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Editorial Results (free)

1. Latino Political Profile Continues Rise -

When Latino Memphis held its first annual Leadership Luncheon last week in East Memphis, the ballroom at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis included political and business leaders among the group of 800 people.

2. County Leaders Make Transition to Governing -

For government officials, the oath of office marks the boundary between the ability to get elected and the ability to govern.

But it’s not always apparent to those taking the oath what they have gotten themselves into.

3. Democratic Chairman Apologizes as Party Parses Defeats -

Democrats don’t consider it a successful campaign season unless there is some kind of intra-party dust up, the political axiom goes.

That conventional political wisdom loses its validity the more Republicans win, and it suggests that when the differences within the party aren’t mended by a Democratic victory, a bigger skirmish is likely on the horizon.

4. Democratic Divide Widens in Election Results -

Democrats have retained their seven-vote majority on the new single-district Shelby County Commission that takes office Sept. 1.

That and the re-election victory of Democratic incumbent Cheyenne Johnson in the race for Shelby County Assessor of Property were the only bright spots for a divided local Democratic Party that lost every other countywide partisan elected position to Republicans in the Aug. 7 county general election, just as they lost every countywide position to Republicans four years earlier.

5. Cohen Prevails, Incumbents Dominate -

Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen held off Thursday, Aug. 7, the most serious electoral challenge he’s faced since winning the Congressional seat in 2006, in the form of attorney Ricky E. Wilkins.

6. Cohen, Luttrell, Weirich, Harris Take Early Vote -

Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen has taken the early vote over challenger Ricky Wilkins in the hard fought Democratic Congressional primary on Thursday’s Shelby County election ballot.

7. Republicans Rally In Bartlett -

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam told a group of several hundred Republicans in Bartlett Monday, Aug. 4, that he would like to see a statewide turnout in the August Republican primaries of 750,000.

Haslam and U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander have been on a statewide bus tour since last week to pump up overall Republican turnout even as they face opposition in the GOP primaries for governor and the U.S. Senate. The goal is to also boost the turnout for Republican candidates in local general election races on the ballot.

8. Multiple Choice -

It could have been an election about the local criminal justice system. The set of once-every-eight-years judicial races was the perfect frame for competitive races for district attorney general and juvenile court judge as the main events.

9. Democratic Sample Ballot Omits Some Names -

Not every candidate who claimed the Democratic nomination in the May county primaries is on the Shelby County Democratic Party’s endorsement ballot that hits the streets this week.

With early voting underway in advance of the Aug. 7 election day, the sample ballot does not include Juvenile Court clerk candidate Henri Brooks, Circuit Court clerk nominee Rhonda Banks, Probate Court clerk candidate William Chism and County Clerk nominee Charlotte Draper.

10. Weirich: Brown ‘Out of Touch With Reality’ -

Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich says a video posted Tuesday on the campaign website of Democratic challenger Joe Brown questioning her sexual orientation represents a “sad day” in local politics.

11. Brown’s Campaign Has Included Many Turns -

Democratic Party leaders bet a lot politically at the outset of the 2014 election season on retired Criminal Court Judge Joe Brown as more than just the party’s nominee for district attorney general.

12. Weirich Says Brown ‘Out of Touch With Reality’ -

Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich says a video posted Tuesday on the campaign website of Democratic challenger Joe Brown questioning her sexual orientation represents a “sad day” in local politics.

13. Sheriff’s Race Reflects Different Law Enforcement Cultures -

Bennie Cobb remembers how he got his first job in the local criminal justice system.

It was 1980, and Cobb – then 19 years old – went to apply for a job at the old City Jail.

14. Chism Picnic Reflects Summer Campaign Tone -

From the stage at County Commissioner Sidney Chism’s annual political picnic Saturday, June 21, you could almost see the Aug. 7 election day.

15. Events -

The sixth annual Man of the House mentoring event for 12- to 18-year-old boys will be held Saturday, June 14, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the National Civil Rights Museum, 450 Mulberry St. A “power lunch” at noon will feature remarks from Sheriff Bill Oldham and Memphis business leaders. Cost is free. Register at manofthehouse.net or email manofthehousementoring@gmail.com.

16. Events -

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and National Bar Association will hold a continuing legal education program titled “Remaking America: 50 Years of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act” Friday, June 13, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, 1 N. Front St. Call 544-0122 for more information.

17. Events -

National Hispanic Professional Organization – Memphis will meet Thursday, June 12, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Hilton Memphis, 939 Ridge Lake Blvd. Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Sheriff Bill Oldham will speak. On-site registration begins at 11:30 a.m. Cost is free for members and $20 for nonmembers. Email info@nhpomemphis.us.

18. Events -

Greater Memphis Chamber and the New Memphis Institute will hold a Celebrate What’s Right lunch Wednesday, June 11, at noon at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis, 3700 Central Ave. Chamber President and CEO Phil Trenary and members of the Chairman’s Circle will discuss the chamber’s five “moon mission” initiatives. Tickets are $30. Visit newmemphis.org.

19. Both Parties Launch General Election Efforts -

On a Saturday afternoon with a crowded calendar of political events, state Rep. G.A. Hardaway invited the winners and losers from the May Democratic county primaries and local Democrats who are on the August ballot to stand together at an airport-area meeting room of about 100 people.

