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Editorial Results (free)

1. Events -

Indie Memphis and Memphis Pink Palace Museum will screen Talking Heads’ 1984 concert film, “Stop Making Sense,” Thursday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. in the CTI Theater at Pink Palace, 3050 Central Ave. Tickets are $8 for Indie Memphis and Pink Palace members and $10 for nonmembers. Visit indiememphis.com.

2. Events -

Memphis Zoo will host Zoo Boo Friday, Oct. 17, through Sunday, Oct. 19, and Oct. 24-26 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the zoo, 2000 Prentiss Place. Activities include trick-or-treat stations, not-so-haunted tour of Primate Canyon, straw maze, haunted hayride and more. Tickets are $12 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Visit memphiszoo.org.

3. Sara Kyle Claims Democratic Senate Nomination -

Tennessee Democratic Party chairman Roy Herron came to Memphis Monday, Sept. 8, armed with 77 Bible verses on unity to use as Shelby County Democrats gathered to pick their nominee in a November special general election for state Senate District 30.

4. Kyle Gets Democratic State Senate Nod -

Shelby County Democratic Party leaders chose former Public Service Commissioner and Tennessee Regulatory Authority Commission Sara Kyle Monday, Sept. 8, as the Democratic nominee for State Senate District 30.

5. Democrats Choose State Senate Nominee -

When Shelby County Democratic Party leaders gather Monday, Sept. 8, to pick their party’s nominee in the November special general election for state Senate District 30, it will also be an indication of how deep the wounds run from the party’s disastrous August election outing.

6. Flinn Gets Republican State Senate Nomination -

Fresh from running in the August U.S. Senate Republican primary, George Flinn is back on the Nov. 4 ballot as the Republican nominee in the special general election for state Senate District 30.

7. Multiple Choice -

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

8. Council Hears Alternatives to Health Insurance Cuts -

Memphis City Council members fielded several plans Tuesday, July 15, for alternatives to health insurance cuts approved by the council last month. But leaders of the police and fire unions were not among those making an alternative proposal at the committee session, the first in a series of what amount to public hearings.

9. Budget Reality Informs Response to Sick-Outs -

For about a year, Memphis Fire Department Director Alvin Benson has been taking ladder trucks out of service to deal with firefighters on vacation and on sick leave at much lower levels than those that surfaced Wednesday.

10. Joe Brown Renews Weirich Allegations -

After a week in which his campaign for Shelby County district attorney general took heavy criticism from numerous political fronts, including his own party, Joe Brown said he has no regrets about alleging Republican incumbent District Attorney General Amy Weirich is gay.

11. Politics Continues After County Primaries -

A lot of the candidates from the Shelby County primary ballot were in the same room the day after the Tuesday, May 6, election.

The occasion was County Commission committee sessions.

It was mostly winners.

12. Democrats Still Pondering Unity After 2010 Defeats -

After hearing from the four contenders in the Democratic primary for county mayor outline the boundaries of what could be a lively campaign for the right to challenge Mark Luttrell in the August general election, Democrats last week got another look at an intraparty discussion that still hasn’t been settled.

13. Tennessee Democrats Struggle With New, Old Factions -

Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Roy Herron realizes the party faithful in Memphis see some challenges in keeping the faith these days.

14. Weirich Opens Re-Election Campaign -

There were lots of judges on hand as Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich opened her re-election campaign Sunday, Nov. 10.

15. Council Rules -

Three Memphis City Council members continue to look at the council’s rules of procedure and how those rules are enforced as the council prepares for the annual election of a new chairman for the new year.

16. 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.

17. Carson Takes Charge of Shelby Democrats -

The new chairman of the Shelby County Democratic Party says the 2014 big ballot of county elections will require more than a conclusion that there are more Democrats than Republicans in Shelby County.

18. Future Talk -

Years off the campaign trail haven’t diminished the typical features of an Al Gore speech.

When the former vice president’s book tour swung through The Booksellers at Laurelwood Monday, Feb. 18, there were the requisite shout-outs to familiar faces in the crowd, with Gore acknowledging by name people like Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and Roy Herron, chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party.

19. County Sees 21.6 Pct. Voter Turnout -

Slightly less than 127,000 Shelby County residents – or 21.6 percent of 584,443 registered voters – cast ballots in the Aug. 2 elections.

The turnout in early voting and election day combined was a higher percentage than the 15 percent turnout four years ago in the same election cycle, but it was well below the 44-year high of 39.4 percent set in the August 1992 elections.

