Friday, August 3, 2012

Mixed Messages From the August 2 Election Round

Posted By on Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 3:36 AM

Congressman Steve Cohen confirmed his position at the top of the political pyramid with an unprecedentedly huge Democratic primary win over 9th District opponent Tomeka Hart, but the candidates on his endorsement ballot had mixed results.
  • JB
  • Congressman Steve Cohen confirmed his position at the top of the political pyramid with an unprecedentedly huge Democratic primary win over 9th District opponent Tomeka Hart, but the candidates on his endorsement ballot had mixed results.

Cohen's shocking 9-1 defeat of Hart, who a year ago, as Urban League head and a force on the School Board, was considered a worthy challenger, will likely discourage the future ambitions of would-be Democratic opponents.

But, while Cohen's results on August 2 out-did those of even such a formidable predecessor as former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Sr., the congressman had both hits and misses with the endorsees on his Ford-style ballot.

Interim General Sessions Clerk Ed Stanton and Assessor Cheyenne Johnson withstood challenges from their Republican opponents (Rick Rout and Tim Walton, respectively), putting to rest any notion of another GOP countywide sweep like that of 2010. But Kevin Woods defeated Cohen choice Kenneth Whalum Jr. in the District 4 Unified School Board race, while Chris Caldwell won out in a three-way race in District 1 over the Rev. Noel Hutchinson and the congressman's endorsee, Freda Williams.

Longtime Cohen ally Beverly Marrero was beaten by state Senate colleage Jim Kyle in the Democratic primary for District 30, and G.A. Hardaway ousted Mike Kernell in a battle of incumbents in House District 93.

Other School Board winners were: Teresa Jones over Tyree Daniels in Disrict 2; David Reaves over Raphael McInnis in District 3; David Pickler over Kim Wirth in District 5; Reginald Porter over Jonathan Lewis in District 6; and Board chairman Billy Orgel, who was unopposed, in District 7.

Among Democrats, John DeBerry easily beat Jeanne Richardson in another elimination contest of incumbents in House District 90, incumbent Joe Towns turned back Hendrell Remus in District 84, and Johnnie Turner beat Eddie Jones in District 85. Republican incumbents Steve McManus and Ron Lollar won out over challengers Jim Harrell and Tom Stephens in House Districts 96 ad 99, respectively, and state Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris romped over Woody Degan in the GOP primary for District 32.

Residents of Shelby County's six suburban municipalities -- Germantown, Collierville, Bartlett, Lakeland, Arlington and Milltingon -- overwhelmingly voted to establish independent school districts in referenda, but their approval of sales tax hikes to finance them succeeded by lesser margins, and, in one case, that of Millington, narrowly failed.

Importantly, the expected suburban Republican turnout generated by the referenda did not transfer over to candidates Rout and Walton.

District Attorney General Amy Weirich (left) and campaign spokesperson Kim Perry were all smiles at the victorious D.A.s victory celebration at Swankys Taco Shop in Germantown.
  • JB
  • District Attorney General Amy Weirich (left) and campaign spokesperson Kim Perry were all smiles at the victorious D.A.'s victory celebration at Swanky's Taco Shop in Germantown.

Democrat Carol Chumney (center) and her support group maintained good cheer as Chumney conceded defeat in the D.A.s race, which Chumney said would be her last foray in elective politics as a candidate.
  • JB
  • Democrat Carol Chumney (center) and her support group maintained good cheer as Chumney conceded defeat in the D.A.'s race, which Chumney said would be her last foray in elective politics as a candidate.

Three generations of George Shea Flinns -- Shea Flinn (left), George Flinn IV (center) and George Flinn Jr. celebrated the victory of the latter in the GOP primary for the 9th District congressional seat.
  • JB
  • Three generations of George Shea Flinns — Shea Flinn (left), George Flinn IV (center) and George Flinn Jr. celebrated the victory of the latter in the GOP primary for the 9th District congressional seat.

Flinn easily overpowered GOP opponents Charlotte Bergman and Rollin Wilson Stooksberry.

Happy father Steve Basar and proud daughter Samantha rejoice at Basar's comfortable win in the special election for Shelby County Commissioner, District 1, Position 3.
  • JB
  • Happy father Steve Basar and proud daughter Samantha rejoice at Basar's comfortable win in the special election for Shelby County Commissioner, District 1, Position 3."

Democratic loser Steve Ross may still have enhanced his long-term political prospects by the prominence gained from his exposure, along with fellow investigator Joe Weinberg, of systematic glitches in the early-voting process, glitches which may also have turned up in the August 2 voting.

Chris Caldwell, winner in a tight three-way race for the District  1 seat on the Unified School Board, bestows a celebration kiss on wife Cheryl.
  • JB
  • Chris Caldwell, winner in a tight three-way race for the District 1 seat on the Unified School Board, bestows a celebration kiss on wife Cheryl.

Jim Kyle (left), victor over fellow Democratic state Senator Beverly Marrero in the primary race for District 30, sat down with staffers for a post-election celebration meal at Raffis.
  • JB
  • Jim Kyle (left), victor over fellow Democratic state Senator Beverly Marrero in the primary race for District 30, sat down with staffers for a post-election celebration meal at Raffi's.

More election details to come.

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