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Editorial Results (free)

1. Democrats ‘Roast’ Herenton, Look Ahead to 2014 -

Divisions within the local Democratic party took a backseat over the weekend as the Shelby County Democratic Party held the first of two large fundraisers for the 2014 election year.

But the look back for the party came with some advice for the future.

2. Projects Seeking IDB OK Need More Time -

All of the items on the Memphis-Shelby County Industrial Development Board’s special meeting Friday were lacking one major detail: time.

The board granted U.S. Foodservice Inc. more time for the presentation of its seven-year, $14.3 million payment-in-lieu-of-taxes request for expanding a distribution warehouse it now leases a portion of at 5900 E. Holmes Road.

3. More Time Needed for Projects Seeking IDB Approval -

All of the items on the Memphis-Shelby County Industrial Development Board’s special meeting Friday were lacking one major detail: time.

The board granted U.S. Foodservice Inc. more time for the presentation of its seven-year, $14.3 million payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) request for expanding a distribution warehouse it now leases a portion of at 5900 E. Holmes Road.

4. IDB to Consider $14.3M PILOT for US Foodservice -

The Memphis-Shelby County Industrial Development Board will consider a seven-year, $14.3 million payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) Friday for a Hickory Hill distribution facility.

Friday’s special meeting will also include an update on two projects still in the running for the $42.5 million of Federal Recovery Zone Facility Bonds allocated to the city and county governments.

5. County Commission Spars Over PILOT Rules For Suburbs -

Shelby County Commissioners sparred over how much oversight is too much when it comes to awarding tax breaks for corporate and industrial moves to Shelby County and expansions of existing businesses.

6. 3 Local Projects OK’d for Recovery Zone Bonds -

Three Memphis projects have the green light from the state of Tennessee to get $17 million in federal recovery zone facility bonds. And the Memphis-Shelby County Industrial Development Board is watching closely as the projects close in on financing to secure the bonds before a Dec. 31 federal deadline.

7. IDB Approves $45 Million For Downtown Hilton -

A luxury hotel planned for the corner of Linden Avenue and Fourth Street got a big boost this week with the approval of $45 million in taxable revenue bonds from the Industrial Development Board.

The hotel, which will be branded a Hilton, is a key part of the Triangle Noir development plan for the area south of FedExForum and into South Memphis.

8. 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.

9. 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)

...

10. A City in Transition -

Just before sunrise on a rainy Tuesday morning, the armed officers raided the city office. They didn’t make any arrests, but they took files, interviewed employees and served search warrants. And they temporarily closed the Memphis Animal Shelter.

11. Council Chairman Collins Readies For New Regime -

Memphis City Council Chairman Harold Collins will have a very good seat for today’s swearing-in ceremony of Memphis Mayor-elect A C Wharton Jr.

12. Greenville, S.C., Publisher Elected SNPA President -

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) - Steve Brandt, president and publisher of The Greenville (S.C.) News, was elected president of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association during the SNPA's annual convention Monday.

13. The Vote Count -

A total of 109,339 Memphians voted in the Memphis mayor’s race, a 25 percent turnout of the city’s 423,049 voters.

Here is the unofficial final vote tally for the 25 candidate field for Memphis Mayor:

14. The Vote Count -

A total of 109,339 Memphians voted in the Memphis mayor’s race, a 25 percent turnout of the city’s 423,049 voters.

Here is the unofficial final vote tally for the 25 candidate field for Memphis Mayor:

15. Wharton Wins In A Walk -

It wasn’t ever close.

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. was elected mayor of Memphis Thursday in vote totals that never dipped below 60 percent.

His closest rival in the vote count was Memphis mayor pro tempore Myron Lowery who didn’t crack 20 percent in the vote count. Former city council member Carol Chumney, who finished second to then-mayor Willie Herenton in 2007, finished third with attorney Charles Carpenter in fourth place.

16. UPDATE: Wharton Wins -

It wasn’t ever close.

 

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. was elected mayor of Memphis Thursday in vote totals that never dipped below 60 percent.

 

His closest rival in the vote count was Memphis mayor pro tempore Myron Lowery who didn’t crack 20 percent in the vote count. Former city council member Carol Chumney, who finished second to then-mayor Willie Herenton in 2007, finished third with attorney Charles Carpenter in fourth place.

 

Wharton takes office once the Shelby County Election Commission certifies the vote count which remains unofficial until an audit and an Election Commission vote to certify.

 

When that happens, Wharton’s move to City Hall will be followed in rapid succession by several other political changes.

 

Shelby County Commission chairwoman Joyce Avery becomes interim county mayor for up to 45 days. She is the first woman to hold the office.

 

“To be mayor of Shelby County, even for a short time, is a sacred trust,” Avery said in a written statement. “I will do all that I can to deserve that trust and to prepare things for the interim mayor who will follow me.”

 

The County Commission will meet to select someone to fill the remaining 11 months left in Wharton’s term of office as Shelby County mayor. Commissioners Joe Ford and J.W. Gibson have expressed interest in the appointment and have each said they would probably not run in the 2010 election for county mayor if appointed.

 

Wharton will serve out the remaining two years left in the term of office of Willie Herenton who resigned at the end of July.

 

Wharton left no doubt Thursday evening that he will be a candidate for re-election in the regularly scheduled 2011 city elections.

 

In his victory speech at Minglewood Hall, Wharton boasted that his campaign had “saturated” the city.

 

“We do it like a postage stamp,” he said. “In case anybody has any doubts that was meant for 2011.”

