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Editorial Results (free)

1. County Commissioners Bid Final Farewells -

Shelby County Commission Chairman James Harvey began the group’s Monday, Aug. 18, meeting on a hopeful note.

2. Commission Ends Term with Residency Guidelines and School Board Pay Raises -

At the last meeting of their current four-year term of office, Shelby County Commissioners approved Monday, Aug. 18, a specific set of guidelines for future commissions to weigh residency challenges of elected county officials.

3. Commission Reopens Anti-Discrimination Debate -

Six of the 13 Shelby County Commissioners attend their last meeting Monday, Aug. 18.

The finale of the four-year term of office will feature renewed discussion about a proposed anti-discrimination ordinance and attempts to make the residency requirement for county commissioners more specific.

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. County Commission Weighs End of Term Items -

At the next to last meeting of their four-year terms of office, Shelby County commissioners will be dealing with some items that have been on the wish lists of individual commissioners for years in some cases.

6. 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.

7. Early Vote Expands as Campaigns Enter New Phase -

There is a unique and persistent part of the political process that gnaws at candidates, separating them from the voters they court and sometimes stalk. You might call it the day of the ballot.

In the weeks leading up to the start of early voting, they get hit up constantly by those putting out endorsement ballots to be distributed during early voting and on election day, most often by paid poll workers. Candidates must pay to be on a ballot, which those organizing the ballots say is necessary to cover printing and distribution costs.

8. Brooks Challenge Grows Toward End of Term -

The last six weeks of the current terms of office of the 13 Shelby County commissioners will be marked by a series of political challenges involving Commissioner Henri Brooks.

Meanwhile, Shelby County Attorney Marcy Ingram has resolved a residency challenge of Commissioner Justin Ford, concluding Ford’s “primary residence is probably” at Fairways Apartments, a South Memphis apartment complex in his district, even though Ford claimed in the investigation that he lived there for more than two years without utilities.

9. Residency Dispute Bigger Than Brooks Decision -

What surfaced rapidly in June as a Shelby County Commissioner with a residency problem added to other political problems is a complex legal question – and not just for Commissioner Henri Brooks.

10. Brooks' Attorneys Claim Different Address -

Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks still lives in her district but at a different address than the one she listed on numerous records, including her recent arrest report, according to her attorneys.

11. Luttrell, Malone Clash on Pre-K Expansion -

The top two contenders for Shelby County mayor had the closest thing yet to a debate Monday, June 2, on budget priorities.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and his Democratic challenger, former County Commissioner Deidre Malone, didn’t address each other directly.

12. County Commission Delays Development Vote -

The Shelby County Commission did not vote Monday, May 12, on a planned development by First Citizens Bank at Austin Peay Highway and Millington-Arlington Road because the commission was forced to adjourn for lack of a quorum before it could vote on the item.

13. County Commission Delays Development Vote -

The Shelby County Commission did not vote Monday, May 12, on a planned development by First Citizens Bank at Austin Peay Highway and Millington-Arlington Road because the commission was forced to adjourn for lack of a quorum before it could vote on the item.

14. Commission Approves Compromise $52.1 Million in Schools Capital Funding -

Shelby County Commissioners approved Monday, May 12, an immediate infusion of $52.1 million in capital funding for Shelby County Schools and the six suburban school systems.

The compromise resolution worked out with leaders of the suburban school systems includes $4.8 million in capital projects at five of the six suburban school systems. It also keeps the $47.3 million in capital projects for Shelby County Schools a majority on the commission recommended in committee sessions last week. The Shelby County Schools list includes a new roof for Millington Central High School which is in the sixth of the six suburban school systems.

15. Malone to Challenge Luttrell In August Mayoral Showdown -

Former Shelby County Commissioner Deidre Malone will challenge incumbent Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell in the August county general election after winning the Tuesday, May 6, Democratic mayoral primary.

16. Malone Takes Early Vote In Mayoral Primary -

Former Shelby County Commissioner Deidre Malone took the early vote in the three-way Democratic primary for Shelby County Mayor.

The first results of the Tuesday, May 6, election night showed Malone leading rivals county commissioner Steve Mulroy and former Shelby County Schools board member Kenneth Whalum Jr.

