Thursday, May 15, 2003



Posted By on Thu, May 15, 2003 at 4:00 AM

Shelby County Republicans on Tuesday night formally hitched their train to the 5th District city council hopes of George Flinn, the radiologist/broadcast mogul who ran unsuccessfully for county mayor last year. The GOP steerng committee, which gave its unanimous nod to Flinn at a meeting at the home of activist Annabel Woodall, is likely also to endorse county school board member Wyatt Bunker for the District 1 council race against longtime incumbent E.C. Jones. "We think Jones is vulnerable, and we think Bunker has good support against him," said party chairman Kemp Conrad, who noted that Cordova resident Bunker, arguably the county board's most conservative member, had filed his petition for the seat this week. The party will withhold any official action on the race pending formal interviews of the sort held last week with District 5 candidates, but Bunker'e entry was acively sought by the party's candidate-recruitment committee and thus is almost certain to be endorsed. Bunker is a resident of Countrywood, a portion of Cordova annexed by the city of Memphis since he was last elected to the county school board. His position as a current Shelby County office-holder (who could not, however, run for relection to the board next year) running for a citywide office stamps him as unique. Flinn, a novice candidate last year, won the Republican nomination for Shelby County mayor with a well-financed and Ð said his critics Ð abrasive media campaign against then State Representative Larry Scroggs. Resultant party division was one factor in FlinnÕs lopsided loss in the general election to Democratic nominee A C Wharton. ÒI think he intends to run a different type of campaign this year,Ó said GOP party chair Kemp Conrad of Flinn's bid for the District 5 seat being vacated by two-term councilman John Vergos. After formally receiving the party endorsement Tuesday night, Flinn said, "I feel like I won the primary tongiht , and I very much look forward to the election campaign and working with Kemp Conrad the Republican Party." Aboaut his well-funded but ultimately unsuccessful political experience last year, Flinn joked, "I'm older, wiser, and poorer. This will be a grass-roots campaign." Flinn, who later confided that out-of-state consultants may have done him a disservice in last year's race promised that he would work only with local consultants this year and would keep his expenditures more or less in line with what is customary for a city council race. Conrad said the party would act quickly on other races. Upon taking office this year he promised that the local GOP would endorse candidates for selected seats and aggressively promote their candidacies. In the morrow of Monday nightÕs Democratic meeting [see separate story], he could not resist this dig at the rival partyÕs highly public difficulties: ÒItÕs uinfortunate that the Democrats seem to be more consumed in power struggles and personal agendas than they are in the lives of Shelby Countians.Ó Among other hopefuls so far acknowledged as seeking the District 5 seat are Jim Strickland, Mary Wilder, Jay Gatlin, and John Pellicciotti. Pellicciotti, Gatlin, and Strickland, like Flinn, had preliminary interviews last week with the GOP candidate-recruitment committee, but each had handicaps to overcome in gaining the endorsement of the full Republican committee. Gatlin's was that he is a relative unknown; StricklandÕs was that he served a term as chairman of the Shelby County Democrats; PellicciottiÕs was, ironically enough, that he ran a tight race against Democratic state representative Mike Kernell last year and is counted to do so again next year. Several leading Republicans have said they would prefer that Pellicciotti keep his powder dry until then. Another race which the Republicans may endorse in, said Conrad, is the race for the Super-District 9, Position 1 council seat now held by long-term incumbent Pat VanderSchaaf. Numerous candidates -- Repoublican, Democratic, and independent -- are expected to try their luck in that one.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

    • Election 2018: Winners, Losers, and Close Calls

      Locally, the blue wave still had power, though most Democratic challengers to incumbent Republicans fell short; statewide, the red wall remained stout in wins by Lee and Blackburn; the Council's referenda all go down to defeat. (ORIGINAL ARTICLE RESTORED.)
    • Dems Promise Big Reveal on McCormick School Board Attendance

      Acing on behalf of reelection campaign of Democratic state Rep. Dwayne Thompson, Mike Stewart, head of Democratic House caucus, schedules Monday press conference on "dismal" school board attendance of GOP opponent Scott McCormick.

Speaking of School Consolidation


Readers also liked…

  • Cohen Tells It!

    In which Memphis’ Democratic congressman Steve Cohen, addressing an apparent GOP effort to muddy the waters on the Russian inquiry, not only takes no crap but gives it back where it came from. This is worth watching from beginning to end -- even for those who might disagree on the politics of the matter.
    • Jul 26, 2017
  • Cohen to Introduce Articles of Impeachment against Trump

    Ranking member of House Judiciary subcommittee, says, apropos Charlottesville and Trump's apparent defense of the white nationalist fomentors there: "There are no good Nazis. There are no good Klansmen."
    • Aug 17, 2017
  • Shade in Shelby County: A Guest Viewpoint

    Appraising what he sees as a racially based appeal, a U of M Law professor questions the bona fides of a campaign mailer from mayoral candidate David Lenoir about his opponent, Lee Harris.
    • Jul 31, 2018

Most Commented On

  • Rally to Safeguard Mueller Investigation

    Scenes from Saturday's mass rally at Civic Center Plaza to protest potential tampering by President Trump with special investigator Robert Mueller's inquiry into collusion with Russian sabotage of the 2016 presidential election.
    • Nov 10, 2018
  • Election 2018: Winners, Losers, and Close Calls

    Locally, the blue wave still had power, though most Democratic challengers to incumbent Republicans fell short; statewide, the red wall remained stout in wins by Lee and Blackburn; the Council's referenda all go down to defeat. (ORIGINAL ARTICLE RESTORED.)
    • Nov 7, 2018
  • More »
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation