Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Malone wins Democratic Primary for County Mayor, Whalum 2nd, Mulroy 3rd

Surprises and ironies co-exist with form-sheet outcomes: analysis and complete unofficial results for all races.

Posted By on Wed, May 7, 2014 at 12:37 AM

Deidre Malone with ministers at election eve  rally
  • Deidre Malone with ministers at election eve rally

Maybe it was the butterfly ballot…..


Oh, there was no butterfly ballot?


There were numerous surprise results Tuesday night, when all the ballots cast in early voting and on election day were counted.


Among them:


— MAYOR’S RACE: While former County Commissioner Deidre Malone’s victory in the Democratic primary for Shelby County Mayor was no great surprise, the close second place finish of the Rev. Kennth Whalum Jr. was. Whalum raised no money, did no advertising, made few appearances, and left the country for 10 days in the stretch run.


University of Memphis law professor and outgoing County Commissioner Steve Mulroy has to be disappointed at his third-place finish, but, between Malone’s rank-and-file support and big-time endorsements (A C Wharton and The Commercial Appeal, among others), on one hand, and Whalum’s name recognition and obvious grass-roots support on the other, Mulroy’s 30-odd percent doesn’t look so bad.


— DISTRICT 10, DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY, COUNTY COMMISSION: The largely absent Martavius Jones’ near-win over the well-backed and well-funded Reginald Milton was a near miracle. Former School Board member Jones raised no money, spent no money, showed up at no events, etc., etc. Still, he almost won and came so close that he could, and probably will, ask for a recount. Unsurprisingly, Jake Brown turned out to be not much of a factor.


— DISTRICT 9, DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY, COUNTY COMMISSION: A bona fide three-way between incumbent Justin Ford, former School Board member Patrice Robinson, and Memphis Education Association president Keith Williams. Incumbency plus the Ford name may have boosted what was almost a stealth campaign by Ford.


— PROBATE COURT CLERK, DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY: In the most populated field of any contested position, with seven (7) contenders, the winner was one William Chism, previously unknown but the lucky owner of a surname owned by at least two other active politicians — current County Commissioner Sidney Chism (not a candidate this year) and George Chism, a GOP activist who won his Commission 2 primary race this year. What’s in a name? Right.


— CIRCUIT COURT CLERK, DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY: Granted, it has often been jested that the ever-contentious Del Gill, worry-wart to two generations of fellow Democratic activists, would have trouble winning an election in which he was the only candidate. But his two-to-one victorious opponent Tuesday, Rhonda Banks, is also unique — as the only candidate to confess in a public forum that she really had no idea what the job she was running for entailed.


Those are some of the major surprises. Now, before listing the rest of the results, what can we glean from these cases about causative factors or general trends?


Answer: Not too much. Many of the candidates in several races had some role in the prolonged educational struggles of the last few years for example, but Martavius Jones and Kenneth Whalum, two of the surprise near-missers, were on opposite sides of the charter-surrender issue that began the school crisis; so it wasn’t one point of view or the other that made a difference.


Name recognition? Maybe. That would certainly explain the victory of the aforementioned William Chism in a crowded field, and it obviously helped Justin Ford win his three-way race. So did incumbency in Ford’s case. Democratic activist Eddie Jones had run close enough and often enough in earlier races to make the difference, perhaps, in the crowded District 11 Commission race.


County Commissioner Henri Brooks’ easy victory over Kenneth Moody for the Democratic nomination for Juvenile Court Clerk owes something to name recognition, too, but she also profited from the publicity she achieved in her successful campaign to get the Department of Justice to mandate reforms in Juvenile Court.


Another suggestion comes from 9th District congressman Steve Cohen, who notes that many of the winners had their names first on the ballot in their races. This might indeed have been a factor, especially for a voter in a hurry moving down the ballot.

