SENATOR PERSON TOUTS WILDER AS SPEAKER UNDER GOP 

SENATOR PERSON TOUTS WILDER AS SPEAKER UNDER GOP

If Tennessee Republicans are able to achieve a majority in the state Senate after next year’s elections, they may choose a Democrat to lead them. That’s if they follow the example of state Sen. Curtis Person (R-Memphis), who extolled the virtues of Lt. Gov. John Wilder (D-Somerville) at a well-attended fundraiser for Wilder Thursday night at the Memphis home of city councilman Jack Sammons. Person, who has held legislative office since 1966 and has been opposed only twice during that period, left no doubt as to his own loyalties. After toasting Wilder for empowering the Senate “as independent body” some three decades ago, Person said flatly, “If the Republicans gain control of the Senate next year, I want it known that I’ll vote for John Wilder to be Speaker once again.” Person’s statement was reminiscent of remarks he and other leading Senate Republicans made on Wilder’s behalf three years ago when the Lt. Governor was challenged for his Senate seat by Savannah Mayor Bob Shutt, who had gained the GOP nomination but got limited support from partymates statewide. Wilder won that one easily. Since surviving two purge attempts by Democratic factions in the '80s, Wilder, a sturdy octogenarian who does two vigorous bicycle rides a day, has presided over the Senate as the choice of a bipartisan coalition. During brief remarks at the fundraiser Thursday night, Wilder quipped, "I think more people like me in Memphis than they do in Nashville." Other senators present at the fundraiser, where Wilder was introduced by FedEx founder Fred Smith, included Democrats Steve Cohen and Jim Kyle, both of Memphis, Jo Ann Graves of Gallatin, Don McCleary of Jackson, and Doug Henry of Nashville, and Republican Mark Norris of Collierville. Also attending were state Mental Health commissioner Virginia Betts, state Secretary of State Riley Darnell, state Comptroller John Morgan, state Treasurer Dale Sims, and numerous other politically influential members of both major political parties.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Filling in the Blanks

      Harris jumps into county mayor’s race; Blackburn declares for Corker’s seat; other big names contemplate a race.
    • TN Races for Governor, Senator, Heat Up!

      At a geometrically increasing rate, aspirants for significant public office on the 2018 ballot are coming front and center with announcements of candidacy, kickoff events, and the like

Blogs

News Blog

Brooks Leaders Confirm Interest in Riverfront Move

We Saw You

Foaming at the mouth at Cooper-Young Beerfest

News Blog

New Mural Installed on Highland Strip

News Blog

Terminix: A Ghost? In Memphis, Probably a Roof Rat

Beyond the Arc

Grizzlies to waive or trade Baldwin, Zagorac today

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: Eric Hughes

From My Seat

NBA 2017-18: We’ve Been Here Before

Tiger Blue

Tigers 30, #25 Navy 27

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Jackson Baker

  • Filling in the Blanks

    Harris jumps into county mayor’s race; Blackburn declares for Corker’s seat; other big names contemplate a race.
    • Oct 12, 2017
  • On Politicians and Gannett's "Seat at the Table"

    Pre-arranged "exclusive" announcements by Harris and Blackburn indicate a possible competitive advantage of chain journalism in a transformational time.
    • Oct 5, 2017
  • Haslam Out of Senate Race, Blackburn In

    Governor, after pondering, says race would be a "distraction" from gubernatorial service; Congresswoman, meanwhile, says, "Bring it on."
    • Oct 5, 2017
  • More »

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
  • The Buddy System

    Harris and Kelsey hope to effect a good public outcome on the TVA/aquifer issue.
    • Feb 2, 2017
  • Cohen Tells It!

    In which Memphis’ Democratic congressman Steve Cohen, addressing an apparent GOP effort to muddy the waters on the Russian inquiry, not only takes no crap but gives it back where it came from. This is worth watching from beginning to end -- even for those who might disagree on the politics of the matter.
    • Jul 26, 2017
ADVERTISEMENT
© 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