During Campaign Heat
As Tuesday's general election approaches, most eyes - locally, statewide, nationally, and even internationally - are on the pivotal U.S. Senate race between Democrat Harold Ford Jr. and Republican Bob Corker. Another race being watched closely, at least locally, is the three-way contest in the 9th congressional district between Democrat Steve Cohen, Republican Mark White, and independent Jake Ford.
But there are other important races and issues to be resolved on the general election ballot.
One such is the "sleeper" race in the 7th congressional district between incumbent Republican Marsha Blackburn of Franklin and Bartlett teacher Bill Morrison, the Democrat. Though hampered by limited funds, Morrison has campaigned actively and has developed a good grass-roots following for his challenge to Blackburn, whom he has criticized for her across-the-boad support of Bush administration policies.
Blackburn, an assistant GOP whip in the House of Representatives, has stepped up her campaigning of late and has run a TV spot consistently in the three major TV markets serving the 7th district - Memphis, Nashville, and Jackson. "I take this race very seriously," she said Sunday night at Corker rally in Nashville.Several legislative races are of more than usual interest, too - particularly that for state House of Representatives District 93 between longtime Democratic incumbent Mike Kernell, a full-tie legislator, and Republican Tim Cook, whose background is in law enforcement.
Starting from far behind against the indefatigable Kernell, Cook has mounted a serius campaign. )
In District 89, Republican John Farmer is pursuing one of two challenges against Democratic incumbents. Farmer, a self-styled "blue-collar populist," is running against incumbent Beverly Marrero for the legislature and against Democratic congressman
John Tanner in the 8th congressional district.
In Distrrict 86, Democratic incumbent representative Barbara Cooper is opposed once again by Republican George Edwards.
In House District 99, Republican Ron Lollar, a longtime member of the Shelby County School Board, is favored over Democrat Eric Jones.
A widely watched rematch for the state Senate is that in District 29 between Democrat Ophelia Ford and Republican Terry Roland. Ford held the seat briefly earlier this year, but her election was voided by the Senate in light of the close margin and demonstrated election irregularities.
In state Senate District 31, Democrat Ivon Faulkner is giving challenge to Republican Paul Stanley, who is heavily favored in the district represented for four decades by the GOP's Curtis Person, now Juvenile Court judge.
Four Memphis school board seats are also up for grabs.
Competing for the District 2 at-large seat being vacated by veteran incumbent Sara Lewis are David Page, Juanita Clark Stevenson, Ed Vaughn, and Kenneth T. Whalum Jr.
In District 2, incumbent Deni Hirsch is under challenge from Betty Mallott and Arnold Weiner.
In District 4, Martavius Jones is unopposed.
In District 6, another longtime incumbent, Carl Johnson, faces opposition from Sharon Webb and Darrick Harris.