 

Wharton had already organized his campaign to run in 2011 before Herenton announced his resignation. Several of Wharton’s rivals in the race questioned whether Wharton and Herenton were working together on the timing of Herenton’s departure. Wharton denied there was any collusion. But Wharton clearly benefited from having the best campaign organization in a shortened campaign. It wound up being even shorter than the 90 days called for in the newly revised Memphis charter because of a conflicting state requirement that took precedence.

 

He never called Herenton by name, but Wharton told supporters Thursday evening that his election marked the end of a short political campaign and “the end of a much longer era of apathy, of divisiveness … of hatred, of discord.”

 

“I know that that’s true because tonight you made it clear that Memphis is ready to come together at last. We are and always have been one Memphis,“ he said, echoing his campaign theme. “The question moving forward is whether we will grow and flourish as one or not.”

 

During the campaign, Wharton refused to speculate about who he might replace among the slate of division directors provided for in the city charter. He said it would be improper to promise jobs during the campaign.

 

"We all know some big changes are going to be necessary,” he said on election night. “We know that it’s going to take work, time and trust. So as you look to me to deliver the change we need and the progress and unity you asked for, I am asking you to carry that same banner into your homes, into your neighborhoods.”

 

The resounding victory ends a tenure of eleven weeks in which Lowery began dismantling some parts of Herenton’s administration virtually from the moment he took the oath of office on July 31. Lowery said late in the campaign that he was only interested in serving the next two years.

...

17. Mayoral Hopefuls Make Last-Minute Play for Votes -

Jerry Lawler is pitching his campaign for mayor from interstate overpasses and a wrestling ring he’s set up in the parking lots of the city’s shopping centers.

18. Lowery Notches Up Credentials as Election Nears -

Myron Lowery has about a week to go in his tenure as Memphis’ mayor pro tem depending on how long it takes to certify the Oct. 15 election results.

19. Lowery Tells Rotary Forum He's Two Year Mayor -

Memphis Mayor Pro Tempore Myron Lowery told an audience of 200 today that he probably would not run in the 2011 city elections if he wins the Oct. 15 special election for mayor.

20. Blacks, Women Strongest Early Voters -

Early voting in the special election for Memphis mayor cracked the 25,000 mark over the weekend.

The total through Saturday was 6 percent of the 432,770 eligible voters in Memphis as well as those in parts of suburban Shelby County who will be voting in the special election primaries for state Senate District 31.

21. Police Director Larry Godwin -

As the contenders for Memphis mayor have been on the road this month, another campaign has been under way.

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin has been making the case for the signature strategy of his five years as top cop – Blue CRUSH.

22. Weeds, Vacant Lots Hot New Issue For Mayor Hopefuls -

Forget Twitter and Facebook.

Tall grass and vacant lots are the new currency of the 2009 race for Memphis mayor.

With fewer than two weeks to the Oct. 15 election day and a week remaining for early voting, several of the candidates are working blight into their daily schedules.

23. Mayoral Candidates Debate as Early Voting Tips Off -  

The first full week of early voting in advance of the Oct. 15 special election is under way. And candidates in the Memphis mayor’s race are beginning to emphasize their differences.

On the first two days of early voting, which began Friday, 6,471 citizens voted. White Station Church of Christ in East Memphis was the most popular early voting site followed by Bishop Byrne High School in Whitehaven.

Early voting continues through Oct. 10.

The high numbers in Whitehaven, at least so far, may be the result of a hard-fought battle in the area between the campaigns of attorney Charles Carpenter and Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. Their respective organizations have dominated the grassroots campaigning. Both campaigns are using telephone banks and vans to get early voters to the polls.

In the 2007 mayoral race, 74,000 of the 165,397 votes cast were by early voters.

Campaign departures

Meanwhile, the second television debate of the race over the weekend aired on News Channel 3 made public a shift between the Carpenter and Wharton campaigns. It came as Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery asked Wharton about some Carpenter supporters close to former Mayor Willie Herenton who are now supporting Wharton.

“Every day I get calls from someone who’s left Mr. Carpenter’s campaign,” Wharton replied. “And (Carpenter’s campaign workers) accuse me of having sent that person over there to spy on him. It’s ludicrous. I don’t know why they’re leaving. But they’re not coming over to my campaign.”

Regardless of whether they are in the Wharton camp, Carpenter began losing the support of some Herenton allies when his speeches became more critical of Wharton in particular. Carpenter began describing Wharton’s record of accomplishments as county mayor as “miserable” and accusing Wharton of being a more publicly acceptable version of Herenton.

“We’re running a very vibrant campaign,” Carpenter said. “I don’t know whether (Wharton) sent them over there or not. … We’re streamlining our campaign.”

Grading Herenton

Carpenter and Wharton also were anxious to qualify their high-profile roles in Herenton’s past campaigns when they, along with Lowery and contender Carol Chumney, were asked to grade Herenton’s 18-year tenure.

Chumney wouldn’t offer a grade of any kind.

Lowery started with an “A” for Herenton’s first term of office and went down a letter grade each term until he got to an “F” for the shortened fifth term that Lowery said included “name-calling and race-baiting.”

“Somewhere along the line, the mayor had a personality change. We all saw it,” Lowery concluded. “He is not the same man today that we knew 17 years ago.”

Carpenter gave Herenton an “A” for his vision.

“As far as his management style, he started off with a higher grade but then it goes down to maybe a ‘C’ or a ‘C-,’ Carpenter said. “As far as the selection of his staff … I think that is probably in the average or below average category.”

