Sunday, June 6, 2010

Week Saw Brisk Campaigning at Mayoral, Gubernatorial Levels in Memphis

Posted By on Sun, Jun 6, 2010 at 9:04 PM

GOP candidates Luttrell and Haslam exchange handshakes on Saturday.
  • JB
  • GOP candidates Luttrell and Haslam exchange handshakes on Saturday.
Sheriff Mark Luttrell’s run for Shelby County mayor looked a little stronger after a good turn-out Saturday at his headquarters opening at the Park Place Mall. The Republican nominee got a boost from such attendees as former county mayor Bill Morris, who introduced Luttrell to the largish crowd.

(Morris, of course, made the same progression from sheriff to county mayor that Luttrell now seeks to accomplish.)

Meanwhile, rival Joe Ford, the Democratic nominee for county mayor, continued to explore sustainability initiatives with his second summit meeting in as many months with local environmental leaders in the mayoral conference room in the county building.

Among those on hand at Luttrell’s HQ opening was Knoxville mayor Bill Haslam, in town for another round of campaigning in his try for the Republican nomination for governor. Haslam, who went on a door-to-door handshaking tour of an East Memphis neighborhood and checked in on the Italian Festival at Marquette Park.

This was Haslam’s second round of appearances in Memphis within the week. Along with his two GOP rivals, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey of Blountville and Chattanooga congressman Zach Wamp, Haslam had addressed Wednesday’s monthly luncheon of the Republican Women of Purpose at Ridgeway Country Club in Collierville.

Later Wednesday Haslam had gone door-to-door in another East Memphis neighborhood and spoke that night to members of the Shelby County Republican Club.

If there was news made during the week, it was likely in Wamp’s declaration at the RWOP luncheon, in answer to a question, that Tennessee could profit from following Arizona’s example with a law authorizing “probable cause” stops of possible illegal aliens.

Both Haslam and Wamp asserted that legal pressure on employers tempted to employ illegal aliens would be the best means of dissuading them from entering Tennessee. As Wamp pt it, “They talk to each other. They have cell phones.”

Ramsey’s appearance on Wednesday required a quick round-trip via plane from Nashville to Memphis and back to Nashville. While in Memphis the GOP Senate speaker expressed pessimism concerning the likelihood of an understanding with the Democratic leadership concerning the budget. “It looks like another week, maybe two,” he said.

But he and Democratic Senate leader Jim Kyle and House Speaker Kent Williams (I-Elizabethton) came to an understanding almost as soon as Ramsey got back to Nashville, and both houses approved a budget before the week was out.

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