Photo: Metro Government/Michael W. Bunch

Former Mayor David Briley made it official this week, announcing that he would seek the Davidson County Circuit Court seat held by longtime jurist Hamilton Gayden.

Briley, who served as mayor in 2018 and 2019 after stints as vice mayor and on the Metro Council, will face at least one other candidate in the 2022 Democratic primary. Wendy Longmire, an attorney at Ortale Kelly, is also seeking the seat.

Briley returned to law firm Bone McAllester Norton after losing to now-Mayor John Cooper in the 2019 election. He’d taken over as mayor when Mayor Megan Barry stepped down in 2018 and won a special election to fill the remainder of her term later that year.

In an interview, Briley said most of his law practice has been in Circuit Court and that he hoped to “focus renewed attention” on the court’s role in orders of protection.

“In the Council and as mayor, you’re advocating much more than anything else,” Briley said. “The judicial branch is in some respects just the opposite. You won’t be the advocate; you’ll be the arbiter of other people’s advocacy and making sure the process is fair for everybody. … “There is a difference but, as I look at it, I’ve always advocated for equity and justice. I may be coming at it from a different perspective but the result I’m looking for is just the same.”

Gayden has not announced his retirement but Briley said the two met earlier this year and discussed the race. Gayden, who has been a judge in Nashville since the 1970s, did not respond to a request for comment.

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