Several present or former Shelby Countians are among the applicants for three state constitutional offices who met the Friday deadline set by the Tennessee General Assemblys Republican leadership. Since the GOP now owns a six-vote advantage over the Democrats in combined House and Senate membership, the ultimate selectees from the list are sure to prevail over the incumbent officials nominated by the Democrats.
Applying for Secretary of State are former Bartlett state representative Tre Hargett, an ex-House majority leader who now lists his residence as Hendersonville; Larry Scroggs of Germantown; and David Shirley of Memphis. Both Scroggs and Shirley are also former state House members.
Applying for the position of state treasurer are Shelby County Commissioner David Lillard; Bill McGaughey; and Bill Watkins. All are Germantown residents.
No Shelby Countians have applied to become Comptroller of the Treasury, a position that evidently will be filled by Justin Wilson of Nashville, a former aide to former Governor Don Sundquist. Wilson is the sole applicant.
All the positions carry a salary of $180,000. The current holders, renominated by the state Democratic caucus, are Secretary of State Riley Darnell, Treasurer Dale Sims, and Comptroller John Morgan.
The memberships of the state House and state Senate, meeting in joint caucus, will select the three constitutional officers when the General Assembly convenes in January.
In blunt remarks on Sunday, city councilman Myron Lowery said some unnamed Democrats had grabbed on to Republican Lamar Alexander's "coattails" and "let...go" of Democratic Senate candidate Bob Tuke. Tuke, however, has a sunnier outlook. See also Q and A video inside.