Memphis Flyer

Memphis City Election: The Contenders Are On the Line

Jackson Baker Jul 20, 2019 18:22 PM
City Council Position 3 candidate Jeff Warren (far left) with supporters at a Thursday afternoon fund-raiser. From left: Kathy Fish, co-host of the affair; Congressman Steve Cohen; former County Commissioner Steve Mulroy, and County Commission Chairman Van Turner. Cohen got off a shot at political consultant Brian Stephens, who, said Cohen, was interested in making money, not the welfare of the city, and had talked one of Warren's opponents into moving from the Position 1 race, where Stephens already had a client, in order to maximize his potential profit.

It's not quite a done deal. There’s still a withdrawal deadline of Thursday, July 25th, to be reckoned with — and rumors abound of dramatic changes of mind between now and then. But the filing deadline for places on the October 3rd Memphis city election ballot has come and gone, and (pending those potential changes) we know what the lineups are for the various races.

After this week’s filing deadline, at noon on Thursday, July 18th, here’s what the races looked like. (County election coordinator Linda Phillips stressed that these results were “preliminary.”)

This one is pure carnival. To understate the case somewhat, incumbent Jim Strickland, with a $1 million budget for the race, is in good shape. Three challengers have at least the trappings of a campaign: former Mayor Willie Herenton, activist and Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer, and Lemichael Wilson. For the record, the other candidates are Terrence Boyce, Leo Awgowhat, Pamela Moses, Michael Everett Banks, DeAngelo Pegues, David Walker, Steven Bradley, Robert “Prince Mongo” Hodges, and Sharon A. Webb.

District 1: Rhonda Logan and Sherman Greer. This is a straight-out, one-on-one between Logan, whose candidacy for an appointment to the council was pushed vigorously but unsuccessfully last year by various north-side political figures, notably state Representative Antonio Parkinson, and the eventually named incumbent, Greer, a former long-time aide to former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. Greer has widespread support from other members of the political establishment.

District 2: Incumbent Frank Colvett is on the ballot. Two would-be challengers, John Emery and Marvin Louis White, were having their supporting signatures checked. Should they qualify, that is likely the closest they’ll come to having a success.

District 3: Incumbent Patrice Robinson will be heavily favored against Tanya Cooper.

District 4: Incumbent Jamita Swearengen, another in-office favorite, has one definite challenger, Britney Thornton, and two other potential challengers, Rodney A. Muhammad, and Russell R. Jones, whose qualifying signatures are undergoing verification.

District 5: Incumbent Worth Morgan is being challenged by John Marek. Morgan would seem to be sitting pretty, but there are those who credit Marek with a chance to make some mischief.

District 6: Former incumbent Edmund Ford Sr., regarded as a prohibitive favorite, has four definite challengers — Davin Clemons, Theryn Bond, Jaques Hamilton, and Perry Bond — and one potential challenger, Paul S. Brown, whose signatures are being checked. Two Bonds: That makes things interesting.

District 7: Incumbent Berlin Boyd, who routinely attracts controversy, has attracted a passel of opponents as well: Catrina Smith, Jerred Price, Larry Springfield, Michalyn C.S. Easter-Thomas, Thurston Smith, Jimmy Hassan, and Will “The Underdog” Richardson. Toni Green-Cole could join this entourage if her signatures, undergoing evaluation, hold up.

Super-District 8, Position 1: Vying for this position are: Gerre Currie, who is vacating her appointive District 6 seat to do so: J.B. Smiley, Jr; Pearl Eva Walker; Nicole Cleaborn, M. Latroy Alexandria-Williams; and Derrick Dee Harris.

Super-District 8, Position 2: Incumbent Cheyenne Johnson, who always won her races for Shelby County assessor, even during Republican sweep years, will be opposed by Craig Littles, Frank W. Johnson, Brian L. Saulsberry, and Marinda Alexandria-Williams.

Super-District 8, Position 3: Incumbent Martavius Jones has two known opponents — Roderic Ford and Cat Allen — and two potential challengers whose signatures are being checked — Pamela Lee and Lynette P. Williams. In any case, Jones is heavily favored.

Super-District 9, Position 1: Qualified candidates are: Erika Sugarmon and Chase Carlisle. It’s going to be a contested one-on-one between a well-regarded woman with political lineage and the scion of a development dynasty.

Super-District 9, Position 2: Incumbent Ford Canale has one definite challenger, Deanielle Jones. But Mauricio Calvo is in the race too, if his supporting signatures check out, and he could prove to be a sleeper.

Super-District 9, Position 3: Jeff Warren was an early candidate and has raised more cash than any other council candidate. He has three challengers — Tyrone Romeo Franklin, Charley Burch, and Cody Fletcher, the latter a transplant from his original ballot choice, Position 1. He might have been better off before the switch.

There are several well-known names in the clerk's race, it would seem, with former Councilman Myron Lowery and Democratic activist Lea Ester Redmond definitely in, and Joe Brown, another former councilman, and county Commissioner Justin Ford in the process of being approved for the race. Others are George D. Summers, Carl Irons, David Vinciarelli, Dorothy Jean Bolden, Dee Givens, and William Stovall, with Delicia DeGraffried undergoing final certification.

There are three positions on the ballot and at least one definite race.
In Division 3, incumbent Judge Jayne Chandler is being challenged by current Judicial Commissioner David Pool.

In Division 1, the recently appointed Teresa Jones, a former school board member, may have a challenger in Latrena D. Ingram, who is still undergoing certification.

Division 2 incumbent Judge Tarik Sugarmon will be unopposed.

Council candidate Mauricio Calvo, running in the race for Super-District 9, Position 2, was flanked by family members at a Thursday afternoon rally in Midtown, as he delineated the neighborhoods in his district via a chart held by a supporter.

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