While her eventual rivals were pondering their runs for Nashville mayor, Metro Councilwoman Megan Barry entered the race two years ago. She had laid the groundwork even earlier.
And from the outset, skeptics had their say.
Fundraising would be her ultimate downfall, many politicos decided. She was docked as too liberal to win backing from Nashville's influential business class. Plus, a council member has never made the jump to mayor over the five-decade history of Metro.
Those whispers are much quieter these days. Three months before the August election, Barry — who is also one of two candidates seeking to become the first female mayor of Nashville — is considered formidable in a still-evolving race that has lacked a true frontrunner.