17. Schools Leaders Outline Budget Goals -

The Shelby County Commission and Shelby County Schools leaders eased into what is likely to be the most difficult discussion of county government’s budget season – funding the county’s school district in the first academic year of the demerger.

18. Council Unhappy With Budget Plans So Far -

The administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. got a rough reception at the Tuesday, April 1, Memphis City Council session as it set the stage for Wharton’s budget proposal to come in two weeks.

19. Election Commission Hears Ballot Challenges -

Shelby County Election Commissioners could complete the ballot for the May Shelby County primary elections Wednesday, March 5, by deciding on challenges to the residency of three candidates in the Democratic primaries.

20. Consolidation Talk Surfaces as Races Come to Life -

Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy says he would pursue city and county government consolidation if elected Shelby County mayor.

Mulroy made the comment at a Cooper-Young fundraiser as campaigns leading into the May county primaries came to life this week.

21. 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.

22. Whalum, Harvey Pull Petitions for Mayor’s Race -

Shelby County Commission Chairman James Harvey and former Shelby County Schools board member Kenneth Whalum Jr. have pulled qualifying petitions to run in the May Democratic primary for Shelby County Mayor.

23. Whalum, Harvey Pull Petitions for Mayor’s Race -

Shelby County Commission Chairman James Harvey and former Shelby County Schools board member Kenneth Whalum Jr. have pulled qualifying petitions to run in the May Democratic primary for Shelby County Mayor.

24. Commission to Have New Faces in 2014 -

When Shelby County Commissioners said farewell to one of their own this week at the commission’s last meeting of 2013, it was the latest in a series of changes that will remake the 13-member body by this time next year.

25. 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.

26. Crossing Local Party Lines Becoming Hazardous -

Call it fallout from the local Democratic executive committee’s censure last month of Shelby County Commission Chairman James Harvey.

27. October 4-October 10, 2013: This week in Memphis history -

2012: Robert J. Pera, the new majority owner to be of the Memphis Grizzlies was assembling his local partners for the ownership group. The names included NBA and University of Memphis basketball star Anfernees “Penny” Hardaway, pop star Justin Timberlake and former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr.

28. County Commission’s Partisan, Personal Divide Resurfaces -

As Shelby County Commissioners were asking some pretty pointed questions Monday, Sept. 9, of those vying for an appointment to the countywide school board, Commissioner Heidi Shafer told Shante Avant, one of the contenders, “We’re not as scary as we seem.”

29. Commission Appoints Avant To School Board, Keeps Shafer As Budget Chair -

Shelby County Commissioners appointed Shante Avant, a mother who has worked for the Women’s Foundation and other local nonprofits for 17 years, as the newest members of the countywide school board.

30. Commission Appoints Avant To School Board, Keeps Shafer As Budget Chair -

Shelby County Commissioners appointed Shante Avant, a mother who has worked for the Women’s Foundation and other local nonprofits for 17 years, as the newest members of the countywide school board.

31. County Commission to Fill School Board Vacancy -

Shelby County Commissioners bring the countywide school board up to its full strength of seven members Monday, Sept. 9, by appointing someone to the open District 6 seat.

The commission meets at 1:30 p.m. at the Vasco Smith County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St.

32. Commissioner Harvey Home to Stay -

As the Shelby County Commission began debating whether or not property tax rates caused homeowners and small-business owners to move out of the county, one commissioner was preparing to move to Dallas.

33. Issues of County Budget Season Remain -

The Shelby County property tax rate of $4.38 is ready for the tax bills that are to go out starting later this month.

But with the county budget season now over, some of the major themes of the Shelby County Commission’s debate over taxes are likely to remain in play.

34. Commission Approves $4.38 Property Tax Rate -

Shelby County Commissioners approved a $4.38 county property tax rate Monday, July 22, ending a budget season that spilled into the first 22 days of the new fiscal year.

The key to the 7-5 vote on third and final reading of the ordinance was Commissioner Justin Ford changing his “no” vote earlier this month back to a “yes” vote and Commissioner Sidney Chism announcing he would no longer abstain from voting on the matter because of a day care center his family operates.

