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Hal Cato

After stepping down from nonprofit Thistle Farms and publicly flirting with a 2023 run for mayor, Hal Cato won’t launch a campaign for the job after all.

Cato, an experienced nonprofit executive, had all but made the campaign official, but said Monday in a note to supporters that he had reconsidered.

"After a lot of consideration, I have decided that I am not the right next leader for our Metropolitan government," he wrote in the message, obtained by the Post. "This was not a decision made without a lot of thought and prayer about what is right for my family and our city."

Cato told the Post that he has no immediate plans to support another candidate. He said he “can still do a lot of good in Nashville in another area without trying to push it through Metro bureaucracy.”

“We need someone who can truly listen to what Nashville is saying and slow down just a little bit and make people feel like the city is still for them,” he added.

Metro Councilmember Freddie O'Connell and former Metro official Matt Wiltshire have launched campaigns, and Mayor John Cooper has been fundraising without officially kicking off his campaign publicly. Metro Councilmember Sharon Hurt is reportedly considering jumping in.