Monday, August 24, 2015

Snapshots from the Council Front: Ford, Shaffer, Pickard, Robinson

One peek, of more to come, at what cadidates are doing in the campaign season.

Posted By on Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 10:07 AM

Although the mayoral race has drawn most public attention so far in the Memphis election season, races for Council positions have been heating up as well.

Several recent examples:

*Incumbent district 6 Councilman Edmund Ford Jr., who is opposed on the October 8 ballot by Perry Bond and Delvin Lane, will be the beneficiary of a fundraiser in New York city on Thursday, August 27. The affair, says Ford, will be hosted by New York political consultant/journalist Roy Paul and may be co-sponsored by other elected officials.

click to enlarge Paul Shaffer with supporters - JB
  • JB
  • Paul Shaffer with supporters
Paul Shaffer, a candidate for Super District 9, Position 2 on the City Council, was the beneficiary of a well-attended fundraiser at the Overton Park Clubhouse week before last. Particularly evident was the sizeable representation of union and Democratic Party rank and file among the attendees.

The genial Shaffer, business agent of Local 474 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, has long been a mainstay of local politics, hosting many events at the IBEW headquarters building on Madison and a steady presence and participant at events held elsewhere.

No surprise that Shaffer was among those Council candidates receiving the endorsement last weekof the Memphis AFL-CIO Labor Council.

click to enlarge Pickard at a recent fundraising event - JB
  • JB
  • Pickard at a recent fundraising event
*Charles “Chooch” Pickard has been the beneficiary of several recent fundraisers, typical of which was one at the Midtown home of attorney Joe Ozment. In an address to the attendees, Pickard took note of what appeared to have been an earlier endorsement by 9th district Congressman Steve Cohen of opponent John Marek as, said Pickard, “the best candidate in all the races,” said, “I really do not believe that’s true.”

His retort to the crowd: “I can tell you that I am the only candidate in my race that does not have political experience. I’m not here because I’ve been playing in politics for all these years. I’ve been working n Memphis, making Memphis better for the last 20 years I came here and chose to be a Memphian 20 years ago because I saw the potential here. And I’ve been working hard for the last 20 years to make this city better.”

Pickard, who described himself as “a preservation architect and urban designer,” itemized his involvement in a number of “grass roots” development projects, called for “smart development in the denser, more authentic parts of the city,” and urged a return of the city’s trolley fleet in some form.

click to enlarge Patrice  Robnson "meets and greets" in her den. - JB
  • JB
  • Patrice Robnson "meets and greets" in her den.
*Patrice Robinson, the former School Board member now running for the Council’s District 3 position, makes a practice of holding a meet & greet or fundraiser every weekend. Here she is on Saturday, August 15, with a group of supporters in her own Whitehaven home. (A surprise visitor for that one was Mayor A C Wharton, who was in the neighborhood going door-to-door on behalf of his own campaign for reelection. It was a courtesy visit for the Mayor, who is not endorsing in the race,)

Robinson would win the endorsement of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce Jobs PAC last week, while her opponent Keith Williams, who served as president of the Memphis Education Association during Robinson’s School Board years, got the nod from the AFL-CIO Labor Council.

* More snapshots to come in subsequent posts.

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