” Swain said.
“That would be a deterrent, but I do believe it is important for the voters to have leaders who are statesmen who are not there because they want to serve in political office but are there because they are needed. They care and they want to lead. They need people willing to do the hard things and then know when it’s time to pack up and go home. I get the same question about the mayorship. I get asked if John Cooper was recalled would I consider running for his unexpired term. I would certainly consider it, but if people want me to serve in office they need to come up with the money. I don’t want the empty promises. The people that promised me the last time that they were going to deliver, they did not deliver. They left me literally holding the bag.”
In addition to Davidson County, the Fifth Congressional District also includes all of Dickson County and part of Cheatham County, according to Cooper’s Congressional website. Officials in Dickson and Cheatham counties did not return The Star’s requests for information on how many, if any, votes Swain might have gotten there.