Saturday, January 5, 2002

BRIDGET CHISHOLM MAY LEAVE COMMISSION

BRIDGET CHISHOLM MAY LEAVE COMMISSION

Posted By on Sat, Jan 5, 2002 at 4:00 AM

Shelby County Commissioner Bridget Chisholm, who was named to fill a commission vacancy roughly a year ago and served during a stormy period of debate on the NBA Grizzlies and other volatile issues, may be ready to take her leave without seeking reelection. Several people who have had recent conversations with Chisholm report that she has misgivings about the idea of continued service and has decided not to run for her District 2 seat, but the commissioner herself says she hasn’t quite made up her mind. “I’ve thought about it, but I haven’t concluded anything definite,” she said. Elected by the commission in early 2000 to fill the position vacated by Shep Wilbun, who, in a close and contentious vote, had been named by his mates to the position of Juvenile Court Clerk, Chisholm ran afoul of controversy herself, being charged in a Chancery Court suit (later dismissed) with conflict of interest after a business partner had sought the transplanted Grizzlies’ broadcasting rights. Never a political activist as such, Chisholm --a relative newcomer to Memphis -- had made a name for herself in local business circles. Holder of a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Wake Forest University and a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, she is a co-founder and partner of Mosaic Group, which helps develop business franchises in the Memphis area for such enterprises as Church's Fried Chicken and Applebee's Grill & Bar. A relative unknown to the public at large, Chisholm enjoyed a sudden burst of favorable publicity in late 1999 and was boosted for the Wilbun seat by an ad hoc coalition including the Ford political organization and influential members of the development community. Deidre Malone, a longtime political activist who heads up public relations for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and is close to Democratic political broker Sidney Chism, is determinedly seeking election to Chisholm’s Divisin 2, Position 3 seat. Already running with a head of steam, she will be an overwhelming favorite if Chisholm drops out.

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