“2.95,” Wharton said, citing his background teaching at the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Carpenter was a Herenton supporter in all five of his mayoral campaigns, serving as manager of three of the five – the first and the last two.

Wharton managed the 1995 and 1999 campaigns.

“Everybody in this room knows that they were not like the campaigns in the later years of Dr. Herenton’s tenure,” Wharton said. “1995 was fully inclusive, no vitriol whatsoever.”

In other debate flash points, Chumney said Wharton should have had an independent prosecutor investigate a waiver on a car inspection he got on his personal vehicle. The waiver, which allowed Wharton to get his wife’s car tags renewed without an inspection, was investigated by the Shelby County Attorney’s office.

Wharton suspended aide Gerald Fanion, who said he took the car to get its tags renewed and pursued the exemption without Wharton’s knowledge.

Wharton reacted to Chumney’s allegation that there was a conflict of interest since the county attorney is appointed by the county mayor.

“This is what bothers me. Either Ms. Chumney doesn’t know this, or as an attorney she’s not being true to her oath,” Wharton snapped. “I had no choice. I followed the law.”

“You appointed the county attorney and then you had him investigate your own car inspection incident,” Chumney replied. “That’s inappropriate.”

“It’s not a matter of personal choice. … It’s required,” Wharton countered.

The debate marked just how far the campaigns have come in a short amount of time. But all four candidates were careful to reuse imagery and phrases they’ve already repeated numerous times in stump speeches, television ads and press releases.

Much of the debates and forums remain about candidates introducing themselves to voters for the first time.

Despite tools of the political trade such as social networking sites Twitter and Facebook, candidates still feel the need to work off speeches that remain the same for the most part, with a few new twists and developments inserted.

...

24. Vote Wisely, Remember Mayor’s Post Is Temporary -

Among the 25 people seeking to become Memphis’ next mayor, the ideal candidate does not exist. Even the more serious contenders, who are a minority in the record-setting group, lack the overall vision and ability to get things done.

25. A Mayor’s Race to Remember: Candidates pump up the drama as election nears -

The field is set at 25 candidates and Memphians start voting Sept. 25 in a mayor’s race that has been neither a surprise nor the expected.

But there’s no guarantee the election will settle what the post-Willie Herenton era will look like. Too many other events still have to be decided.

26. Wharton Takes Heat For Consolidation Push -

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. drew fire from his political rivals in the Memphis mayor’s race during a candidates’ forum in Whitehaven this week.

The barbs from attorney Charles Carpenter, City Councilwoman Wanda Halbert and former council member Carol Chumney came during a nine-candidate forum at Middle Baptist Church.

27. It’s Now or Never for Voter Registration -

Today is the last day to register to vote in the Oct. 15 special mayoral election.

Early voting begins Sept. 25 with much speculation about how the large field of 25 contenders will affect voter turnout and how the votes are divided.

28. Mayor's Race Set at 25 Candidates -

The Shelby County Election Commission has approved a field of 25 candidates for the Oct. 15 special election for Memphis mayor.

The vote came hours after the Thursday deadline for any candidates to withdraw.

29. 25 In Final Field For City Mayor -

The Shelby County Election Commission has approved a field of 25 candidates for the Oct. 15 special election for Memphis mayor.

The vote came hours after the Thursday deadline for any candidates to withdraw.

30. Mayoral Field Stands At 28 -- For Now -  

It is the largest field of candidates for Memphis mayor in the 41 year history of the mayor-council form of government – possibly in the history of the city.

But before the 28 candidate field in the Oct. 15 special election goes into the record book, there is the next week to consider.

Thursday’s noon deadline to file a qualifying petition is the last word on candidates who will enter the race. But next Thursday – Sept. 10 – at noon is the deadline for any of those candidates to withdraw if they wish. And the talks to get some of those who made this week’s deadline to drop out are already underway.

The standing record is 15 candidates who filed to run in the 1999 race for mayor in which incumbent Willie Herenton won a third term.

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. began meeting with several rivals in the upcoming election last month. He said he never asked candidates to get out of the race, but instead told them the issues he planned to run on.

So far, Wharton’s campaign has drawn the endorsements of would be candidates Jim Strickland and Edmund Ford Jr., both city council members, as well as Ford’s father – former council member Edmund Ford Sr. Strickland is a Wharton campaign co chairman as is Memphis school board member Tomeka Hart, who briefly considered the race.

The field that emerged from Thursday’s filing deadline includes a county mayor – Wharton, the city’s Mayor Pro Tempore, two city council members, two former city council members, four former candidates for Memphis mayor, two Memphis school board members and a former Shelby County Commissioner. In some cases, a single candidate fits into several of those categories.

Carol Chumney, for instance, is a former city council member who finished second in the 2007 race for mayor.

Chumney is just starting a full campaign schedule that has included a turn at a church fashion show as well as shaking hands with workers this week on the night shift at the Diesel Recon plant in North Memphis.

One of the final entrants in the race was restaurant and bar owner Silky Sullivan. He arrived at the Election Commission Thursday in a white Rolls Royce wearing a white suit.

“When you see this white suit, you know I’m coming at you,” Sullivan said.

He got into the race after attorney Charles Carpenter said The Pyramid should be demolished and the site cleared for future uses if the city can’t reach a deal for Bass Pro Shops to develop the structure. Sullivan believes The Pyramid should be given to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as part of its campus.