20. August’s ‘Big Ballot’ Awaits County’s Voters -

With the unofficial results in the Shelby County primary elections in, get ready for the “big ballot.”

The candidates who won the Democratic and Republican primaries in Tuesday’s elections advance to the August ballot where they will join a much larger group of candidates and races that once every eight years produce the largest ballot of any election cycle in Shelby County politics.

21. Primary Choices -

Shelby County voters will begin the process Tuesday, May 6, of electing a majority of new members to a Shelby County Commission that will also change to a set of 13 single-member districts when the winners take office on Sept. 1.

22. Rape Kit Backlog Report Tracks Complex Path -

The former federal prosecutor investigating the city’s untested rape kit backlog says clearing the backlog will mean more than an investment in testing the rape kits for DNA.

“Stop and think. These kits are going to be tested,” said former U.S. Attorney Veronica Coleman-Davis on the WKNO-TV program “Behind The Headlines.”

23. Oldham Catches Criticism for County’s Rape Kit Backlog -

Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham took fire at a weekend political forum over his department’s backlog of 300 untested rape kits, which Oldham revealed during budget hearings before the Shelby County Commission earlier in the week.

24. Ongoing Rape Kit Backlog Fallout Expands -

The ongoing fallout from the backlog of untested rape kits is beginning to develop some boundaries and dividing lines as it moves into federal court and expands outside court to include a backlog of 300 rape kits by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department.

25. Early Voting Opens in County Primaries -

Shelby County voters begin deciding Wednesday, April 16, who holds 11 countywide offices, including Shelby County mayor and district attorney general, as well as 13 seats on the Shelby County Commission drawn with new single-member district lines.

26. Brown Contempt Jailing Maps Political Challenge -

The arrest of the Democratic nominee for Shelby County district attorney general Monday, March 24, is the best indication yet of the tumult within the local Democratic Party as it attempts to win countywide offices four years after losing every race to Republicans.

27. Shelby County Party Heads Look Ahead to Primaries -

As Shelby County Democrats try to improve on losing every countywide office to Republicans in the 2010 county elections, party leaders are also warning political figures who identify as Democrats not to cross party lines.

28. Criminal Justice Issues Likely to Dominate Races -

Expect to hear a lot between now and August about how the local criminal justice system does or does not work.

With Thursday’s filing deadline for candidates in the May 6 county primaries, two races for offices that are part of the system advanced to the August ballot.

29. Roland ReElected At Filing Deadline, Two Countywide Races Set For August -

One of the six Shelby County Commission incumbents seeking re-election this year was effectively elected to a new four-year term in a new district with the noon Thursday, Feb. 20, filing deadline for candidates in the May county primaries.

30. Democratic Commission Majority Could Be Safe in Elections -

With a week to the filing deadline for candidates in the May 6 Shelby County primary elections, it looks as if Democrats will retain their seven-member majority on the Shelby County Commission.

The commission switches to a set of 13 single-member districts with the 2014 elections instead of the current structure of one single-member district and four districts each represented by three commissioners.

31. Fields Begin to Gel for May and August Ballots -

With two weeks to the filing deadline for candidates in the May Shelby County primary elections and two months to the deadline for those in the August state and federal primaries and county nonpartisan elections, the fields have solidified enough that some political players are weighing their prospects for a late entry before the filing deadlines.

32. Commission Debates Pay for County Offices -

Shelby County Commissioners appear to have another deadlock similar to the one that spilled over from 2011 into 2012 on drawing new district lines for the 13-member body.

This time the issue is what to pay those holding six countywide elected offices once all of the votes are counted next August in the county general elections.

33. County Commission Approves Three More Schools Pacts -

Shelby County Commissioners on Monday, Dec. 2, approved agreements for suburban school districts in Millington, Collierville and Bartlett, with little discussion at a special meeting of the body.

The commission approved similar agreements with elected leaders in Arlington and Lakeland in November.

34. Oldham Opens Sheriff Re-Election Bid -

Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham opened his re-election campaign Saturday, Nov. 2, with something he didn’t have four years ago: a record.

35. Sheriff Oldham Begins Re-Election Campaign -

Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham was scheduled to kick off his re-election campaign Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Balinese Ballroom in the Pinch District.

36. Cohen Moves On From Week of Controversy -

With a two-year term of office, members of Congress are never far from re-election mode.

The odd-numbered years are off-election years but not years with time off from politics or the incumbent’s advantage of a record in Washington to tout.

37. Events -

Memphis Rotary Club will meet Tuesday, July 30, at noon at the University Club of Memphis, 1346 Central Ave. Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham will speak. Cost for nonmembers is $18. R.S.V.P. to Taylor Hughes at taylor@memphisrotary.org.

38. Events -

Memphis Rotary Club will meet Tuesday, July 30, at noon at the University Club of Memphis, 1346 Central Ave. Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham will speak. Cost for nonmembers is $18. R.S.V.P. to Taylor Hughes at taylor@memphisrotary.org.

