Thursday, December 8, 2011

Contested Races Add Drama to Next Year's Lean County Ballot

Posted By on Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 10:46 PM

District Attorney General Amy Weirich (right) and hostess Pat Kerr Tigrett respond to jest by guest Rick Masson at Weirich fundraiser this week.
  • JB
  • District Attorney General Amy Weirich (right) and hostess Pat Kerr Tigrett respond to jest by guest Rick Masson at Weirich fundraiser this week.

Some last-minute filings by the Thursday noon deadline have ensured that next year’s leaner, leap-year version of the county election cycle will generate its share of drama.

Only two charter positions are up for grabs — assessor and General Sessions Court clerk — but special elections for District Attorney General and the District 1, Position 3 County Commission seat will also command attention, and there will be intriguing matchups in all four major contested races.

GENERAL SESSIONS COURT CLERK: The most crowded race on the ballot will be the Democratic primary for this race — which will be held, along with its Republican counterpart , on March 6. Party nominees in that and the other races will battle each other for rights to the job in the general election of August 2.

The contending Democrats are Marion Brewer, Henri Brooks, Sidney Chism, Otis Jackson, and Ed Stanton Jr. Brewer is something of an unknown, but the others are veterans of Shelby County politics.

Jackson, the incumbent, is currently suspended and under indictment for official misconduct in openly soliciting campaign acrtivity and contributions from his office staff. His well-publicized legal problems have attracted primary opposition from Chism, the chairman of the Shelby County Commission; Brooks, an incumbent member of the Commission, and Stanton, a veteran of county government who has been serving as interim clerk.

Rick Rout, son of former county mayor Jim Rout, is the sole Republican seeking the clerkship.

ASSESSOR: Democrat incumbent Cheyenne Jackson faces two challengers in her primary: Charlotte Draper, an employee of the office, and realtor Steve Webster, a frequent political candidate in recent years.

Three Republicans will also be vying in the GOP primary: John Bogan, a long-term employee of the assessor’s office; videographer Randy Lawson; and real estate appraiser/firefighter Tim Walton.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Former legislator and City Council member Carol Chumney will contend with former federal prosecutor Linda Nettles Harris and attorney Glen Wright in the Democratic primary.

The sole Republican running is incumbent Amy Weirich, who was appointed to the job by Governor Bill Haslam when former D.A. Bill Gibbons became state Commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security.

DISTRICT 1, POSITION 3, SHELBY COUNTY COMMISSION: Two Republicans, political newcomer Steve Basar, a pharmaceutical-company executive, and former Commissioner Marilyn Loeffel, oppose each other in the GOP primary for this suburban-rim seat vacated by former Commissioner Mike Carpenter, now heading an education lobby in Nashville.

Steve Ross, an audio-visual technician and well-known local blogger, is the sole Democratic candidate.

Candidates have until Thursday, December 15, to withdraw their names from the election ballot.

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