There was the normal confusion in the immediate aftermath of the filing deadline. There were varying candidate totals for the field as election commission staff went through the qualifying petitions line by line to match those signing with voter registration rolls including the address voters used on the petition and the address listed on their voter registration. As usual, several candidates came up short.

And one got back with his petition three minutes after the deadline. Daniko Flowers, a construction worker, was not allowed to file his petition. He only had 18 signatures on the petition anyway.

...

31. Field of 28 For Mayor Meets Filing Deadline With Enough Signatures -  

A field of 28 candidates had filed petitions with enough valid signatures to run in the Oct. 15 special election for Memphis mayor by today’s noon deadline.

Shelby County Election Commission administrator Richard Holden told The Daily News several contenders had their petitions rejected once election commission staff checked the signatures.

Each person signing must be a registered voter in the city of Memphis and list the address that is on their voter registration record.

A total of 33 petitions were filed by the noon deadline. But several candidates were disqualified for not having enough signatures. And then three were returned to the list of candidates after a second check of their petitions. Those who returned to candidate status included Memphis school board member Sharon Webb.

Those who made today's cut have until noon Sept. 10 to withdraw from the race. The field will then become final.

The candidates include: 

  • Leo Awghowhat
  • Kenneth Baroff
  • Joe Brown, Memphis City Council member
  • Randy L. Cagle
  • Charles Carpenter, attorney
  • Carol Chumney, former City Council member
  • Dewey Clark, former aide to and witness against jailed Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell
  • James M. Clingan
  • Menelik Fombi, a candidate for Memphis City Schools Board in past elections
  • Wanda Halbert, chairwoman, City Council budget committee
  • Johnny Hatcher
  • Robert “Prince Mongo” Hodges  
  • Constance Houston
  • Dewayne Jones
  • E.C. Jones, former City Council member
  • Jerry Lawler, entertainer and former professional wrestler
  • Myron Lowery, Memphis mayor pro tem
  • Ernie Lunati
  • Harrel C. Moore  
  • Mary T. Shelby-Wright, perennial candidate for numerous offices
  • Detric W. Stigall
  • Silky Sullivan, restaurant owner and entrepreneur
  • David Vinciarelli
  • Vuong Vaughn Vo
  • Sharon Webb, Memphis school board member
  • Kenneth T. Whalum Jr., pastor of New Olivet Baptist Church and Memphis school board member
  • A C Wharton Jr., Shelby County mayor
  • John Willingham, former Shelby County commissioner

Sullivan showed up at the Election Commission in a white Rolls Royce wearing a white suit.

“When you see this white suit, you know I’m coming at you,” he told reporters as he outlined a plan to turn The Pyramid over to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital instead of the proposed lease to Bass Pro Shops.

“It’s going to be a dogfight,” Sullivan said of the mayor’s race.

When someone asked if he would still be in the race after next week’s withdrawal deadline, Sullivan said he was in “to the violent end.”

“You know you can’t win,” political blogger and radio talk show host Thaddeus Matthews said to Sullivan.

“Why not?” Sullivan replied.

Anthony Willoughby, the last candidate to file before noon, told reporters he was a Realtor-broker who played a role in the development of Banneker Estates in southwest Memphis, the subdivision developed by former Mayor Willie Herenton.

“I’m not a politician,” Willoughby said. “I’m going to run on that statement.”

Willoughby didn't have enough qualified signatures, though. So he won't be running.

Daniko Flowers, a construction worker still wearing his safety vest, showed up at five minutes before noon and checked out a petition. He returned at three minutes past noon and was not allowed to file. Flowers only had 18 signatures on the petition anyway.

...

32. Frontrunners Begin to Emerge in Mayor’s Race -

This is the week candidates in the Oct. 15 special election for Memphis mayor begin deciding whether they’re serious, and Sept. 10 is the deadline to withdraw.

Meanwhile, with about six weeks until Election Day, the campaigns of attorney Charles Carpenter and Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. have been the most visible.

33. All in Favor: The forces behind the latest push for city-county consolidation -

For the first time in 30 years, government consolidation is moving to the ballot.

Although a firm plan doesn’t exist yet, the Shelby County Commission and Memphis City Council are poised to vote on creating a metro charter commission, possibly as early as next month. And the votes to make it a reality appear to be there on both bodies.

34. Carpenter Pledges MPD Changes; Wharton’s Support Grows -

For the past two years there has been a steady political drumbeat to increase the number of officers on the Memphis police force. Few have ignored it.

It was something that most of the nine first-term Memphis City Council members followed into office in 2007. And the call for “more boots on the street” also prompted an intense council discussion of whether residency requirements for police should be eased to help reach a force of more than 2,500 officers.

35. Lawler Laments Being Typecast As He Runs for Mayor -

He’s a successful businessman of nearly four decades. He had finished a respectable third the last time he ran for Memphis mayor, which was the first time he ran for elected office. He has enough name recognition that people he doesn’t know ask for his autograph. And he can’t make campaign signs, buttons and T-shirts fast enough to satisfy the demand.

36. Wharton, Carpenter Keep Eyes On the Prize -

Former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton may still be pondering another political crossroads.

But as Herenton spoke vaguely of whether he will get into the special mayoral election that resulted from his resignation as mayor, the confirmed contenders spent their second weekend campaigning hard.

37. Herenton to Run for Mayor – and Congress -

By walking to a counter at the Shelby County Election Commission Thursday and asking for a piece of paper, former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton has again surprised political observers.