Endorsements? Hard to see a pattern there. Judge Joe Brown, the de facto Democratic nominee for District Attorney General, was thought early on the have more than usual clout, but none of his endorsees came out ahead. A C Wharton? Certainly , the mayor’s endorsement of Malone, as indicated, helped, but his full-out support of John Freeman in the Democratic primary for County Clerk still left Freeman finishing third. In the Democratic primary for Mayor, Steve Mulroy made a clean sweep of the union endorsements, but he, too, finished third.

Representative Cohen was, on the endorsement scale, 4 for 4. He endorsed winners Melvin Burgess, Willie Brooks, and Reginald Milton in Commission races, and Cheyenne Johnson in the Democratic primary for assessor.

The one given in this first of three election cycles scheduled for 2014 is the fact of low turnout — only 8 percent of the registered voters, 5 percent of whom cast their ballots early. Despite gorgeously sunny weather on Tuesday, people obviously had other things on their mind and better things to do than to vote. The total number of voters was even appreciably below the levels of the May primaries of four years ago, when the positions were roughly the same.


So what happens in a low-turnout election? All other factors being equal, the campaign which has the most enthusiastic cadres and the best-organized means of getting them to the polls will win. Malone, for one, seems to have had such an edge.


One other factor worth mentioning: It is no secret that voters’ party identification has tended to polarize by race, with white voters moving toward the Republican Party and African-American voters generally going Democratic. Activists in both parties have made serious efforts toward broadening their reach beyond those boundaries, with minimal success.


Cases in point for the Democrats in this cycle were white candidates Mulroy, Freeman, David Vinciarelli in the District 8 Commission race, Brown in District 10, Michael McCusker in the Criminal Court Clerk’s race, and Aaron Hall and Heidi Kuhn in the Probate Court Clerk’s race. To be sure, some of these candidacies were more serious than others. The point is that no white Democrat won a race in a bi-racial field, and make of that what you will.


And, though there were only two black candidacies on the Republican side — Kelly Price in the four-way race for County Commission District 3 (won by school board veteran David Reaves, closely trailed by Sherry Simmons) and Michael Finney in the Circuit Court Clerk’s race easily won by incumbent Jimmy Moore — the same principle has applied historically.


There is, of course, a crossover instinct in the voting population (which, however, the right circumstance or individual has to activate). It has benefited, among others, Steve Cohen, Mayor AC Wharton, and County Mayor Mark Luttrell, who romped to a wipeout win over the hapless Ernest Lunati in the GOP mayoral primary.


It remains to be seen, in a county whose demographics would seem on the surface to be trending Democratic and African-American, whether Malone, a sunny presence, an able campaigner, and a well-credentialed candidate whose business success as a P.R. executive helped her both reputation-wise and strategy-wise, has a chance of beating Luttrell, whose crossover totals, both racial and partisan, have always been better than good.


In any case, the August 7th county general election, which shares ballot space with beaucoup races for judge and with state and federal primaries, should beget a substantially better turnout than did the county primaries. And, besides the mayor’s race, which could be close, the race for District Attorney General — between Democrat Joe Brown and Republican incumbent Amy Weirich — should be a doozy as well.


Here, according to unofficial Election Commission totals, is how it all went:

DISTRICT ATTORNEY GENERAL (Republican)

AMY WEIRICH

16,847

99.56%

Write-In

75

0.44%

TOTAL

16,922

100.00%


DISTRICT ATTORNEY GENERAL (Democratic)

JOE BROWN

33,031

98.07%

Write-In

649

1.93%

TOTAL

33,680

100.00%


COUNTY MAYOR (Republican)

ERNEST LUNATI

595

3.41%

MARK H. LUTTRELL

16,821

96.45%

Write-In

25

0.14%

TOTAL

17,441

100.00%


COUNTY MAYOR (Democratic)

DEIDRE MALONE

13,785

35.77%

STEVE MULROY

12,041

31.24%

KENNETH WHALUM, JR.