39. Chism Pushing for Younger Democratic Contenders -

Candidates in the 2014 elections for Shelby County Commission emerged at Commissioner Sidney Chism’s political picnic over the weekend.

40. Commission Receives Schools Financials -

Shelby County Commissioners formally get the financials of Shelby County’s two public school systems Monday, May 6, in an action that is not expected to generate much debate.

But the financial statements for the fiscal year that ended June 30 is another step along the path toward the formal merger of both school systems effective at the end of the current fiscal year.

41. Paper, Drug Disposal Nets 298 Pounds of Pills -

MEMPHIS (AP) – The Shelby County sheriff's office has collected more than 5 tons of paper and nearly 300 pounds of prescription drugs at a shredding and disposal event.

The sheriff's office and the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs invited residents in Memphis and the rest of the county to drop off documents that contained personal information that could be used for identity theft and any unneeded prescription drugs so they could be disposed of safely.

42. Lessons Learned -

What happened 15 years ago outside the Shelby County Courthouse between the seated figures of justice and wisdom informed much of what happened Saturday, March 30, when a different Ku Klux Klan group, the American Knights, came to Memphis and rallied at the other southern entrance to the courthouse – between the seated figures of authority and liberty.

43. Klan Rally, Heavy Police Presence Mix With Rain -

A group of 60 robed Ku Klux Klan members and swastika flag bearing members of the National Socialist Movement rallied Saturday, March 30, outside the Shelby County Courthouse.

The protest and a counter protest came with chilly temperatures and a rain that alternated between a mist and a downpour over several hours.

44. Hopson Seeks $57 Million Owed Schools -

Interim Memphis City Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson hopes to meet with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. next week about $57 million.

That is the amount of money the school system won in two court decisions – trial and appellate level – from the city while Hopson was general counsel to the school system.

45. Schools Security Plan Emphasizes Consistency -

While many of the most controversial issues of the coming merger of Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools are still to be decided, the issue of how to handle school security appears to be settled.

46. Bartlett Zoning Case Tops Commission Agenda -

Shelby County Commissioners take up a proposed assisted living facility at their meeting Monday, Nov. 5, that doesn’t yet require approval from the city of Bartlett but which is in an area Bartlett is seeking to annex.

47. In Remembrance -

The Bluff City Tuesday, Sept.11, joins communities across the United States in honoring local firefighters and remembering the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks that shook the nation 11 years ago on this day.

48. Events -

The Black Business Association of Memphis will hold a small-business loan workshop Monday, Sept. 10, at 5:30 p.m. at Renaissance Business Center, 555 Beale St. Cost is free, and pre-registration is not required. Visit bbamemphis.com or call 526-9300.

49. New Gang Unit Takes All-Out Approach -

There are few pieces of gang graffiti that are a more certain indicator of gang activity than the word Hoover.

Pitchforks and multi-pointed stars and certain numbers could be the work on bona fide gang members or those who aspire to gang membership – called “wannabes” by police.

50. Law Enforcement Agencies Launch New Gang Unit -

Local, state and federal law enforcement officials formally launched Monday, July 23, a new “Multi-Agency Gang Unit.”

But the unit will operate differently than the past gang unit that was a consolidation of efforts by the Memphis Police Department and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department.

51. Metro Gang Unit Unveiling Monday -

A new Metro Gang Unit will be unveiled Monday, July 23, by local, state and federal law enforcement officials.

But the unit will operate differently than the past gang unit that was a consolidation of efforts by the Memphis Police Department and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department.

52. Sheriff's Office Withdraws Request for Drone Helicopter -

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has withdrawn its request to buy two miniature helicopter drones capable of real-time video surveillance.

Sheriff’s office chief administrative officer Chuck Fox told Shelby County Commissioners Wednesday, May 16, that Sheriff Bill Oldham was withdrawing the request to use part of $400,000 in federal Homeland Security funding for the unmanned devices.

53. Copter Drones Dominate Commission Debate -

A plan by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to buy two miniature helicopter drones hit some political turbulence Monday, May 7, among Shelby County Commissioners concerned about privacy issues.

“The potential for abuse is great,” said Commissioner Brent Taylor. “They could peer into our private spaces without a warrant.”

54. County Commission Debates, Delays Drones -

Shelby County Commissioners had little trouble Monday, May 7, approving the first of three readings of a redistricting plan.

There were a few questions about procedure as the commission makes its fourth try at setting new district lines for itself. But commissioners didn’t get into any of the specifics of a plan. That should change on second reading in two weeks.

55. Group Weighs Schools Logistics -

The city charter requires Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division to provide water to the Memphis City Schools system at no charge.

When MCS consolidates with the Shelby County Schools system in 2013, the merged system may have to pay a water bill as well as electric and gas bills. Or the free water may flow to the former county schools as well.

56. Officials Increase Crime Prevention Programs -

Just as statistics have driven the Blue CRUSH anti-crime strategy, U.S. Justice Department officials in Memphis this week said they are confident other statistics can point to strategies that will prevent crime.

57. City Police, County Sheriff Revive Joint Gang Unit -

After years of separate efforts to fight gangs, the Memphis Police Department and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office are about to bring back a joint gang unit that will also include participation by federal agencies and the district attorney general’s office as well as the Memphis City Schools system.