Herenton pulled a qualifying petition to run for mayor in the Oct. 15 special election. It is the election caused by Herenton’s earlier decision to resign from the mayor’s office to run for Congress in the 2010 Democratic primary.

38. BREAKING NEWS: Herenton Pulls Petition In Mayor's Race -

By walking to a counter at the Shelby County Election Commission Thursday and asking for a piece of paper, former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton has again surprised political observers.

Herenton pulled a qualifying petition to run for mayor in the Oct. 15 special election. It is the election caused by Herenton’s earlier decision to resign from the mayor’s office to run for Congress in the 2010 Democratic primary.

In a written statement, Herenton said he still intends to run for Congress next year.?"However, during the interim, recent events have compelled me to step forth to provide leadership and express my sincere feelings on how our city can continue to move forward, despite our current dilemma,” he wrote. “My recent retirement from the office of mayor has created this situation and I feel obligated to seek alternatives to Myron Lowery and an ‘anyone can win’ mayoral race.”

At another point in the letter, Herenton also writes, “We cannot allow Mayor Pro Tem Lowery to be elected mayor during the upcoming special election.” And he accuses Lowery of a “reckless style of leadership.”

Herenton also said he wants a referendum on a proposal to change the City Charter to limit the powers of the mayor pro tempore. The position was created by a charter amendment Memphis voters approved just last year. The position is held by whomever is City Council chairman when a mayor resigns.

 

Back again

Herenton picked up the petition himself, according to the ledger at the Election Commission. He has until Sept. 3 to file it. He could also choose not to follow through.

In announcing his resignation, Herenton said he didn’t believe in holding one office while running for another. Some political advisers, however, urged Herenton to stay in the mayor’s office as he ran for Congress to strengthen his political position.

“I have always been opposed to such behavior by public officials,” Herenton said at the June 25 press conference. “And if I follow the same course of conduct that I have criticized in the past, it would subject me to the same criticisms that I have publicly stated about others.”

Herenton could run for mayor and run for Congress next year as well.

Even as he left City Hall last month, Herenton told reporters he wasn’t happy with the field of contenders to this point in the race. They include Lowery, Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr., attorney Charles Carpenter, City Council member Wanda Halbert and former City Council member Carol Chumney.

 

Drama and beginnings

Herenton initially planned to resign effective July 10 but pushed back his resignation date to July 30, in part, because he was miffed that Lowery had appointed a transition team before July 10. Lowery backed off and there was virtually no cooperation in the transition of power.

When Lowery tried to fire City Attorney Elbert Jefferson after taking office, Jefferson – a Herenton appointee – contested his dismissal and filed a Chancery Court lawsuit that is still pending against Lowery. Jefferson filed the lawsuit in the name of the city of Memphis.

“The mayor is free to run like any other citizen. I welcome him into the race,” Lowery told The Daily News. “While he has mentioned me personally, I think everyone knows I am clearly not the frontrunner in the race. Mayor Wharton is. And I’m sure Mayor Wharton will also welcome Mayor Herenton to the race.”

However, the intensity of Herenton’s comments about Lowery in the letter may have the effect of making Lowery a rallying point for Herenton critics still searching for a candidate in the special election.

Wharton’s campaign posted a tweet in the wake of the Herenton bombshell that began “Tired of the drama?” His campaign has called a rally for Friday evening at Lamar Avenue and Airways Boulevard.

Mayoral contender and attorney Charles Carpenter was surprised by the move. He has been a political ally of Herenton’s, having worked in all five of Herenton’s mayoral bids.

Carpenter told The Daily News his campaign “is moving forward to the end of this special election process.”

“We are moving forward very forcefully,” he said. “There are candidates that are pulling petitions everyday and we don’t focus on who is pulling petitions in this race. We are looking forward to expressing our vision for the future of Memphis to the citizens to forge and create a new beginning.”

 

Herenton's statement in its entirety: 

 

Citizens of Memphis:

 

My primary political goal is to represent the ninth congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.  I have every intention of being a congressional candidate during the August 2010 election.

 

However, during the interim, recent events have compelled me to step forth to provide leadership and express my sincere feelings on how our city can continue to move forward, despite our current dilemma.

 

My recent retirement from the office of Mayor has created this situation and I feel obligated to seek alternatives to Myron Lowery and an “anyone can win” mayoral race.

 

The city I love deserves better.

 

Therefore, I am also preparing a referendum resolution that would allow the citizens of Memphis to rescind the current charter amendment that elevated Myron Lowery to the office of Mayor Pro Tem.  This resolution would prescribe limitations on the powers of a non-elected mayor.

 

It is clear to many citizens that my retirement from office created opportunities for Mayor Pro Tem Lowery and a puzzling list of mayoral candidates to turn our city backward.  I am disappointed in Myron’s reckless style of leadership.  He must be stopped.

 

We cannot allow Mayor Pro Tem Lowery to be elected mayor during the upcoming special election. Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict a clear winner with a complicated array of mayoral candidates in the race.

 

Therefore, I have pulled a petition to run in the upcoming mayoral special election.

 

More details coming soon at www.memphisdailynews.com.

...

39. Politicians Out in Full Force -

With back-to-school supplies to hand out and a new crop of brightly colored campaign signs, the October special election race for Memphis mayor and several other races on the 2010 ballot came alive this past weekend.

40. UPDATE: Carpenter Opens In Whitehaven On Busy Political Weekend -  

Memphis mayoral contender Charles Carpenter opened his Whitehaven campaign headquarters Saturday to a crowd of around a hundred supporters.

