SHELBY DEMS ATTEMPT TO OUST TWO CANDIDATES 

But the deadline for altering the ballot has passed.

As reported by blogger polar donkey (http://polardonkey.blogspot.com), who was iron-butted enough to stand the vigil, the Shelby County Democratic Party’s steering committee met in executive session for almost five hours Thursday night at the IBEW union hall and finally decided by a 5-3 vote to ask the Election Commission to decertify two candidates — J.W.Gibson and Johnny Hatcher – currently on the party’s May 2 primary ballot.

At present, Gibson is a Democratic primary candidate for the County Commission seat in District 2, Position 1, while Hatcher is running as a Democrat for the commission’s District 3, Position 1 seat.

Both Gibson and Hatcher were designated for decertification because of prior Republican Party activities. Gibson’s departure from the Democratic ballot would leave only Derrick Harris as a party candidate, assuming that incumbent commissioner Walter Bailey, term-limited out by action of the state Supreme Court Wednesday, does not succeed in a possible federal court appeal. Several candidates would remain in the Democratic primary field for the seat Hatcher has been seeking.

But Brook Thompson, the state Election Commissioner, was reported in Friday's Commercial Appeal as advising that the matter of ballot listing is out of the hands of both the Democratic Party and the Shelby County Election Commission, in that the deadline for ballot publication has already passed.

The upshot of that is that not only will Gibson and Hatcher remain on the May ballot, so will Bailey and commission colleague Cleo Kirk, his fellow plaintiff. There's a quasi-Shermanesque catch, though -- If elected, those officials cannot serve. If either Bailey or Kirk are nominated, the local Democratic Party would have to anoint an official successor.

The picture is somewhat more uncertain regarding the status of Gibson and Hatcher, in the event one of them should gain the party nomination.

Meanwhile, here's an interesting anomaly and/or irony to chew on: the CA headline of three days ago: "Bailey seeks Gibson's removal from ballot." Tempus fugit, "time flies," as they say.

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