20. Muni Schools Questions Pass, Cohen Wins Big -

Voters in each of the six suburban towns and cities in Shelby County approved establishing municipal school districts in the unofficial results of the Thursday, Aug. 2, county general and state and federal primary elections.

21. Muni Schools, Cohen, Weirich, Johnson, Stanton, Kyle Take Early Vote -

Voters in each of the six suburban towns and cities in Shelby County were overwhelmingly approving the establishment of municipal school districts and a half cent sales tax hike to fund them in the first vote totals released Thursday, Aug. 2 by the Shelby County Election Commission.

22. Voters Turn Out Early at Polls in Suburbs -

The first day of early voting in the suburbs in advance of the Aug. 2 election day saw a noticeable jump in voter turnout and some problems at polling places in Bartlett.

Voting opened Monday, July 16, at 20 satellite voting sites across Shelby County.

23. District Attorney Contenders Discuss Court Review -

The two contenders for Shelby County District Attorney General on the Aug. 2 ballot offered different takes on Juvenile Court reforms Monday, June 18, at a League of Women Voters forum.

Republican incumbent Amy Weirich and Democratic challenger Carol Chumney were asked about the recent review of Memphis Shelby County Juvenile Court by the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department.

24. GOP Politics Resemble 2008 In Tennessee -

This time around, leaders of the Tennessee Republican Party were convinced their choice in the Republican presidential contest would be a match with voters in the state’s presidential primary.

Four years ago, when former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee carried Shelby County and took the state, the party argued convincingly that the state’s second choice for the nomination – former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney – was a victim of the move of the Super Tuesday primaries to February.

25. Santorum Carries Shelby and State, Jackson Out As Clerk -

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum carried Shelby County and the state of Tennessee in the Tuesday, March 6, Republican Presidential primary.

And incumbent but suspended General Sessions Court Clerk Otis Jackson finished a poor third in a Democratic primary battle for the clerk’s office that was won by interim clerk Ed Stanton in the closest contest of the night over County Commission chairman Sidney Chism.

26. Primary Battle Starts Locally With Early Voting -

Early voting in the Tennessee presidential primary begins Wednesday, Feb. 15, but the Republican presidential contenders have Arizona and Michigan on their minds.

The early voting period in advance of the March 6 Election Day also includes a set of Shelby County primaries for General Sessions Court clerk, Shelby County district attorney general, property assessor and one Shelby County Commission seat. The winners in those primaries advance to the August county general election ballot.

27. Weirich Exemplifies Hands-On Approach -

Editor’s Note: A Daily News series features past winners of the Bobby Dunavant Public Service Awards, which annually honor one elected and one non-elected government official. The 2012 awards will be presented Feb. 22.

28. Election Commission Website Causes Confusion -

The information was there somewhere on the www.shelbyvote.com website, Shelby County Election Commission staffers insist.

It was just somewhere that most politicos interested in basic information about the four countywide races on the March 6 primary ballot couldn’t find.

29. County Primary Ballot Set With 3 Exits and 2 DQs - One of the four sets of Shelby County primaries on the March 6 ballot was decided at the Thursday, Dec. 15, deadline for candidates to withdraw from the ballot.

The Shelby County Election Commission Thursday certified 16 candidates in the two sets of primaries for four county offices and one independent candidate who advances automatically to the Aug. 2 county general elections.

30. Weirich and Ross Unopposed At Filing Deadline -

Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich appeared to have no opposition in the March GOP primary for the job as the county’s top prosecutor.

31. Weirich and Ross Unopposed At Filing Deadline -

Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich appeared to have no opposition in the March GOP primary for the job as the county’s top prosecutor.

32. Deadline Looms For Candidates In March Primaries -

There is the paperwork and there are the deadlines in politics. And then there are the campaigns that begin long before the paperwork or deadlines.

One group of candidates in the 2012 election cycle is approaching its first deadline Thursday, Dec. 8, at noon – the filing deadline for the March 6 county primaries.

33. Stanton Pulls Petition for Gen. Sess. Court Clerk -

The interim General Sessions Court clerk has pulled a qualifying petition to run for the office in the March Democratic primary.

Ed Stanton Jr. was appointed interim clerk in August after General Sessions Court judges suspended clerk Otis Jackson following his indictment on four counts of official misconduct.

34. Stanton Picks Up For Gen Sessions Court Clerk -

The interim General Sessions Court Clerk has pulled a qualifying petition to run for the office in the March Democratic primary.