The opening in an old rent to own store location in Whitehaven Plaza is the latest chapter in what so far has been the most visible campaign in the special election race.

Carpenter, a key campaign advisor and manager in Mayor Willie Herenton’s five successful campaigns for mayor, said police strategy would change if he is elected.

“It’s sad to say, but the reality is most of the crime comes from our children,” Carpenter said to the predominantly black audience. “That’s a business model that we want to stop.”

Carpenter said he would change it by a renewed emphasis on community policing and improving police response time. The Memphis Police Department’s Blue CRUSH strategy has dropped crime percentages by categories and overall by focusing on crime statistics and crime hot spots.

Carpenter steered clear of dwelling on any of the political drama underway at City Hall for the last week as Mayor Willie Herenton has given way to Mayor Pro Tempore Myron Lowery. Lowery is also among the candidates in the Oct. 15 special election.

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. was also out over the weekend stopping at various community events. Wharton and Lowery began the week making stops at various National Night Out anti crime gatherings across the city.

Carpenter’s campaign headquarters opened with a pile of school supplies at one table for students preparing for the beginning of the school year.

“We want to make a new beginning for our children,” Carpenter said as he vowed to return a slate of activities for children at city community centers and parks. “Our children will have things to do other than look at games and look at other criminal activities.”

Carpenter also called again for “tax equity” for Memphis taxpayers and made a distinction between a shift in the tax burden for city and county governments and the consolidation of the two governments. The distinction has been a key part of Carpenter’s pitch since he announced his intentions last month.

“We all know that Memphis is not growing,” he said. “Well, if you look all around us every other regional partner is growing. And you know why? It’s because of the city of Memphis. We’re subsidizing their growth but they’re taking away from us.”

...

41. Election Commission Sets Oct. 15 Date For Special Election -

The race for the rest of Willie Herenton’s term of office as mayor was already going to be a sprint. The campaign got 12 days shorter.

The Shelby County Election Commission has set Oct. 15 as the special election date. The date was moved up from Oct. 27 to coincide with a special set of primary elections Gov. Phil Bredesen is expected to order to fill the District 31 State Senate seat.

42. UPDATE: Oct. 15 New Special Election Date -

The race for the rest of Willie Herenton’s term of office as mayor was already going to be a sprint. Today the campaign got 12 days shorter.

The Shelby County Election Commission has set Oct. 15 as the special election date. The date was moved up from Oct. 27 to coincide with a special set of primary elections Gov. Phil Bredesen is expected to order to fill the District 31 State Senate seat.

43. Herenton Prepares For Next Political Chapter -

Retirement may be upon him, but he won’t be spending hours at the golf course, adding Hawaiian shirts to his wardrobe or hitting the road for long delayed vacations.

Now that Willie Herenton has driven out of the City Hall garage for the last time, he’s preparing to channel all his stamina, his unique status as the city’s first black mayor and a deep competitive streak into a new brand of politics.

44. Halbert Mulls Run for City Mayor -

Another potential mayoral candidate is considering stepping into the fray.

With the release of a brief statement Wednesday afternoon, Wanda Halbert floated her interest in October’s special election to choose someone to fill the rest of Willie Herenton’s mayoral term, which ends in 2011.

45. Halbert Mulls Run for City Mayor -

Another potential mayoral candidate is considering stepping into the fray.

With the release of a brief statement Wednesday afternoon, Wanda Halbert floated her interest in October’s special election to choose someone to fill the rest of Willie Herenton’s mayoral term, which ends in 2011.

46. Democrats Squabble Over Mayoral Choices, Backing -

Shelby County Democratic Party leaders are considering weighing in on the coming special election for Memphis mayor.

Local party chairman Van Turner Jr. solicited opinions from members of the party’s executive committee last week at the group’s monthly meeting. The options include a straw poll or some kind of party-sponsored forum for the candidates.

47. Carpenter, Chumney Intensify Efforts To Become Memphis Mayor -

Two years ago, it was Charles Carpenter’s job to be nervous.

He was managing Mayor Willie Herenton’s fifth mayoral campaign and Herenton believed he was coasting to victory over two challengers.

48. Cordova Apartment Owners Challenge Years-Old Annexation -

A legal challenge to a city annexation ordinance from the 1990s is headed for a September trial date.

The lawsuit by a group of Cordova-area apartment owners asks a judge to void the ordinance that annexed Countrywood and Eads into the city of Memphis. It contends the ordinance violated the state’s open meetings law and seeks years of back tax money.

49. Duncan Named Senior VP For Homewood Suites by Hilton -

Bill Duncan has been appointed senior vice president of brand management for Homewood Suites by Hilton and the newly launched Home2 Suites by Hilton.

50. Monday Vote Could Make — or Break — Bass Pro Agreement -

The Shelby County Board of Commissioners’ vote on a development agreement for Bass Pro Shops at The Pyramid will probably be close Monday if this week’s vote by a committee is any indication.

Monday’s vote will make or break the plan to lease The Pyramid to the hunting and fishing retailer. The one-year development agreement to precede a lease goes to the 13-member body with a negative recommendation from the commission’s Economic Development & Tourism Committee.

51. City Council Approves Agreement With Bass Pro -

The Memphis City Council has approved a development agreement with Bass Pro Shops to develop The Pyramid. The council voted to authorize Mayor Willie Herenton to execute the agreement, which involves $30 million in sales tax revenue to be channeled to the project through a Tourism Development Zone.