35. Commission Tries Again to Set County Tax Rate -

Shelby County Commissioners try again Monday, July 22, to set a county property tax rate for the fiscal year that began July 1.

And they will start consideration of the issue with a proposed $4.38 tax rate backed by Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell on the second of three readings.

36. Tax Rate Delay Could Affect County Cash Flow -

Shelby County property taxes aren’t due until October, but the tax bills were to go out to taxpayers later this month.

And that could cause some cash flow problems if a new county property tax rate isn’t set soon.

37. Commission Awaits Next Budget Steps -

When Shelby County Commissioners get together Wednesday, July 17, for committee sessions, they will probably begin to fill in some of the blank space left in the wake of their decision this week to vote down a $4.38 county property tax rate.

38. Commission Votes Down $4.38 Tax Rate -

Shelby County Commissioners voted down a $4.38 county property tax rate Monday, July 8, in a decision that could reopen the county’s operating budget for the fiscal year that began July 1.

At the least, the commission vote means it will be mid August at the earliest before the commission sets a tax rate. But if the commission lowers the tax rate from $4.38, it would force reconsideration of a county operating budget that is based on that higher tax rate.

39. Wharton: Revenue Officer Needed -

Call it a “budget resolution.” A week after the Memphis City Council set the city’s operating budget, capital budget and a property tax rate of $3.40, council members and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. resolved Tuesday, July 2, to continue making changes in City Hall’s financial practices.

40. Strickland, Conrad Warn of Budget Pitfalls -

When most of the 13 people on the Memphis City Council began their service in 2008, the city’s property tax rate was $3.43 and rolling back that rate was a priority of a voting majority on the body.

41. Council Approves Tax Hike in $3.40 Property Tax Rate -

Memphis City Council members raised the city property tax rate Tuesday, June 26, by four cents above the recertified tax rate and put the rest of a turbulent budget season to rest.

The approval of the $3.40 property tax rate and city operating and capital budgets came in a council session that ended at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

42. Council to Take Final Votes on Budget -

The most critical vote at last week’s budget-dominated Memphis City Council meeting may have been the vote to adjourn leaving final budget decisions pending.

It left a week for all sides in the ongoing budget drama at City Hall a wealth of time by political standards to build support for their respective positions.

43. Council Faces Pressure in Financial Crisis -

The Memphis City Council is caught between hints of a state takeover of city finances and the possibility of a lawsuit by most, if not all, of the city’s municipal labor unions in a fiscal crisis that is also evolving into a significant labor dispute.

44. Comptroller Urges Council to Act on Fiscal Problems -

That didn’t take long.

An ad hoc committee of Memphis City Council members trying to find common ground between the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and the city’s municipal labor unions met for less than an hour Wednesday, June 12, before calling it a day.

45. NBA Approves Pera as New Grizzlies Owner -

Thanks to a unanimous vote of approval from the NBA Board of Governors, Robert Pera is a few days away from being the new owner of the Memphis Grizzlies.

46. NBA Approves Pera as Grizzlies Owner -

Thanks to a unanimous vote of approval from the NBA Board of Governors, Robert Pera is a few days away from being the new owner of the Memphis Grizzlies.

47. Political Outsourcing -

It has been 12 years since Shelby County voters have encountered a Democratic or Republican presidential nominee on the general election ballot who had some kind of political presence in the region, if not the city, before they made their bid for president.

48. New Grizzlies Ownership Could Include Manning, Hardaway -

A source close to Robert Pera, the California businessman in the process of buying the Memphis Grizzlies, has confirmed the addition of a few new names to what will be the new ownership of the Grizzlies.

49. New Grizz Ownership Could Include Manning, Hardaway -

A source close to Robert Pera, the California businessman in the process of buying the Memphis Grizzlies, has confirmed the addition of a few new names to what will be the new ownership of the Grizzlies.

50. New Grizz Ownership Could Include Manning, Hardaway -

A source close to Robert Pera, the California businessman in the process of buying the Memphis Grizzlies, has confirmed the addition of a few new names to what will be the new ownership of the Grizzlies.

51. Ritz Settles In as Commission Chairman -

Shelby County Commissioners had some new seating arrangements and committee assignments Monday, Sept. 10, as commissioner Mike Ritz began his yearlong term as chairman of the body.