58. Hiring Squeeze Highlights Budget -

The Luttrell administration takes a set of proposed budget cuts to Shelby County commissioners Wednesday, June 1, that will mean no 2 percent raise for county employees next fiscal year, no increase in health insurance for county employees and a tighter squeeze on county hiring.

59. Dodging the Deluge -

The last time the Memphis river gauge was this high, Memphis was a much different place. In 1937 when the Mississippi River at Memphis topped 48.7 feet, Mud Island was really an island with no levee connecting it to the city and the Wolf River flowing between it and the city proper. Parts of the city were still rural as was the county outside Memphis. Today’s suburban development was a long way off, and Millington was still a few years away from getting the Naval Air Station.

60. Flood Experts Watch Wolf and Loosahatchie Warily -

Gov. Bill Haslam met with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials Friday morning during one of several stops in Memphis.

As the Mississippi River continued to rise toward a projected 45-foot crest on May 10, the tributaries – the Wolf and Loosahatchie Rivers – remained the main source of street flooding in east Shelby County and even along Humphreys Boulevard in East Memphis as well as Wolf River Boulevard between Riverdale and Wolf River Circle.

61. County Sheriff's Office is Reaccredited -

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has been reaccredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

The office was fully accredited for the second consecutive time based on policies, procedures, management, operations and support services.

62. Employee Benefits Issue Plays Out Locally -

The debate the Wisconsin Legislature is having about public employee benefits is an issue familiar to local elected leaders.

As Wisconsin’s stormy and emotional debate, which includes a generous helping of collective bargaining controversy not present in any of the local discussions, has played out nationally, the local efforts are moving ahead again.

63. Old Cop, New Cop -

Until 2006, about the only things that cops in Memphis considered “high-tech” were the radio receivers they attached to their shirts.

Older cops considered the latest gadgets in crime fighting as a departure from proven police methods. They still relied on written reports – a bureaucratic requirement in case there were repercussions later – even though there was no guarantee the paper could be found. The closest thing to digital was the reel-to-reel recordings of radio dispatches.

64. Commission Considers IT Consolidation, New Position -

Shelby County commissioners take up the issue of consolidation once again at Monday’s meeting of the body.

It’s not consolidation of city and county governments, though. Voters dealt with that on the Nov. 2 ballot.

65. Sheriff’s Department Now on Facebook -

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is on Facebook to stay. The department began experimenting with a presence on the social media site in July during the tenure of Sheriff Mark Luttrell.

66. Oldham Fills Top Sheriff's Positions -

Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham has named William S. Cash as his chief deputy and Robert L. Moore as interim director of the Shelby County Jail.

67. County Election Winners Sworn in Wednesday -

With former Shelby County Mayor Jim Rout doing the hosting duties and interim county mayor Joe Ford on stage, 26 winners from the Aug. 5 county elections took the oath of office Wednesday at the Cannon Center.

68. Luttrell’s Staff Filled With Familiar Faces -

Shelby County Mayor-elect Mark Luttrell is taking some of his team from the sheriff’s department with him when he switches offices Sept. 1

69. GOP Carries Countywide Offices -

The only thing Republican candidates in Shelby County were denied in the Aug. 5 elections was a majority on the Shelby County Commission. The local GOP slate swept every countywide partisan race on the ballot with Thursday’s election results.

Voter turnout – early and Election Day – was almost 30 percent of Shelby County’s 600,000 voters. All election returns will be audited and must be certified by the Shelby County Election Commission.

Republican Bill Oldham, the former chief deputy of the Sheriff’s Department under outgoing Sheriff Mark Luttrell, beat Democrat Randy Wade in the race for sheriff.

The unofficial returns with all precincts reporting were:

Oldham: 89,613 (52%)

Wade: 82,981 (48%)

Wade, who was the Democratic nominee for sheriff in 2002, linked his 2010 campaign to the re-election bid of Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen. Wade, a former sheriff’s deputy, is Cohen’s district director.

Oldham campaigned on continuing the policies of Luttrell. But his campaign faltered when Oldham was forced to resign his job as chief deputy – the No. 2 position in the department – following a complaint to the U.S. Justice Department that his candidacy violated the Federal Hatch Act.

The civil complaint investigated by the Justice Department’s Office of Special Counsel left Oldham with the choice of either quitting the job or quitting the race. To keep both could have jeopardized federal funding the department receives.

The complaint was unique because deputies and high-ranking officers running for sheriff has been a regular feature of the sheriff’s race for decades. It wasn’t until 2002 that those in the department were required to take a leave of absence if they ran.

In other general election races, challenger Ken Hoover lost to Shelby County School Board Chairman David Pickler in the race for the District 5 seat on the seven-member board.

Pickler has been chairman for 11 of the 12 years the school board has been an elected body. Pickler ran on his record as chairman. Hoover also ran on Pickler’s record, saying his leadership style was too autocratic and not transparent enough.

The unofficial results were:

Pickler: 5,123 (51%)

Hoover: 4,956 (49%)

In the two other contested school board races, former Bolton High School principal Snowden “Butch” Carruthers beat Millington parent Charlene White in District 1. And political newcomer David Reaves beat fellow newcomer Lara A. McIntyre, both of Bartlett, for the District 3 seat.

White and McIntyre both called for change in school board methods during their campaigns.

District 7 school board member Ernest Chism ran unopposed.

The even-numbered district school board seats are on the 2012 county ballot.

After running for Probate Court clerk three other times, Democratic nominee Sondra Becton could not claim the office on her fourth try – even with the incumbent she campaigned against the three other times out of the race. Republican contender Paul Boyd easily beat Becton in the race for the office Chris Thomas gave up to run for and win a seat on the Shelby County Commission.

Becton lost to Thomas by 604 votes four years ago and was among the four Democratic challengers who unsuccessfully challenged the results in Chancery Court. This time she lost by more than 6,500 votes.

The vote totals were:

Boyd: 82,259 (52%)

Becton: 75,702 (48%)

Republican Tom Leatherwood easily defeated Democratic challenger Coleman Thompson to remain Shelby County register. The two faced each other in 2006, with Leatherwood winning.

The results Thursday were:

Leatherwood: 96,531 (58%)

Thompson: 68,784 (42%)

As early voting began, Thompson’s Pyramid Recovery Center was evicted from its longtime South Memphis space that was also an early voting site and an election day polling place. The landlord agreed to leave the voting sites up and running. But the possibility of a change in polling places served to highlight Thompson’s financial problems.

Late publicity about financial problems took a toll on another Democratic contender.

Newcomer Corey Maclin began campaigning early for Shelby County clerk, with incumbent Republican Debbie Stamson not seeking re-election. Maclin lost to Republican nominee Wayne Mashburn, the son of late county clerk Sonny Mashburn.

The unofficial returns were:

Mashburn: 88,619 (55%)

Maclin: 72,651 (45%)

Stamson’s husband, Steve Stamson, retired as Juvenile Court clerk, setting up the race that was won by Republican nominee Joy Touliatos, the chief administrative officer of the clerk’s office. She beat Democratic nominee Shep Wilbun, who won appointment to the clerk’s office in 2000 but lost to Stamson in the 2002 election and was beaten by Stamson again in 2006.

With all precincts reporting, the numbers were:

Touliatos: 85,849 (51%)

Wilbun: 73,345 (44%)

The remaining votes went to independent candidate Julia R. Wiseman.

Also seeking a return to countywide office was Minerva Johnican. Johnican, the Democratic nominee for Criminal Court clerk, lost to Republican nominee Kevin Key, the son of outgoing Criminal Court Clerk Bill Key and an administrator with the Circuit Court Clerk’s office.

The results were:

Key: 79,755 (49%)

Johnican: 74,831 (46%)

Independent candidate Jerry Stamson: 8,581 (5%)

Johnican, also a former Memphis City Council member and Shelby County Commissioner lost the clerk’s job in 1994 when she was upset by the elder Key.

Incumbent Republican Circuit Court Clerk Jimmy Moore easily defeated Democratic challenger Ricky Dixon. Although Dixon was part of the effort by Democratic party leaders to get voters to vote the entire party slate, Moore continued to show up at Democratic functions and make his case for crossover votes.

Regina Morrison Newman, the third Shelby County tustee in four years, lost her bid for a full term in the office to Republican challenger David Lenoir. It was an impressive political debut for Lenoir, who had heavy backing from the local GOP.

The results were:

Lenoir: 77,166 (49%)

Newman: 72,618 (46%)

Independent candidate Derrick Bennett: 6,353 (4%)

Newman was appointed to the office by the Shelby County Commission following the 2009 death of Trustee Paul Mattila. Mattila was appointed to the office and won a special election for the position following the 2008 death of Bob Patterson. Patterson was re-elected to a four-year term in 2006.

In the judicial races:

Attorney Bill Anderson Jr. emerged atop a field of 20 candidates for General Sessions Criminal Court Judge Div. 7 with 15 percent of the vote. Assistant County Attorney Janet Lansky Shipman was second and the only other contender to go into double digit percentages. The 20 candidates were the largest field in any race – primary or general – on the Shelby County ballot.

Prosecutor Bobby Carter, who had the backing of District Attorney General Bill Gibbons and former District Attorney General John Pierotti, was elected judge of Criminal Court Div. 3 in a close race with attorneys Glenn Wright and Latonya Sue Burrow.

Carter got 26 percent of the vote to Wright’s 25 percent and Burrow’s 24.7 percent.

The results in the three other special judicial races saw the three appointed judges rejected by voters.

  • Lee Wilson, the appointee to General Sessions Criminal Court Judge Div. 10, lost to former General Sessions Court Clerk Chris Turner by more than 64,000 votes. Turner’s victory was the strongest proof of the strong Republican turnout for races across the general election ballot. Turner had been the General Sessions Court clerk until 2006, when he was upset by Democratic challenger Otis Jackson. He is also a former Republican state legislator.
  • Lorrie Ridder, the appointee to Circuit Court Judge Div. 4, lost to attorney Gina Higgins by about 5,000 votes.
  • Rhynette Northcross Hurd, the appointee to Circuit Court Judge Div. 8, lost to attorney Bob Weiss by more than 12,000 votes.

Ridder and Hurd had been appointed to the Circuit Court vacancies by Gov. Phil Bredesen, who picked them each from a list of three finalists from the Judicial Nominating Commission. Bredesen even taped a robo-call on behalf of Hurd, his first robo-call for any candidate in the state.

Wilson was appointed to the General Sessions vacancy by the Shelby County Commission and adopted a domestic violence case docket for the court.

...

70. Hatch Act Behind Oldham’s Sheriff Dept. Resignation -

It’s a first in a race for Shelby County sheriff.

After decades of contenders who run while serving in the ranks of the sheriff’s department, a notice from the Justice Department in Washington appears to have changed not just the race between Bill Oldham and Randy Wade on the Aug. 5 ballot. It also promises to change future races.

71. Oldham Resignation Leaves Behind Questions for Future Elections -

The U.S. Justice Department’s interest in the race for Shelby County sheriff has added an election eve surprise to the contest that could have longer lasting implications.

Chief Deputy Sheriff Bill Oldham, the Republican nominee for sheriff, has resigned from the department’s No. 2 position.

72. Sheriff's Candidate Oldham Resigns From Dept. Post -

Chief Deputy Sheriff Bill Oldham has resigned from the department’s number two position following a complaint alleging his candidacy violates the Hatch Act.

73. Sheriff's Candidate Oldham Resigns From Dept. Post -

Chief Deputy Sheriff Bill Oldham has resigned from the department’s number two position following a complaint alleging his candidacy violates the Hatch Act.

74. Sheriff Candidates Spar, Argue Over ‘Thunderdome’ Jail -

There were two big shows on the local political circuit Monday evening.

One was a forum featuring county mayoral contenders Joe Ford and Mark Luttrell. The two have squared off before, sparring repeatedly over consolidation.

75. Oldham-Wade Sheriff's Debate Crackles -

The two candidates for Shelby County Sheriff met Monday evening at the Central Library for a debate that crackled to life with charges and counter charges about who is more qualified.

The League of Women Voters forum was the first one on one campaign trail encounter between Democratic nominee Randy Wade and GOP nominee Bill Oldham. It drew a standing room only crowd of over 100.

76. Cohen Beefs Up Campaign as Herenton Takes Shots -

When he launched his campaign for Congress in February, Willie Herenton told supporters he was back, seven months after resigning as Memphis mayor.

Fundraisers were to follow immediately the event that drew 300 people.

77. Ford Name Plays Into Election Victory -

It didn’t work for Myron Lowery in last year’s special election for Memphis mayor.

But Joe Ford won the Democratic nomination for Shelby County mayor this week by running from the office.

78. Ford Wins Democratic Mayoral Primary -  

Interim County Mayor Joe Ford became the Democratic nominee for mayor in the August county general elections Tuesday night.

And the August sheriff’s race will be a contest between Democrat Randy Wade and Republican Randy Wade.

All three were among the winners in Tuesday’s low turnout county primaries.

Approximately ten percent of Shelby County’s nearly 600,000 voters cast ballots in early voting and election day polling.

Ford, who was appointed interim mayor in December, beat County Commissioner Deidre Malone and General Sessions Court Clerk Otis Jackson in the Democratic primary. He will face Republican Mark Luttrell who had only token opposition in the Republican primary from perennial contender Ernie Lunati.

Luttrell has raised more money than all three of the Democratic primary contenders combined and began running television ads in the last week runup to election day.

The final unofficial totals in the Democratic mayoral primary are:

Ford 20,360 57%

Malone 12,916 37%

Jackson 2,168 6%

The pair of primaries for Sheriff featured eight candidates, seven of whom either currently work for the sheriff’s department or are past employees. Only Reginald French, in the Democratic primary was not a former or current department official.

Wade was the 2002 Democratic nominee, losing to Luttrell who is leaving as Sheriff after serving two terms. French was the Democratic nominee in the 2006 elections.

Oldham is Luttrell’s chief deputy, the number two position in the department. He is also a former director of the Memphis Police Department.

The final unofficials totals in the Republican primary are:

Bill Oldham 13,821 48%

Dale Lane 7,981 28%

Bobby Simmons 5,886 21%

James Coleman 943 3%

In the Democratic primary:

Randy Wade 22,643 67%

Reginald French 6,777 20%

Larry Hill 2,738 8%

Bennie Cobb 1,814 5%

Voters in the primary elections decided to return six Shelby County commissioners to new four year terms with Tuesday’s results. They also elected six new commissioners. The winner of the thirteenth commission seat will be decided on the August general election ballot in a contest between district 5 Democratic incumbent Steve Mulroy and Republican challenger Dr. Rolando Toyos. The winner of the match up will determine whether the commission remains majority Democrat or goes majority Republican.

Mulroy easily defeated Jennings Bernard in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

Republican incumbent Mike Ritz ran unopposed as did new Democratic commissioner Walter Bailey.

In the remaining ten contests, the primaries decided who gets the seats since no one ran in the opposing party’s primary.

The most hotly contested contest among the commission races was for District 4 Position 1. Outgoing Probate Court Clerk Chris Thomas beat John Pellicciotti, appointed to a commission seat last year but running for a different position in the same district. Jim Bomprezzi, the former mayor of Lakeland, was the third contender in the contest.

