No-Show Herenton Wins Democrats' Straw Poll 

A few score Shelby County Democrats showed up at the Rendezvous Thursday evening to pay $50 a head for the privilege of voting in a mayoral straw poll while raising money for the party. The only mayoral candidate who was there from start to finish was Herman Morris. Carol Chumney came late and addressed the crowd, as had Morris early. John Willingham had a spokesperson on hand who talked him up before the attendees. Only Mayor Willie Herenton was absent and went unspoken for. The winner? Willie Herenton.

Party chairman Keith Norman declined to give vote totals or to indicate who finished second and third.

What was proved by the event and by its outcome? That Herenton has a hard core and a network that serve him well, for all the fact that he's not campaigning this year in the conventional sense -- no fundraisers, no polls, no inclination to participate in forums.

The mayor's still very much a power, though, among inner-city Democratic cadres and among the Teamsters, both of which groups turned up in force.

A scientific poll? Of course not. What it did prove, however, was that the mayor is not lacking where G.O.T.V. (Get-out-the-vote) is the game. And that's what the game will be during early voting and on October 4th.

Meanwhile, Shelby County Republicans were busily interviewing prospective endorsees for mayoral and council positions. One showdown that was evidently resolved was that in Super-District 9, Position 3, between John Pellicciotti and Reid Hedgepeth. Pellicciotti, not too long ago (before losing twice to Democratic state representative Mike Kernell), was a potential rising star for the GOP. He had previously indicated he would withdraw before today's deadline if the nod went to Hedgepeth, who had support from outgoing Jack Sammons and from FedEx mogul Fred Smith.

Pellicciotti withdrew. So that's that.

--Jackson Baker


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

    • Dogs and Ponies

      As all six Republican gubernatorial candidates gathered for a Memphis forum, decorum prevailed, but it may not last.
    • Waiting for Shoes to Drop

      Harold Byrd, a Democrat, and Shea Flinn, running as an independent, are considering runs for Shelby County mayor.


Tiger Blue

Tigers 63, New Orleans 52

Beyond the Arc

Blazers 100, Grizzlies 92: Five Thoughts

Hungry Memphis

South Main Market grand opening Dec. 2

From My Seat

Frank's Memphis Sports Thanksgiving

Hungry Memphis

Sunrise opening Nov. 27


More by Jackson Baker

Readers also liked…

  • Filling the Space

    For all the in-fighting, we’re all looking for the same thing, and sometimes we can realize it.
    • Jul 14, 2016
  • Democratic Discontent in Philadelphia

    After WikiLeaks revelations of DNC efforts favoring Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders moves to tame the tempest.
    • Jul 26, 2016
  • Jill Stein in Memphis

    An impressive turnout for Green Party presidential nominee at Amurica.
    • Oct 6, 2016
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation