Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Round One Ends With Lenoir, Harris as Ticket Leaders

Few surprises, but an upset or two mark what was a low-turnout election, with Democrats out-voting Republicans.

Posted By on Wed, May 2, 2018 at 8:34 AM

click to enlarge Republican mayoral nominee David Lenoir faces the press at Evolve Bank on Poplar - JB
  • JB
  • Republican mayoral nominee David Lenoir faces the press at Evolve Bank on Poplar

In the end, there were few surprises. The candidates with the resources and the name supporters — e,g, David Lenoir, the triumphant Republican nominee for Shelby County mayor — won going away. Former office-holders got nominated for another shot — like Regina Morrison Newman, the Democrat who was serving as County Trustee until Lenoir beat her in 2010, or Republican Chris Thomas, the erstwhile Probate Court Clerk who chose not to seek reelection the same year, fearing a Democratic wave in the general election.

There were repudiations of familiar names — as when newcomer Brandon Morrison, flush with prominent suburban backing and lots of cash, easily turned out incumbent Steve Basar in the GOP primary for County Commission District 13; or when another newcomer, Temika Gipson, walloped old warhorse Del Gill by a 3-to-1 margin to become the Democratic nominee for Circuit Court Clerk.

It was something of a surprise when another newcomer, Shelandra Ford, whom most voters couldn’t pick out of a group shot but whose last name obviously reminded voters of a legendary political family that she bears no kinship to, edged out well-known party activist Adrienne Pakis-Gillon in the Democratic primary for Register of Deeds. But it was no surprise when bona fide clan member Edmund Ford Jr., a retiree from the City Council, won a majority vote over a flock of opponents in the Democratic primary for Commission District 9.

In terms of turnout, Shelby County Democrats — thought to represent a demographic majority in the county — finally made their numbers count. As one example of their edge over the Republicans in turnout, the two Democratic mayoral candidates, winner Lee Harris (34,081) and runner-up Sidney Chism (10,435) polled roughly 10,000 more votes in their primary than did Lenoir (18,408), Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland (8,650), and Juvenile Court Clerk Joy Touliatos (3,155).

State Senator Harris thus goes into the general election campaign with some grounds for optimism, as do the Democrats at large, who in the last several county general elections have endured a series of sweeps and near-sweepts from the Republicans.

Other results:

In County Commission, District 1, Amber Mills, wife of GOP County Chairman Lee Mills, won as expected over Melody H. McLeary; Democrat Raxquel Collins was unopposed.

In Commission District 2, Republican David Bradford and Democrat Tom Carpenter were each unopposed in their primaries.

In Commission District 3, Mick Wright defeated Lindsey Massey in the GOP Primary; Monica Timmerman was unopposed in the Democratid primary.

In Commission District 4, Republican incumbent Mark Billingsley and Democrat Kevin Haley were both unopposed

In Commission District 5, Richard Morton beat Geoffrey Diaz in the GOP primary, and Michael Whaley beat Lawrence A. Pivnick.

In District 6, incumbent Democrat Willie Brooks had things to himself.

In District 7, Democrat Tami Sawyer outpointed Stephanie Gatewood and Eric Dunn; Sam Goff held up the Republican end.

In District 8, Mickell Lowery swamped runner-up J.B. Smiley in a crowded Democratic field;

In District 9, as indicated, it was Ed Ford uber alles, with Sharon Webb being the solitary Republican.

In District 10, incumbent Democrat Reginald Milton was unopposed.

In District 11, Democratic incumbent Eddie Jones turned away challenger Eric Winston.

In District 12, Democrat Van Turner was unopposed.

In District 13, newcomer Morrison blew incumbent Republican Basar away, while Democrat George Monger took care of another newwcomer, Charlie Belenky.

In the Assessor’s race, Republican Robert “Chip” Trouhy easily outpointed white nationalist Keith Alexander, while County Commission retiree Melvin Burgess defeated Lorie Ingram.

In the Sheriff’s race, Republican Dale Lane was unopposed, while Democrat Floyd Bonner easily defeated fellow Democrat Bennie Cobb.

In the Trusree’s race it was Democrat Newman over Joseph Lee and Derrick Bennett, while the GOP’s George Chism, ex- of the commission, defeated Dexter L. Orman.

Circuit Court Clerk: Gipson over Gill among Democrats; Tom Leatherwood easily over two Republican opponents

Criminal Court Clerk: Incumbent Richard DeSaussure was unopposed; Democrat Heidi Kuhn beat Carla Stotts Hills and Amanda Scott Hill.

Juvenile Court Clerk: Bobby Simmons over Robert Hill among Republicans; Janis Fullilove over two Democratic opponents.

Probate Court Clerk: Thomas back in over Boyd and George Summers in the GOP race; Councilman Bill Morrison unopposed among Democrats.

County Clerk: Wanda Halbert over the field among Democrats; Donna Creson over two other Republicans.

Current County Clerk Wayne Mashburn shifts over, unopposed; Ford upsets Pakis-Gillon.

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