The final unofficial totals in the Republican primary:

Thomas 7,631 52%

Pellicciotti 4,871 33%

Bomprezzi 2,298 15%

In position 2 of the same district incumbent Republican Wyatt Bunker easily overcame two challengers with former Lakeland alderman John Wilkerson finishing second and Ron Fittes finishing third.

Millington businessman Terry Roland claimed the third position in the district that takes in all six of Shelby County’s suburban towns and cities.

Roland beat George Chism to take the seat Pellicciotti was appointed to but opted not to run for in deference to Roland.

Heidi Shafer, an aide to outgoing County Commissioner George Flinn, claimed Flinn’s District 1 Position 2 seat over Albert Maduska.in the GOP primary.

District 1 incumbent Republican Mike Carpenter easily beat businessman Joe Baier.

In the Democratic commission primaries, Melvin Burgess claimed Malone’s District 2 Position 3 seat in a field of six contenders. His closest contender was Reginald Milton. Burgess, a city school system audit manager, had run for the seat before. He brought in 54 percent of the vote.

The other hard fought Democratic commission primary saw Justin Ford, son of the interim mayor, claim his father’s District 3 Position 3 seat.

Ford beat Edith Moore, a retired IBM executive, whom the commission appointed to the seat after the elder Ford became mayor.

The final unofficial vote totals are:

Ford 7,342 66%

Moore 3,822 34%

Democratic incumbent commissioners Henri Brooks, Sidney Chism and James Harvey were all re-elected over primary challengers.

The county-wide primaries for seven clerk’s positions saw the return of former Criminal Court Clerk Minerva Johnican 16 years after Republican challenger Bill Key took her job. Johnican decisively beat Ralph White and Vernon Johnson in her first bid for office since the 1994 defeat. She will face Republican Kevin Key, the son of Bill Key in the August general election.

The final unofficial vote totals are:

Johnican 16,381 51%

White 10,170 31%

Johnson 5,954 18%

Former Juvenile Court Clerk Shep Wilbun easily won the Democratic primary with 76 percent of the vote to face Republican Joy Touliatos in August for the office being vacated by Republican Steve Stamson. Touliatos was unopposed in the primary.

Democrat Coleman Thompson is back for another go at incumbent Republican Register Tom Leatherwood.

Aside from Leatherwood, Jimmy Moore is the only other of the seven clerks seeking re-election. Moore ran unopposed in the GOP primary. He will face Democrat Ricky Dixon in August.

Trustee Regina Newman was appointed to her office following the death last year of Paul Mattila. Newman easily overcame M LaTroy Williams in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. She will face David Lenoir, who beat former Shelby County Commissioner John Willingham in the Republican contest.

The final unofficial vote totals are:

Lenoir 15,922 58%

Willingham 11,569 42%

The other six candidate field on the ballot was in the Democratic primary for Probate Court Clerk. Sondra Becton posted impressive vote totals over her rivals, bringing in 35 percent of the vote with Peggy Dobbins her closest rival. Becton, who is making her fourth bid for the office, will face Republican Paul Boyd, who ran unopposed in his primary.

The final unofficial vote totals are:

Becton 10,929 36%

Dobbins 5,366 18%

Annita Hamilton 4,848 16%

Clay Perry 3,549 12%

Danny Kail 3,120 11%

Karen Tyler 2,782 9%

The closest contest of the evening was in the Democratic primary for County Clerk. Wrestling promoter and television personality Corey Maclin won his political debut by less than 1,400 votes over Charlotte Draper and LaKeith Miller. He will face Republican Wayne Mashburn who beat Steve Moore in the companion primary.

Early voting in advance of the Aug. 5 election day begins July 16. The August ballot will also feature state and federal primary elections including the statewide primaries for governor and the primaries for all nine of the state’s Congressional districts.

...

79. Sheriff's Race Attracts Hard-Boiled Veterans -

Most of the Democratic and Republican candidates for Shelby County sheriff gathered last month in the office of outgoing Sheriff Mark Luttrell.

80. Candidate Filing List -- The Final Version -

Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell appeared on his way to the Republican nomination for Shelby County mayor at Thursday’s noon filing deadline for candidates on the May 4 primary ballot.

81. UPDATE: Mayor's Race Grows At Filing Deadline -

Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell appeared on his way to the Republican nomination for Shelby County mayor at Thursday’s noon filing deadline for candidates on the May 4 primary ballot.

Luttrell faces only token opposition from perennial candidate Ernie Lunati.

Meanwhile, the Democratic primary for mayor grew to three contenders as General Sessions Court Clerk Otis Jackson filed his qualifying petition just before the deadline. He joins interim County Mayor Joe Ford and Shelby County Commissioner Deidre Malone.

Luttrell ruled out a bid for Shelby County mayor last year (2009). But when Harold Byrd decided not to run in the Democratic primary, some local GOP leaders asked Luttrell to reconsider.

The result touched off a scramble of candidates from both parties for the open sheriff’s office. But before the noon deadline, the initial field of over a dozen possible contenders was narrowed to ten – six Democrats and four Republicans.

