Megan Barry will become the first woman in Metro Nashville's 50-plus-year history to hold the title of mayor.
The significance of the moment wasn't lost on Barry or her supporters. The incoming mayor called her election a new chapter for the city.
"This one is going to go down in the history books. This one is all about the fact that today you went to the polls and you elected the first … woman … mayor."
The line got the biggest applause of the night. Rosemary Serafin, a life coach who lives in Woodbine, said the importance probably hasn't sunk in yet for many Nashvillians.
"She's going to bring in that feminine energy that we need," Serafin said. "And, just wait. She's very strong and very capable, and this energy that she's bringing in, it's going to be life-changing. Just life-changing."
School administrator Sanjana Ballal of Cleveland Park described Barry as a woman with strength.
"I think that's really important for our students to see," Ballal said. "She stays true to everything she's said and what she believes in, even if it wasn't the most popular thing. And I think for my students and my families to be able to see that, [she] is a great role model and a great example for them."
A Decisive Win
Barry was elected mayor by a larger margin than many voters expected — nearly 10 points over David Fox, according to unofficial poll results.
Supporters Patricia Miller and her husband, Brant, wore "Barry for Mayor" t-shirts at her election night party. Miller said she thinks one of Barry's biggest tasks will be building consensus — a challenge for any elected official, Miller said.
It may be more of a challenge for Barry after a contentious campaign, which ended with both Barry and David Fox running negative ads about each other. Barry said she hopes to win over the nearly 50,000 voters who chose Fox.
"I want the folks who voted for me to be supportive, but also the folks who didn't support me. I also need them to come along. We have to do this together."
Barry says the nastiness of the campaign is "in the rearview mirror."
Barry spent election night celebrating with a crowd of ecstatic supporters. She looked elated and relaxed as she took the stage.
“We are celebrating victory — and it is so nice to celebrate victory tonight," she said to cheers.
Barry gave a shout-out to two of her competitors from the general election who ended up endorsing her during the runoff. She called Howard Gentry an inspiration and Charles Robert Bone a close friend and advisor.
Whether either of them will be part of her administration has yet to be seen. Barry said last night she wasn’t announcing any decisions about her staff.
“That’s for tomorrow,” she said. “Tomorrow, at 12:01.”
Barry also said a top priority, once in office, will be to help the school board hire a new superintendent.
She’ll be sworn in Sept. 25.