52. Lipscomb: Bass Pro Deal Could Slip Away -

The clock is ticking on the Bass Pro Shops deal for The Pyramid, said the Herenton administration’s point man in negotiations with the outdoor retailer.

But Robert Lipscomb stopped short this week of saying Bass Pro executives are ready to walk away from the deal to build a super store in The Pyramid as well as other attractions.

53. Bass Pro Project Picture Becomes Clearer - For six hours Monday, the political and legal forces backing a Bass Pro Shops development of The Pyramid made their case to Memphis City Council members and the Shelby County Board of Commissioners.

They began that morning at City Hall and ended that afternoon at the County Building as Bass Pro CEO Jim Hagale ran to catch a 3 p.m. flight out of Memphis.

After it was done, the effort had made some progress with the skeptical local elected officials who are most concerned with the financial assumptions behind the project. And critics on both bodies succeeded in stripping away a bit of the gift wrapping on the package.

Part of the sales pitch included how rent from Bass Pro would help pay the remaining city and county government debt on The Pyramid. The combined debt comes to about $10 million with county government owing just more than $5 million of that.

Commissioner Mike Ritz calculated that all but about a million of the county’s debt would be paid by the time a Bass Pro Shop opens.

Memphis Regional Chamber President and CEO John Moore came with a printed handout after the meeting to refute the point. Ritz had his own and neither made much progress in convincing the other. But Ritz is the one with a vote on the future of the project.

“Some of them are drinking the Kool-Aid,” Ritz said after a couple of rounds with Moore on the point. A lobbying session between Ritz and former County Commission member Charles Perkins, hired by the city of Memphis, appeared more amicable.

Pursuing finality

Incoming commission chairwoman Deidre Malone said the four-member city-county Pyramid Reuse Committee of which she’s a member will be the next to take up the proposal and make a recommendation to the full council and commission.

A commission vote could come by the end of September, she estimated.

Council member Jim Strickland chaired the council’s session but said no vote had been scheduled by the full council.

Negotiators for the city, who have taken the lead in the talks at the agreement of both mayors, had set a Sept. 15 deadline to have approval by both bodies.

But Hagale didn’t seem to be worried about trying to enforce an exact date.

“All these deadlines are floating around. I’m not sure what they are,” he told The Daily News. “I’m going to be honest. I’ve signed three agreements here. The ball is in the city and county’s court. Hopefully, they’ve had enough time to vet all of the other options and they’ll come to a conclusion. This process, I think, for everybody’s benefit needs to be finalized.”

As Commissioner Steve Mulroy questioned Hagale about Bass Pro’s Memphis business plan, Hagale put a finer point on the efforts from his end of the negotiations that began three years ago this week.

“I’ve signed three agreements since this all started that have not been counter-signed,” he said. “Frankly, I think Bass Pro has been given credit for delays in this project that are not rightfully ours.”

The central question for commissioners and council members is $30 million in state and federal government funding to build a parking garage and take on infrastructure projects around The Pyramid.

Funding sources

City Housing & Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb was adamant that no city or county general fund revenue would be used in the project. He and the city negotiating team said $87 million in potential funding through the use of tax incentives and other financing instruments has been identified to draw the $30 million from. That includes drawing from excess tax revenue returned to projects already in zones identified as a tourism development zone (TDZ) and a tax increment financing (TIF) area.

Strickland questioned attorney Charles Carpenter, part of Lipscomb's team, closely on whether the city and county governments would be on the hook if there aren’t excess revenues.

“That’s never been anticipated,” Carpenter replied.

“There’s no way possible?” Strickland asked.

“I’m not that omnipotent,” Carpenter responded.

Strickland was uncertain at the end of the session.

“I still am not crystal clear in my mind that general fund tax dollars will not be used for the project. It was said that they are not intended to be used,” he said. “I don’t know the answer to that.”

Attorney Hunter Humphreys said Bass Pro’s $1-million-a-month rental fee to local government starting in the second year of a 20-year contract once the new attraction is open could be offset with ad valorem tax revenue or payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreements. But Humphreys said that wouldn’t include an offset for sales tax revenue.

Ritz, who had feared tax offsets would mean Bass Pro wouldn’t pay any rent, argued the language on that point could be more specific in the agreement.

Humphreys said a lease agreement to come after the development agreement would have more detail.

“I think it’s clear on this issue. … I’d love to argue it if it were ever disputed on this issue,” he told Ritz.

The 20-year contract would follow a two-year construction period that would in turn follow the one-year period covered by the development agreement unveiled this week.

The commission and council would have to approve those agreements as well.

Meanwhile, Hagale said structural issues that had been a concern of Bass Pro this summer have been resolved.

“I don’t think that at this point, we have any concerns about the structural feasibility of that building,” he said.

Concerns about new seismic standards in place since The Pyramid was opened in 1991 and how to build a seven-story hotel inside the structure were a major issue earlier this year as project negotiations reached a decisive point. Hagale told The Daily News on Monday that he was unaware of the end of July deadline at the time.

He also addressed doubts about his commitment to the project.

“Early on we said that we wanted this to be really evaluated on the merits, and not become a part of the theatrics,” Hagale said at the first session of the day.

...

54. Sports-Related Cases Heat up in Media -

When a professional athlete goes to trial, the media shines a bright light.

And ESPN.com writer and commentator Lester Munson told a group of Memphis lawyers the light can distort appearances and even become too much of a temptation for judges.