Former chairman and Democrat Sidney Chism was seated next to former chairman pro tempore and Republican Wyatt Bunker.

52. Love and Gibson Appointed To Countywide School Board -

Shelby County Commissioners appointed Mary Anne Gibson and Oscar Love Monday, Sept. 10, to the countywide school board.

53. Commission Tries Again At Electing Chairman -

Shelby County Commissioners will try again Monday, July 30, to elect a new chairman after 21 rounds of voting two weeks ago failed to produce someone who could get seven votes.

The four contenders through the balloting were current chairman Sidney Chism, current chairman pro tempore Wyatt Bunker, and commissioners Mike Ritz and Henri Brooks.

54. After 21 Rounds of Voting, Still no Commission Chair -

Shelby County Commissioners put off electing a chairman for the next year’s term Monday, July 16, after 21 rounds of voting in which no one got seven votes.

The commission will try again at its July 30 meeting.

55. Goldin’s Footnote Heard ’Round Shelby County -

For many on the Shelby County Commission, last week’s 10-page ruling by Chancellor Arnold Goldin on the new structure of the commission came down to a 25-word footnote in the ruling.

56. Commission Approves $1.2 Billion Budget -

The Shelby County Commission may not have the last word on a county government operating budget it added nearly $1 million to and for which it raided the county’s $90 million reserve fund to balance the budget.

57. Civil Rights Icon Smith Donates Papers to Library -

Maxine Smith pointed out that the wheelchair she used to enter the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library was borrowed – and she also made a point of walking from the doorway of the Memphis and Shelby County Room at the library to her seat in the room.

58. Commission Redistricting Moves to Final Vote -

The Shelby County Commission’s overtime deliberations on redistricting have pulled in elements of other political issues.

There was a move to oust Sidney Chism as chairman and scramble the commission’s already tentative party line divisions. There was the suburban versus urban dynamic and even an intra-party dispute among Republicans on the commission.

59. County Commission - Luttrell Clash on Urgency of School Transfer Rules -

Shelby County Commissioners approved Friday, Feb. 10, a resolution authorizing Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell to negotiate with the countywide school board on the terms of a transfer of school buildings in the event suburban municipal school districts are formed.

60. Commission Tries Again at Redistricting -

The votes are still close on the Shelby County Commission as the group takes the first vote Monday, Feb. 6, on its third try at redistricting.

The plan that’s up for the first of three readings is a conversion of the 13-member, five-district body to 13 single-member districts covering all of Shelby County.

61. New District Plan Fizzles, Causes Strife -

The dust hasn’t completely settled on the differences Shelby County Commissioners are having with each other across party lines and on a number of other fronts.

“We’ve outed a civility gap on this commission,” commissioner Steve Mulroy said. “It’s existed for a while.”

62. Commission Takes Up Redistricting and Ouster Rule Change -

Shelby County Commission members pick up Monday, Jan. 23, where they left off last Wednesday – in turmoil and possibly headed for a political realignment of the partisan body along something other than party lines.

63. Commission Looks at Power Realignment -

For three months, a split among the six Republicans on the 13-member Shelby County Commission has been more evident than the split among the seven Democratic commissioners.

As the commission started over this week on the redistricting process that highlighted the Republican rift, however, the split has evolved into a realignment of political power on the body.

64. Commission Strife Deepens with Censure, Ouster Moves -

A deadlock among Shelby County Commission members on a redistricting plan moved into uncharted and roiling political waters Wednesday, Jan. 18, with a censure resolution and a possible move to oust Sidney Chism as chairman of the body.

65. Commission Strife Deepens with Censure, Ouster Moves -

A deadlock among Shelby County Commission members on a redistricting plan moved into uncharted and roiling political waters Wednesday, Jan. 18, with a censure resolution and a possible move to oust Sidney Chism as chairman of the body.

66. County Commission Could Further Redistricting Talks -

Shelby County Commission members avoided the topic at least in the public, on-the-record discussions during committee sessions last week.

But the full commission meeting Monday, Jan. 9, could feature the commission’s first formal discussion of a redistricting plan since three commissioners filed suit over the matter in Chancery Court Tuesday, Jan. 3.