Ed Stanton Jr. was appointed interim clerk in August after General Sessions Court Judges suspended clerk Otis Jackson following his indictment on four counts of official misconduct.

35. Shelby County DA Race Taking Shape -

With a month to the Dec. 8 filing deadline for the March 6 presidential and Shelby County primary elections, the coming race for Shelby County district attorney general is beginning to show signs of life. That is as voters in one part of Memphis prepare to decide the last election of 2011 this week.

36. Weirich Raises $45K for District Attorney General Run -

Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich has raised $45,000 in six months for her 2012 bid to remain the county’s chief prosecutor.

37. Handy-Clay Re-Files Job Dismissal Lawsuit -

The former public records coordinator for the city of Memphis is still challenging in court her dismissal from the job late last year.

Bridgett Handy-Clay has filed a lawsuit against the city in Shelby County Circuit Court, and she’s appealing U.S. District Judge S. Thomas Anderson’s dismissal of the federal lawsuit she filed over the same matter in December.

38. Handy-Clay Appeals Lawsuit Dismissed -

Bridgett Handy-Clay, the city’s former public records coordinator, is appealing to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals after a federal judge in Memphis dismissed a suit she filed claiming wrongful termination.

39. Ex-Public Records Coordinator Sues City of Memphis -

Attorney Carol Chumney, a former Memphis City councilwoman, has filed a 20-page federal lawsuit on behalf of Bridgett Handy-Clay, the city’s former public records coordinator who was fired earlier this year after requesting payroll and other records relating to her supervisor and other employees in the city attorney’s office.

40. Former City Employee Hires Attorney -

The city’s former public records coordinator has hired an attorney.

Bridgett Handy-Clay was fired by the city last week from the city attorney’s office after requesting public documents on a supervisor and other employees in the office.

41. 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.

42. 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:

43. 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:

44. 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.

45. 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.

...

46. Poll: Wharton Expanding Lead for Memphis Mayor -

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A new poll indicates A C Wharton has widened his lead going into this week's Memphis mayor's election.

The Shelby County mayor was supported by 53 percent, followed by interim Memphis Mayor Myron Lowery with 16 percent and City Councilwoman Carol Chumney with 9 percent. Wharton had 45 percent in a poll taken last month.

47. 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.

48. 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.

49. 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.

...

50. 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.

51. 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.

52. 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.

53. 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.

54. 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.

55. 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.

...

56. 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.

...

57. 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.

58. Chumney Readies ‘Grassroots’ Campaign for Mayor -

While her fellow mayoral contenders have spent the past week or so shaking hands, giving interviews, knocking on doors and making calls, Carol Chumney has not been as visible on the campaign trail.

59. 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.

60. 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.

...

61. 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.

62. Halbert Declares Intention To Run for Mayor -

Calling herself the change agent Memphis government is lacking, Memphis City Council member Wanda Halbert added her name Monday to the field of candidates running in the October special election to replace Willie Herenton.

63. 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.

64. 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.

65. 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.

66. 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.

67. Herenton-Lowery Transition Under Way in Choppy Waters -

He is serving his fifth term in office, having come to political power in the historic 1991 city elections. He became a politician after a career in which he was already in the public eye. He is outspoken and intense and he is not Willie Herenton.

68. Herenton Resigns -

It’s over.

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton is resigning effective July 10 to devote all of his time to a bid for Congress in the 2010 election and to join his son, Rodney, in a financial investment business, the mayor announced Thursday.

69. Life After City Hall: The story behind Herenton’s Washington surprise -

You would think that Mayor Willie Herenton’s “resignation” last spring as he thought about trying out for Memphis City Schools superintendent would be difficult to top.

70. Wharton’s Mayoral Fundraiser A Soft Sell -

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. drew more than 100 people to a $500-a-head fundraiser this week at The Racquet Club of Memphis.

The East Memphis fundraiser is a soft opening of Wharton’s bid for Memphis mayor in the 2011 city elections – an early kickoff even in the two-steps-ahead world of Memphis politics.

71. Chumney Chimes in on Mayor’s Race -

The next Memphis mayor’s race is still three years away, but the electoral battle lines are already being drawn.

Former Memphis City Council member Carol Chumney, who lost her own race for city mayor last year to incumbent Willie Herenton, told The Daily News she is running again in 2011 and has begun making campaign preparations. That makes her the second prominent contender for the mayor’s seat this far out, with Shelby County mayor A C Wharton Jr. already having signaled his intentions this month and established himself as an early favorite in the race.