12,598

32.69%

Write-In

114

0.30%

TOTAL

38,538

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 1 (Republican)

TERRY ROLAND

1,342

99.19%

Write-In

11

0.81%

TOTAL

1,353

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 1 (Democatic

Write-In

87

100.00%

TOTAL

87

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 2 (Republican)

DAVID C. BRADFORD

1,315

45.72%

GEORGE CHISM

1,560

54.24%

Write-In

1

0.03%

TOTAL

2,876

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 2 (Democatic)

Write-In

57

100.00%

TOTAL

57

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 3 (Republican)

NASER FAZLULLAH

151

4.04%

KELLY D. PRICE

168

4.50%

DAVID REAVES

1,835

49.10%

SHERRY S. SIMMONS

1,581

42.31%

Write-In

2

0.05%

TOTAL

3,737

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 3 (Democatic)

Write-In

75

100.00%

TOTAL

75

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 4 (Republican)

MARK BILLINGSLEY

2,323

63.31%

RON FITTES

1,345

36.66%

Write-In

1

0.03%

TOTAL

3,669

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 4 (Democatic)

JACKIE D. JACKSON

978

97.90%

Write-In

21

2.10%

TOTAL

999

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 5 (Republican)

HEIDI SHAFER

1,082

99.36%

Write-In

7

0.64%

TOTAL

1,089

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 5 (Democratic)

TAYLOR BERGER

830

98.11%

Write-In

16

1.89%

TOTAL

846

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 6 (Republican)

DAVID M. SHIFFMAN

386

98.22%

Write-In

7

1.78%

TOTAL

393

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 6 (Democratic)

KARL L. BOND

267

9.92%

WILLIE BROOKS

1,759

65.37%

EDITH ANN MOORE

406

15.09%

KENDRICK SNEED

254

9.44%

Write-In

5

0.19%

TOTAL

2,691

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 7 (Republican)

Write-In

17

100.00%

TOTAL

17

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 7 (Democratic)

MELVIN BURGESS

3,206

83.55%

BRANDON ECHOLS

616

16.05%

Write-In

15

0.39%

TOTAL

3,837

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 8 (Republican)

JULIE D. RAY

185

98.40%

Write-In

3

1.60%

TOTAL

188

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 8 (Democratic)

WALTER BAILEY

2,115

77.25%

BERLIN F. BOYD

424

15.49%

DAVID W. VINCIARELLI

190

6.94%

Write-In

9

0.33%

TOTAL

2,738

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 9 (Republican)

Write-In

8

100.00%

TOTAL

8

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 9 (Democratic)

JUSTIN FORD

2,743

38.18%

PATRICE J. ROBINSON

2,215

30.83%

KEITH O. WILLIAMS

2,217

30.86%

Write-In

10

0.14%

TOTAL

7,185

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 10 (Republican)

GEOFF DIAZ

276

99.64%

Write-In

1

0.36%

TOTAL

277

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 10 (Democratic)

JAKE BROWN

731

14.71%

MARTAVIUS D. JONES

2,098

42.22%

REGINALD MILTON

2,124

42.75%

Write-In

16

0.32%

TOTAL

4,969

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 11 (Republican)

Write-In

9

100.00%

TOTAL

9

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 11 (Democratic)

CURTIS BYRD

191

5.90%

DONNELL COBBINS

489

15.12%

EDDIE JONES

1,148

35.49%

HENDRELL REMUS

667

20.62%

CLAUDE TALFORD

731

22.60%

Write-In

9

0.28%

TOTAL

3,235

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 12 (Republican)

Write-In

8

100.00%

TOTAL

8

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 12 (Democatic)

BRYANT K. BOONE

1,207

32.18%

VAN TURNER

2,530

67.45%

Write-In

14

0.37%

TOTAL

3,751

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 13 (Republican)

STEVE BASAR

1,690

99.12%

Write-In

15

0.88%

TOTAL

1,705

100.00%


COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 13 (Democratic)

M. JAIN

1,465

98.26%

Write-In

26

1.74%

TOTAL

1,491

100.00%


ASSESSOR OF PROPERTY (Republican)