The other surprise at the filing deadline was the return of attorney Walter Bailey to the District 2 Position 1 seat he gave up in the 2006 elections. Bailey sought re-election then to another term despite a two term limit on commissioners. Bailey lost to J.W. Gibson who decided not to seek re-election. He also lost a court fight to overturn the term limits.

Bailey was the only candidate who had filed for the seat at the Thursday deadline.

Only one incumbent county commissioner – Republican Mike Ritz -- was effectively re-elected at the deadline because he had no opposition.

All but one of the eleven contested County Commission races will be decided with the May 4 primaries. The only general election battle for the August ballot is the district 5 contest between GOP challenger Dr. Rolando Toyos and whoever wins the May Democratic primary between incumbent Steve Mulroy and Jennings Bernard.

Former County Commissioner John Willingham also returned to the ballot among a field of Republican contenders in the primary for Shelby County Trustee.

And former Criminal Court Clerk Minerva Johnican joined the Democratic primary field for her old job. Incumbent Republican Bill Key pulled petition to seek re-election but did not file at the deadline.

Here is the list of races and contenders from The Shelby County Election Commission. All candidate have until noon Feb. 25 to withdraw from the ballot if they wish.

D-Democrat

R- Republican

I- Independent

Shelby County Mayor:

Deidre Malone (D)

Joe Ford (D)

Otis Jackson (D)

Mark Luttrell (R)

Ernest Lunati (R)

Leo Awgowhat (I)

Shelby County Sheriff:

James Coleman (R)

Bobby Simmons (R)

Bill Oldham (R)

Dale Lane (R)

Larry Hill (D)

Bennie Cobb (D)

Randy Wade (D)

James Bolden (D)

Elton Hymon (D)

Reginald French (D)

County Commission Dist 1 Pos 1

Mike Ritz (R) (incumbent)

County Commission Dist 1 Pos 2

Albert Maduska (R)

Heidi Shafer (R)

County Commission Dist 1 Pos 3

Mike Carpenter (R) (incumbent)

Joe Baire (R)

County Commission Dist 2 Pos 1

Walter Bailey (D)

County Commission Dist 2 Pos 2

Henri Brooks (D) (incumbent)

David Vinciarelli (D)

County Commission Dist 2 Pos 3

Eric Dunn (D)

Norma Lester (D)

Tina Dickerson (D)

Melvin Burgess (D)

Reginald Milton (D)

Freddie Thomas (D)

County Commission Dist 3 Pos 1

James Harvey (D) (incumbent)

James Catchings (D)

County Commission Dist. 3 Pos 2

Sidney Chism (D) (incumbent)

Andrew "Rome" Withers (D)

County Commission Dist. 3 Pos 3

Edith Moore  (D) (incumbent)

Justin Ford (D)

County Commission Dist 4 Pos 1

Chris Thomas (R)

John Pellicciotti (R)

Jim Bomprezzi (R)

County Commission Dist 4 Pos 2

Wyatt Bunker (R) (incumbent)

John Wilkerson (R)

Ron Fittes (R)

County Commission Dist 4 Pos 3

Terry Roland (R)

George Chism (R)

Edgar Babian (R)

County Commission Dist 5

Steve Mulroy (D) (incumbent)

Jennings Bernard (D)

Rolando Toyos (R)

Shelby County Clerk

Charlotte Draper (D)

Corey Maclin (D)

LaKeith Miller (D)

Wayne Mashburn (R)

Steve Moore (R)

Criminal Court Clerk

Vernon Johnson (D)

Minerva Johnican (D)

Ralph White (D)

Michael Porter (R)

Kevin Key (R)

Jerry Stamson (I)

Circuit Court Clerk

Jimmy Moore (R) (incumbent)

Steven Webster (D)

Carmichael Johnson (D)

Ricky W. Dixon (D)

Juvenile Court Clerk

Joy Touliatos (R)

Charles Marshall (D)

Sylvester Bradley (D)

Shep Wilbun (D)

Julia Roberson Wiseman (I)

Probate Court Clerk

Paul Boyd (R)

Sondra Becton (D)

Danny Kail (D)

Annita Sawyer Hamilton (D)

Peggy Dobbins (D)

Clay Perry (D)

Karen Tyler (D)

Shelby County Register

Tom Leatherwood (R) (incumbent)

Coleman Thompson (D)

Lady J. Swift (D)

Carlton Orange (D)

Shelby County Trustee

Regina Newman (D) (incumbent)

M. LaTroy Williams (D)

John Willingham (R)

Jeff Jacobs (R)

David Lenoir (R)

...

82. Surprises Possible as Primary Filing Deadline Nears -

Although today marks the filing deadline for the May 4 Shelby County primaries and independent candidates on the Aug. 5 county general election ballot, plenty of political drama remains.

In fact, the filing deadline is often just as important – and surprising – as election day.

83. Ford Expected to Run for County Mayor -

After a tumultuous year of political upheaval in 2009, the 2010 campaign season has belatedly come to life.

Democrat Harold Byrd’s decision not to run for Shelby County mayor late last month and Republican Mark Luttrell’s decision this week to get in the race have shaken the political atmosphere out of its post-New Year doldrums.