72. Proposed Charter Tweaks Could Mean Major Change -

Memphis municipal elections in 2011 would be the end of a nearly century-old tradition of city elections in odd-numbered years.

Voters in the Nov. 4 election will consider six proposed amendments to the Memphis charter, including one that would move the city of Memphis elections to even-numbered years starting in 2012. The move affects not only the 13 City Council seats, but the City Court clerk and the mayor. It also has broad political consequences.

73. Eleven File For Council Seat -

A field of 11 candidates had filed by Thursday’s noon deadline for an open seat on the Memphis City Council on the Nov. 4 ballot. Four of the contenders ran for the council just a year ago. Also at the deadline, three Memphis school board members were effectively re-elected when they failed to draw any opposition.

74. Eleven File For Council Seat -

A field of 11 candidates had filed by today's noon deadline for an open seat on the Memphis City Council on the Nov. 4 ballot. Four of the contenders ran for the council just a year ago. Also at the deadline, three Memphis school board members were effectively re-elected when they failed to draw any opposition.

75. Charter Commission To Consider Staggered Terms -

The Memphis Charter Commission is considering a significant change to local election cycles as part of a proposed move to staggered terms for City Council members.

The seven-member body has one more scheduled meeting Thursday before a Sept. 5 deadline to send the ballot items to the Shelby County Election Commission for the Nov. 4 election.

76. Charter Commission Explores Old Ideas -

Members of the Memphis Charter Commission are about to begin debating some of the most basic questions about how city government functions.

The group is drafting charter amendments to go to Memphis voters on the November ballot.

77. Herenton Moves Ahead With 'Doctoral Thesis' On Schools -

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton served notice last week that he is putting a lot of work and political capital into his coming plan for changing the Memphis City Schools.

Herenton made a lengthy speech and answered questions in City Council chambers Thursday before about 60 members of a Leadership Memphis class. He begged off any specifics of the plan that he will present May 6 to the City Council. The plan could resolve lingering questions about whether Herenton will leave City Hall before the end of his term in 2012.

78. Take Back! Mayoral Resignation Saga Marches On -

Less than a week after he said he was going to give up the office of mayor in July, Willie Herenton has taken back what originally seemed to be a simple but stunning plan to leave the mayor's office with plenty of notice.

79. Herenton Announces Resignation Effective July, Wants to ‘Pursue Other Options’ -

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton is resigning at the end of July.

Herenton announced the stunning political move at a private Downtown luncheon today and word filtered out late this afternoon. As he left City Hall this evening, Herenton told The Daily News he “wanted to pursue other options.”

80. City, County Budget Woes Bring Different Reactions -

Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. broke the news recently that the county's official budget shortfall is $2 million higher than his finance team originally had forecast. And it could climb higher still.

81. Morris, Chumney Reinvent Themselves in Private Sector -

She's now teaching a class on political leadership at the University of Memphis, throwing herself back into her law practice and, in her free time, learning how to swing dance. He's building up a law practice of his own, traveling frequently on business and spending more time with his family.

82. Obama, Huckabee Dominate Shelby in Tenn. Primaries -

The presidential primary season came to a rain-soaked and stormy end Tuesday evening in Memphis even as some voters were still showing up at the polls.

Democratic Sen. Barack Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee carried Shelby County in Tuesday's Tennessee presidential primaries in which 24 percent of Shelby County's 611,000 registered voters cast ballots.

83. Obama, Huckabee Carry Shelby In Tn Primary -

Democratic Sen. Barack Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee carried Shelby County in Tuesday’s Tennessee presidential primaries.

Huckabee went on to win statewide in the GOP contest while New York Sen. Hillary Clinton took the statewide Democratic primary.

84. Democrats Heat up Primary Race -

There was a telling moment Sunday at Monumental Baptist Church. It came as Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton swayed in her chair to the melody of the church choir.

Laquita Jackson strode purposefully down the center aisle of the South Memphis church, a bundle of Barack Obama signs under one arm and holding another bundle of Obama fans. It caused a brief uproar in the crowd of 300 as she took her seat in the fourth row behind two women with larger home-made Clinton signs. A sign truce was quickly negotiated as the choir continued and something that happens occasionally among competing presidential campaigns blew over quickly.

85. Herenton To Take Oath Tuesday -

Mayor Willie Herenton will kick off his fifth term in office Tuesday.