KEITH ALEXANDER

10,342

70.67%

MARY PETERS ROYKO

4,248

29.03%

Write-In

45

0.31%

TOTAL

14,635

100.00%


ASSESSOR OF PROPERTY (Democratic)

LORIE INGRAM

10,723

29.37%

CHEYENNE JOHNSON

25,746

70.51%

Write-In

46

0.13%

TOTAL

36,515

100.00%


COUNTY TRUSTEE (Republican)

JEFF JACOBS

2,316

14.71%

DAVID LENOIR

13,403

85.15%

Write-In

21

0.13%

TOTAL

15,740

100.00%


COUNTY TRUSTEE (Democratic)

DERRICK BENNETT

16,980

54.00%

M. LATROY WILLIAMS

14,305

45.50%

Write-In

158

0.50%

TOTAL

31,443

100.00%


SHERIFF (Republican)

BILL OLDHAM

16,545

99.85%

Write-In

25

0.15%

TOTAL

16,570

100.00%


SHERIFF (D) (219 of 219 Precincts Reporting) ... (100.00%)

BENNIE COBB

28,173

98.94%

Write-In

303

1.06%

TOTAL

28,476

100.00%


CIRCUIT COURT CLERK (Republican)

MICHAEL FINNEY

4,635

30.25%

JIMMY MOORE

10,668

69.63%

Write-In

18

0.12%

TOTAL

15,321

100.00%


CIRCUIT COURT CLERK (Democratic)

RHONDA BANKS

22,216

71.37%

DEL GILL

8,782

28.21%

Write-In

129

0.41%

TOTAL

31,127

100.00%


CRIMINAL COURT CLERK (Republican)

RICHARD DeSAUSSURE

14,263

99.64%

Write-In

52

0.36%

TOTAL

14,315

100.00%


CRIMINAL COURT CLERK (Democratic)

WANDA HALBERT

17,673

47.12%

THOMAS LONG

12,250

32.66%

MICHAEL R. McCUSKER

2,239

5.97%

RALPH WHITE

5,303

14.14%

Write-In

44

0.12%

TOTAL

37,509

100.00%


JUVENILE COURT CLERK (Republican)

JOY TOULIATOS

15,165

99.84%

Write-In

24

0.16%

TOTAL

15,189

100.00%


JUVENILE COURT CLERK (Democratic)

HENRI E. BROOKS

25,779

70.33%

KEN MOODY

10,787

29.43%

Write-In

88

0.24%

TOTAL

36,654

100.00%


PROBATE COURT CLERK (Republican)

PAUL BOYD

15,002

99.75%

Write-In

38

0.25%

TOTAL

15,040

100.00%


PROBATE COURT CLERK (Democratic)

REGINA BEALE

6,238

18.27%

JENNINGS BERNARD

4,186

12.26%

WILLIAM CHISM, JR.

8,052

23.59%

DARNELL GATEWOOD

3,178

9.31%

CYNTHIA A. GENTRY

4,101

12.01%

AARON HALL

3,693

10.82%

HEIDI KUHN

4,597

13.47%

Write-In

90

0.26%

TOTAL

34,135

100.00%


COUNTY CLERK (Republican)

WAYNE MASHBURN

15,898

99.84%

Write-In

26

0.16%

TOTAL

15,924

100.00%


COUNTY CLERK (Democratic)

CHARLOTTE B. DRAPER

11,763

35.87%

JOHN H. FREEMAN

9,799

29.89%

YOLANDA R. KIGHT

11,134

33.96%

Write-In

93

0.28%

TOTAL

32,789

100.00%


REGISTER OF DEEDS (Republican)

TOM LEATHERWOOD

16,460

99.87%

Write-In

22

0.13%

TOTAL

16,482

100.00%


REGISTER OF DEEDS (Democratic)

STEPHEN CHRISTIAN

13,970

45.39%

COLEMAN THOMPSON

16,673

54.17%

Write-In

138

0.45%

TOTAL

30,781

100.00%

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