67. County Redistricting Goes to Court -

Three Shelby County commissioners – one Democrat and two Republicans – filed suit against the full commission Tuesday, Jan. 3, over the body's stalled deliberations on a redistricting plan.

68. Harbor Town Apts. Sell For $31.5M -

Dallas-based Behringer Harvard has acquired the Arbors Harbor Town Apartments – a 345-unit multifamily community in Harbor Town on Mud Island – for $31.5 million, or $91,304 per unit.

69. District Lines on Tap for Commission -

Five days is a long time in politics. That’s the gap between the Monday, Dec. 19, meeting of the Shelby County Commission and the special meeting of the commission last Wednesday.

At the special meeting, commissioners again floated a new redistricting plan that would keep the 13-member body at five districts covering all of Shelby County.

70. Commissioners Fail to Approve Redistricting Plan -

Shelby County Commissioners will try again Monday, Dec. 19, to give final approval to a new set of district lines for the 13-member body.

At a special meeting Wednesday, Dec. 14, a new set of district lines that would keep but tweak the current five-district setup won approval on the second of three readings. But it did not appear to have the two-thirds majority – or nine votes – needed to pass next week.

71. Commissioners Fail to Approve Redistricting Plan -

Shelby County Commissioners will try again Monday, Dec. 19, to give final approval to a new set of district lines for the 13-member body.

At a special meeting Wednesday, Dec. 14, a new set of district lines that would keep but tweak the current five-district setup won approval on the second of three readings. But it did not appear to have the two-thirds majority – or nine votes – needed to pass next week.

72. County Commission Still Weighing New Districts -

Shelby County commissioners appeared on their way to setting a new group of district lines by Christmas that would create two more districts but keep the body at 13 members. That changed at the commission’s Monday, Dec. 5, meeting.

73. Terms of Consolidation Still Taking Shape -

There is still some uncertainty about the exact terms of the transition to a consolidated countywide school board.

And that was reflected in questions preceding this week’s appointments to the board that takes office Oct. 1.

74. County Commission Completes New School Board -

Shelby County Commissioners made seven appointments Monday, Sept. 12, to the new countywide school board that takes office Oct. 1.

The appointment process completes a 23-member board that is to take office Oct. 1 with the seven appointees joining the nine current Memphis City Schools board members and the seven current Shelby County Schools board members.

75. Commission Approves Balanced Budget -

No county property tax hike. No 2 percent pay raise for county employees. The full $400,000 in funding for the county office of early childhood and youth, and no cuts in funding to the Greater Memphis Chamber or Shelby Farms Park.

76. School Consolidation Attorneys Meet Friday -

All sides in the schools consolidation lawsuit meet in Memphis federal court Friday to work out a quicker resolution of the lawsuit filed in February.

The scheduling conference before U.S. District Court Judge Hardy Mays comes a week after Mays heard a day and a half of oral arguments from all sides.

77. County Commission Addresses Paid Leave -

Shelby County employees can’t get paid leave to go Christmas shopping or in exchange for giving blood or giving to a charity.

In a change of political course, the Shelby County Commission this week added the ban to county personnel policy stopping what has been a practice for some elected county officials for years.

78. County Commission Reverses Course on Buying Paid Leave -

Two weeks ago, Shelby County commissioners were about evenly split on the idea that county personnel policy should prevent employees from “buying” paid leave to go Christmas shopping or get the leave as a reward for giving blood and supporting various charities.

79. Turner Stays on To Lead Local Democrats -

Van Turner Jr. remains the Shelby County Democratic Party chairman after a weekend local party convention.

And Turner, who ran unopposed for the chairmanship, is hoping for a reversal of party fortunes in the next two years.

80. Turner ReElected Local Democratic Party Chairman -

Shelby County Democratic Party chairman Van Turner Jr. was re-elected to a new term Saturday without opposition.

The day before the local Democratic convention at American Way Middle School, potential opposition surfaced in the form of attorney Curtis D. Johnson Jr., who sent out a letter to party leaders and activists.

81. County Commission Tightens Attorney-Client Rules -

The Shelby County Commission could keep legal documents out of the hands of some of its own members if they talk to the public about what happens in closed attorney-client meetings.

