Races, Faces, and Cases: More Shelby County Election Previews 

Contested County Commission Races:

DISTRICT 1 (North Shelby County) — Republican Amber Mills is vying with Democrat J. Racquel Collins, a St. Jude administrator. Could turn out closer than many expect.

DISTRICT 2 (East Shelby County, Collierville) — Architect David Bradford can count on well-established GOP voting habits, but political newcomer Tom Carpenter, is a surprisingly active Democratic challenger. 

DISTRICT 3 (Bartlett, Lakeland)Mick Wright, a youngish political vet, is the favored Republican, but attorney Monica Timmerman, the Democrat, has picked up endorsements.  

DISTRICT 4 (Germantown) — Incumbent Republican Mark Billingsley seemingly has a lock; Kevin Haley, an impressive speaker, is a future pick for Democrats.

DISTRICT 5 (East Memphis, Binghampton, East Shelby County) — CPA Richard Morton's hard work won an upset in the GOP primary, but Democrat Michael Whaley has crossover support and could steal the seat. 

DISTRICT 7 (Frayser, Raleigh, North Memphis) —  Democratic activist Tami Sawyer of Take 'Em Down 901 fame has established herself as a force; realtor Sam Goff, a "moderate Republican," is hoping for crossover.

DISTRICT 9 (Southwest Memphis, Whitehaven) — Departing City Councilman Edmund Ford Jr. looks like a shoo-in over former school board member Sharon Webb.

DISTRICT 10 (South Memphis, Orange Mound, Central Gardens, Cooper-Young) — Democratic incumbent Reginald Milton appears to have enough support to hold off independent Vontyna Durham.   

DISTRICT 13 (University of Memphis, Greater East Memphis) — GOP newcomer Brandon Morrison ousted Republican incumbent Steve Basar and thereby probably doused the hopes of Democratic candidate, entrepreneur/former Election Commissioner George Monger.

School Board Faces: There are several well-qualified candidates running for the Shelby County Schools board seats. (A review of last week's public candidate forum at Bridges will appear on memphisflyer.com this week.)

District 1 — Incumbent Chris Caldwell, a financial consultant; Katherine Ayers, a program manager at St. Jude's.; Michelle McKissack, editor of Memphis Parent; and charter school teacher Michael Scruggs.

District 6 — Incumbent Shante Avant, activist; Pastor Percy Hunter; Minnie Hunter; and Roderic Ford.    

District 8 — Incumbent Billy Orgel, businessman/developer; and former teacher Jerry Cunningham.

District 9 — Incumbent Mike Kernell, former legislator; Kori Hamner, former teacher; Democratic activist Alvin Crook; church secretary Joyce Dorse-Coleman; and educational consultant Rhonnie Brewer.

Court Cases: Circuit Court Judge, Division IX — David Rudolph (incumbent) vs. Yolanda Kight. Rudolph, a scion of East Memphis and blue-chip law firms, was appointed in 2017 by Governor Haslam to the seat vacated by Robert L. "Butch" Childers. Kight, who holds the rank of magistrate, worked her way up from humble beginnings. In its sample balloting, members of the Memphis Bar Association gave Rudolph the edge. 

Circuit Court Judge, Division VI —  Mary L. Wagner (incumbent) vs. Michael G. Floyd. Wagner, who worked at the firm of Rice, Amundsen & Caperton and taught at the University of Memphis Law School, was appointed by Haslam in 2016. She was the clear favorite of Bar Association members. Floyd, a native of Philadelphia and a practitioner there, has run unsuccessfully for numerous legal positions.

Criminal Court Judge, Division X Jennifer Smith Nichols (incumbent) vs. Jennifer Johnson Mitchell. Nichols, a veteran prosecutor, was appointed by Haslam to fill the unexpired term of retired Judge James Beasley. Mitchell is a veteran of the Public Defender's office. Nichols won the Bar Association poll.

Environmental Court Judge Division 14 — Patrick M. Dandridge (incumbent) vs. Price Harris. Dandridge, a former city assistant attorney and the city's code enforcement director, was hand-picked by Judge Larry Potter to succeed him. Veteran Memphis attorney Harris has filled in as judge for numerous jurisdictions. Dandridge edged Harris in the Bar Association poll. (For more on this story, see Editorial).

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