Wednesday, November 26, 2003

POLITICS: Hitting Home

Residence becomes an issue in District 89.

Posted By on Wed, Nov 26, 2003 at 4:00 AM

More or less off the radar screen, the District 89 state House race goes on to determine a successor to council member-elect Carol Chumney.

Since no Republican filed to compete in the February 10th special election, the winner in effect will be determined by the two entrants in the December 16th Democratic primary, either consultant Jeff Sullivan or activist Beverly Robinson Marrero.

State Senator Steve Cohen, Marrero’s key backer, has been vocal on the subject that only his candidate currently lives inside the district. Candidate Sullivan and wife Maura Black Sullivan, director of planning for Shelby County schools, have meanwhile rented a house on Graham St. within the official confines of District 89. Maura Sullivan, who is expecting the couple’s first child on or about Election Day, says the couple’s current household on Reese St. was within District 89 until a re-drawing of legislative lines in recent years. “But we’re preparing to move,” she says, adding somewhat wearily, “I’ve got a job, a new baby, a move, and an election all happening at once.”

An interesting twist: Both candidates were asked at a recent forum how long they intended to remain in office if elected. Marrero, who will turn 65 in January, indicated she intended to serve indefinitely. The 39-year-old Sullivan, citing the fact that he’ll be dealing with a growing family, opined that he would be inclined to serve only a term or two.

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