Herenton and all 13 Memphis City Council members elected this year will begin new four-year terms by taking their respective oaths of office at noon at The Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., will be the featured speaker.

86. Nine Council Members Bid Adieu -

Memphis City Council members approved $6 million in funding for the Beale Street Landing project at their last council session of 2007.

While much of the attention was on nine of the 13 council members who were ending their terms of office, the council had a busy agenda that also included final approval of a 2008 referendum for city voters on a process to recall council members. And the council voted to ask the state attorney general, its own attorney and an auditor it hired to further investigate the pending sale of the telecommunications venture Memphis Networx.

87. Moving Day Approaches For Nine Council Members -

Nine Memphis City Council members will begin a transition starting next week. Their pictures will go from one side of the City Council chambers at City Hall to the other side.

The nine are leaving the council in what is the largest turnover of seats in the 40-year history of the 13-member body. Current council members have their pictures on the wall on one side of the chamber. The portraits of former council members line the wall on the other side.

88. Memphis Networx Sale Receives 'Contested Case' Label -

The sale of Memphis Networx to Communications Infrastructure Investments (CII) of Louisville, Colo., is now a "contested case" before the Tennessee Regulatory Authority.

The TRA is the state body that must approve the "change of control," as the $11.5 million deal involving the telecom firm is termed.

89. Charter Commission to Put Term Limits Before Voters -

The Memphis Charter Commission will recommend term limits be included in charter changes to be submitted to city voters.

The commission made the decision Wednesday without deciding specifics other than the term limits would not apply to the city court clerk's office or the three city court judge positions. The specifics are to be fleshed out as the commission looks at term limit provisions in other cities.

90. Fairgrounds Redevelopment Now In Three Flavors -

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton this week unveiled to the City Council three options for redeveloping the Mid-South Fairgrounds.

Herenton told council members the fate of Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium will depend on a pending decision from the U.S. Department of Justice about what improvements the city must make to the stadium to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

91. Beer Sales at Sexually Oriented Businesses up for Second Reading Today -

It's on the Memphis City Council's consent agenda today. But the second of three readings of an ordinance to permit beer sales to continue at strip clubs is expected to be anything but routine.

In the two weeks since the measure was added to the council's agenda at the last minute and passed on first reading, opponents have grown more vocal. And the Herenton administration is defending its proposal.

92. Beale Street Funding, Other Issues Raised At Council Meeting -

Memphis City Council members this week marked the 24th anniversary of the opening of the renovated Beale Street entertainment district with an old question: When does the city get money from the district it owns?

93. Council Hustles On Tying Loose Ends -

Memphis City Council members, most of them leaving office with the New Year, took several steps this week toward shaping the four-year term of their successors as well as the fifth term of Mayor Willie Herenton.

94. Fifth Term Secured, Herenton Looks To Future Agenda -

This is the first week of the rest of Willie Herenton's political life.

Herenton, who was re-elected as Memphis mayor for an unprecedented fifth term Thursday, won't take the oath of office until January. But he began signaling during the final days of the campaign that a fifth term would see a renewed emphasis on past goals he has not pursued with much vigor in recent years.

95. Power to the People -

Early voting has set a record for city elections.

A little more than 74,000 voters cast early ballots in 15 locations over the 14-day early voting period in advance of Thursday's city election. It ended Saturday afternoon. The total is 16.2 percent of the city's registered voters.

96. Chumney Hits RoadFor Last-Minute Campaign -      Memphis mayoral candidate Carol Chumney is hitting the road.
     Earlier this week, Chumney announced in front of City Hall she is embarking on something billed as a "Road to Change" listeni

97. Departing City Council Vet Still on the Campaign Trail -

Whether it's by acting as a mentor to the political newcomer he's backing or sounding off on the various candidates running in next week's city election, retiring Memphis City Council member Jack Sammons has worn some new hats of late.

98. 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.

99. Marshall Plows Ahead Despite Impending Retirement From Council -

Only six more public meetings stand between now and the end of this year, when the Memphis City Council faces its biggest member turnover in 40 years.

Voters go to the polls Oct. 4 in the city's municipal election and will choose replacements for a majority of the council body. One of the incumbents who won't be coming back to City Hall next year is Tom Marshall, who's stepping aside after 20 years in office.

100. Mayoral Pay Could Be Current Council's Last Battle -

The stage appears to be set for Memphis City Council members next month to turn a perfunctory discussion on a pay raise for the Memphis mayor into one of the last knock-down, drag-out skirmishes they'll fight against each other.