55. Six Foreclosures Filed Against Alexanders -      Six first-run foreclosure notices for properties owned by Charles and Patricia Alexander have been published in The Daily News over the past week.
     The properties are 2795 Overton Crossin

56. Chandler, Sullivan JoinBeale Street Caravan Board -      Paul Chandler, founding partner of Resource Entertainment Group, and Brian Sullivan, principal of Carpenter/Sullivan/Sossaman, have joined the Beale Street Caravan Inc. board of directors.
    &n

57. 11 Foreclosures FiledAgainst Charles Alexander -      Eleven first-run foreclosures have been published in The Daily News over the past week for properties owned by Charles W. Alexander, who, with his wife, Patricia, has seen more than 60 foreclosures since February.
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58. Jones Receives Welcome Home Memphis Designation -

Crye-Leike affiliate broker C. Lauren Jones was the first Realtor in the Memphis market to receive the Welcome Home Memphis designation when she recently earned the honor.

The designation recently was created by the Memphis Area Association of Realtors and is designed to increase affordable housing expertise.

59. Dr. Lendel Joins Memphis Heart Clinic -

Dr. Vasili Lendel has joined Memphis Heart Clinic. Lendel is board certified in internal medicine and cardiology. A native of Siberia, Lendel received the Russian Government Award for Academic Excellence. He did his cardiology fellowship at Penn State's medical center in Hershey, Penn., where he received the Chief Cardiology Fellow award.

60. Gloves On, Gloves Off -

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton has run for the same elected office five times.

He's won four and he'll know about the fifth try one week from today.

Herenton said he'll be glad when the week is over. He's been on a charm offensive for about the last month, which has included submitting to a series of one-on-one television interviews that have replaced the home-stretch candidates forums of past election seasons.

61. Mayoral Candidates Put Efforts Into Early Vote -

If rain is the enemy of election day turnouts then a sunny late summer day might be the curse of early voting efforts.

Early voting in advance of the Oct. 4 Memphis city elections opened Friday at 15 sites with 4,290 voters showing up. The next day, which saw sunshine and tens of thousands of people jam the Cooper-Young Festival in Midtown, the turnout was less than half that - 2,040 early voters.

62. Networx Becomes Target Of Investigation Request -

Seven Memphis legislators formally have requested that the Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA) investigate the fiber optics company Memphis Networx and its connection to Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division (MLGW).

63. FedEx Attorney Earns Bar Association Honor -

Edward L. Stanton III, a senior attorney with FedEx Corp.'s commercial litigation team in Memphis, received the Sam A. Myar Jr. Memorial Award at the Memphis Bar Association's 2005 annual meeting, held Dec. 1 at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.

64. Archived Article: Daily Digest - Arena Bonds Interest

Arena Bonds Interest

Exceeds Forecast

The Public Building Authority said bonds issued for construction of FedExForum have generated interest greater than forecast. PBA special counsel Charles Carpenter requested County ...

65. Archived Article: Memos - Edward L Edward L. Stanton III joined Armstrong Allen PLLC as an associate member. Stanton comes to the firm from the City of Memphis, where he served as assistant city attorney. Prior to his employment with the city, Stanton worked at the Charles C...

66. Archived Article: Page 2 - MBA finalizes officer, director slate for 2000 MBA finalizes officer, director slate for 2000 The slate of candidates for the Memphis Bar Associations election of officers and directors for 2000 has been finalized, the MBA announced last week. David...

67. Archived Article: Law Focus1 - Memphis Bar Association announced nominees Memphis Bar Association announced nominees The Memphis Bar Association has released the report of its nominations and elections committee, which was chaired by Prince Chambliss. The association president fo...

68. Archived Article: Comm Briefs - Friends of the Library will hold its annual book sale today through Sunday in the Charles Brakefield/Youth Building at the Fairgrounds Friends of the Library will hold its annual book sale today through Sunday in the Charles Brakefield/Youth Buildin...

69. Archived Article: Comm Briefs - Animal Planet Rescue, a disaster relief vehicle designed to respond to catastrophic emergencies in which animals are endangered or injured, will be at the Memphis Zoo on Saturday from 10 a Animal Planet Rescue, a disaster relief vehicle designed to ...

70. Archived Article: Memos - Don Goodlow has been promoted to direct sales manager for Powertel Don Goodlow has been promoted to direct sales manager for Powertel. He was most recently the top account executive in Powertels Southeastern market area. Dr. Lisa Fara has been named...

71. Archived Article: Real Fcs (exhibit) Lj - By LAURIE JOHNSON Your House, My House New permanent exhibit at the Childrens Museum of Memphis gives children hands-on experience in home design and construction By LAURIE JOHNSON The Daily News A new permanent exhibit that gives children the oppor...

72. Archived Article: Fcs (hbam Goals) Lj - lj 10/5 cates Building toward the future The Home Builders Association of Memphis lists eight new goals on its 1997 "wish list" By LAURIE JOHNSON The Daily News Although the end of the year is generally thought of as a time of virtually no...

73. Archived Article: Govt Analys - 04-26 Govt analys Flip-flop: not just a rubber sandal anymore By MIKE CARPENTER Special to The Daily News With summer fast approaching, I am reminded of growing up in a small town where every child had a brand new $1, Kmart-purchased pair of flip-fl...

74. Archived Article: Law Briefs - 03-28 Law briefs The Memphis Bar Association will present a seminar on workers compensation from 1:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. today at One Commerce Square auditorium. The seminar offers three hours of continuing education credit. The presenters include M....