The commission passed the resolution Monday establishing that and other sanctions including censure that would have to be enacted with a majority vote.

82. Commission Rejects Paid Leave Restrictions -

Shelby County commissioners were short of the votes Monday to specifically prohibit county employees from getting paid leave for Christmas shopping days or in exchange for donating blood and other charity work.

83. Local Democratic Party Faces Battle for Chair -

Shelby County Democratic Party chairman Van Turner probably faces a challenge in his bid for another two years in the position and the challenger is probably Shelby County Commissioner Justin Ford.

84. Commissioners Draw Lines in Charter Sand -

It was the dominant issue in many of the May 4 county primaries for the Shelby County Commission.

The commissioners have nothing other than their votes as citizens on the metro charter proposal. But all of the candidates in the commission district that includes all six of the suburban towns and cities emphasized their opposition to the consolidation charter still being drafted at that point.

85. Commission Debates Charter Stand, Approves Terms For New Morgue -

Shelby County Commissioners talked Monday about consolidation, education funding and minority business contracts during a session that also included a debate about building a new morgue.

A resolution approving the agreements between Shelby County and the state for the construction of a new Regional Forensic Center passed on an 11-0 vote. Commissioner Heidi Shafer abstained and Commissioner Justin Ford, who is a funeral director, recused himself from the vote.

86. County Commission Settles in for Partisan Tenure -

The new Shelby County Commission will settle down a bit as more time passes. But the 13-member body with six new members will probably remain more partisan than its predecessors of the last four years.

87. County Commission Off To Partisan, Lively Start -

Shelby County Commissioners found plenty to debate during their first meeting as a body since six new commissioners took office Sept. 1.

Monday’s session saw the election of Democrat Sidney Chism as the chairman of the 13 member body for the next year.

88. Mayoral Bid Awakens Ford Political Machine -

Since the late 1970s, the Ford family, as a political organization, has had an interest in either the Memphis or Shelby County mayor’s office. In 1978, John Ford declared he was running for county mayor but then withdrew from the race. Five years later, he ran for city mayor.

89. 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.

90. 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.

...

91. Commission Races Hinge on Public Issues -

Two issues figure in to the 11 competitive races for the Shelby County Commission – the future of the Regional Medical Center and local government consolidation.

Any push card for a credible candidate includes either something about how to save The MED or the candidate’s opposition to consolidation – or both.

92. Candidates Battle it Out in Democratic Primary -

Before voters get to the slimmer, trimmer Aug. 5 race for Shelby County mayor, some of them must decide the three-candidate Democratic primary on the May 4 ballot.

As political races go, this one has enough drama to make it interesting.

93. Moore Fights to Keep Commission Seat -

Edith Moore has never run for public office.

But that doesn’t mean she’s never been involved in politics.

94. What’s Coming Up This Election Season -

After a year of turbulence, the Memphis political scene continues to remake itself.

The May 4 and Aug. 5 elections don’t have the focused drama of last October’s special election for Memphis mayor, but they represent new chapters in a story that could end with a new generation of political leaders and at least a passing of the political baton.

95. 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.

96. 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)

...

97. 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.

98. Let Us Peer Into Our Crystal Ball For What’s Ahead This Year -

2009 was the first full calendar year for The Memphis News. Looking back at the covers of those 51 issues, it’s easy to see that Memphis is at an important point in its history once again.

We began the year exploring the role of megachurches in our community. Near the end of the year, we covered the industrial megasite in nearby Haywood County.

99. Surprise Commission Appointee Lays Out Plans, Goals -

Edith C. Moore is the newest member of the Shelby County Commission, which appointed her during its last meeting of the year on Dec. 21.

Moore represents District 3 Position 3, the seat vacated by Joe Ford earlier in December when he was appointed interim Shelby County mayor.

100. 2009 Year In Review -

2009 was a year without a script – and plenty of improvising on the political stage.

It was supposed to be an off-election year except in Arlington and Lakeland.

2008 ended with voters in the city and county approving a series of changes to the charters of Memphis and Shelby County governments. Those changes were supposed to set a new direction for both entities, kicking into high gear in 2010 and ultimately culminating two years later.