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Editorial Results (free)

1. Lenoir Kicks Off Re-Election Campaign -

The day the fields in the suburban school races were just about set for November elections, Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir opened his re-election campaign with a fundraiser in East Memphis.

2. City Voter ID Suit Alleges Voter Turned Away Twice -

The city of Memphis wants a Nashville federal judge to order the state to accept photo library cards issued by the city since last month as a valid form of voting identification.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday, July 24, was expected.

3. Trustee Pitches Tax Collection to City -

Bob Patterson, the county official known for his felt hats and folksy charm, repeatedly gave it a try.

After he died in 2008, Paul Mattila picked up the attempts where Patterson left off. So did Regina Morrison Newman, who replaced Mattila when he died in 2009.

4. Trustee Renews Effort to Collect City Taxes -

It’s starting to become a rite of passage for whoever gets the job of Shelby County trustee. David Lenoir is now the fourth trustee since 2004 to make an offer to the city of Memphis for the county office to perform tax collection duties now handled for the city by the Texas law firm Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson LLP.

5. Goldin Dismisses Election Challenge Suit -

Shelby County Election Commission chairman Bill Giannini said he learned some things from the Chancery Court lawsuit challenging the results of the Aug. 5 election.

6. Goldin Dismisses Aug. 5 Election Challenge -

Chancellor Arnold Goldin has dismissed the legal effort to throw out the results of the Aug. 5 Shelby County elections.

Goldin ruled Thursday at the start of what was to be the second day of testimony in the trial of the civil lawsuit.

7. Wade Says He Won't Turn Over Election "Informant" To TBI -

The Democratic nominee for Shelby County Sheriff says he has an “informant” who has information about irregularities in the Aug. 5 elections.

But Randy Wade told a standing room only crowd Thursday evening at Bloomfield Baptist Church that he will not turn over the name of his informant to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).

8. Dem Leaders Prepare for Legal Challenge -

Local Democratic Party leaders are collecting affidavits as a start toward formally challenging the Aug. 5 Shelby County election results.

A standing-room-only crowd of more than 200 people gathered at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union hall in Midtown this week.

9. Candidates Wait on Certified Results Before Legal Challenge -

Before there can be a challenge of the Aug. 5 election results, there has to be a set of certified election results.

That’s the bottom line of a possible legal challenge of the recent county general election results that materialized this week.

10. GOP Carries Countywide Offices -

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

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

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

The unofficial returns with all precincts reporting were:

Oldham: 89,613 (52%)

Wade: 82,981 (48%)

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

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

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

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

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

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

The unofficial results were:

Pickler: 5,123 (51%)

Hoover: 4,956 (49%)

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

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

District 7 school board member Ernest Chism ran unopposed.

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

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

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

The vote totals were:

Boyd: 82,259 (52%)

Becton: 75,702 (48%)

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

The results Thursday were:

Leatherwood: 96,531 (58%)

Thompson: 68,784 (42%)

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

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

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

The unofficial returns were:

Mashburn: 88,619 (55%)

Maclin: 72,651 (45%)

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

With all precincts reporting, the numbers were:

Touliatos: 85,849 (51%)

Wilbun: 73,345 (44%)

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

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

The results were:

Key: 79,755 (49%)

Johnican: 74,831 (46%)

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

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

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

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

The results were:

Lenoir: 77,166 (49%)

Newman: 72,618 (46%)

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

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

In the judicial races:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...

11. Wharton Administration Probes Linebarger Arrangement -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.’s administration is taking a hard look at the city’s controversial arrangement with a Texas law firm that prods tardy city taxpayers to pay up.

The city’s relationship with Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson LLP, which began with a no-bid contract from former Mayor Willie Herenton in 2004, has already generated two lawsuits this year. The suits claim taxpayers are getting fleeced by the firm’s alleged habit of billing exorbitant fees for its work.

12. County Trustee Could Move in on City Tax Collections -

A controversial Texas law firm that for years has collected delinquent property taxes for the city of Memphis may soon be out of the picture.

Shelby County Trustee Regina Morrison Newman is the third consecutive trustee to negotiate with the city over tax collection duties now handled by the Texas firm Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson LLP.

13. Clerk Races Generate Plenty of Heat -

Seven clerks' positions are on the May 4 primary ballot and incumbents are running for re-election in three of them.

None of the seven elections will be decided with the primaries because Democrats and Republicans are battling hard in the countywide races dominated just four years ago by the GOP.

14. Events -

The InMotion Orthopaedic Research Center will present another lecture as part of its Quarterly Musculoskeletal Lecture Series today at 5 p.m. at the University of Memphis FedEx Institute of Technology. Richard Coutts will speak on “National Total Joint Replacement Registries.” To register, call 271-0021.

15. 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.

16. Once-Embattled Wilbun to Run for Juvenile Court Clerk -

The invitations urged political supporters to “Return Shep Wilbun” to the Memphis-Shelby County Juvenile Court Clerk’s office.

At a club on South Main Street this month as FedExForum began to fill up a few blocks away, Wilbun hosted an evening fundraiser at $100 a head. It drew State Reps. Ulysses Jones, Larry Miller and Joe Towns as well as Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy.

17. Trustee’s Office Spreads Word On Tax Relief Programs -

So far this tax year, the Shelby County Trustee’s office seems to be fielding fewer applications for state-funded tax relief as well as the county-sponsored tax freeze program. But that doesn’t have Trustee Regina Morrison Newman worried yet.

18. Shelby County Commission Agenda -

The Shelby County Commission will meet today at 1:30 p.m. at the Shelby County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St. One resolution on today’s agenda involves the receiving and filing of the oath of office for Regina Morrison-Newman, the interim Shelby County trustee. She was chosen by the commission a few weeks ago to finish the term of county Trustee Paul Mattila, who died last month at age 65 after a struggle with lung cancer. For the full agenda, click on the image to the left.

...

19. Morrison-Newman Settles Into Role as County Trustee -

Regina Morrison-Newman is winding down her legal practice and has yet to decorate her new government office.

Tapped this week by the Shelby County Commission to finish the term of County Trustee Paul Mattila – who died last month at age 65 after a struggle with lung cancer – Morrison-Newman sits behind a mostly bare desk in the trustee’s office she has yet to furnish extensively.

20. Council, School Board Withdrawal Deadline Today -

The deadline for Memphis City Council and Memphis City Schools board candidates to withdraw from the Nov. 4 ballot is noon today.

The field in the special election for City Council Super District 9 Position 1 dropped to 10 contenders after the withdrawal this week of attorney Regina Morrison Newman.

21. Archived Article: Attorney Graph - Attorney Attorney Judgments Amount ------------------------------------------------ ----------- -------------------------- Gordon & Feldbaum 226 $220,174.79 Baer Baer & Baer 220 $348,622.30 Mccullough Law Firm ...

22. Archived Article: Benchmark - 03-21 Benchmark Kathy Worthy and Larry Worthy vs. Gus A. Giddens, M.D. and Memphis Center for Reproductive Health Inc. A couple who lives outside Shelby County is suing a Memphis doctor and health clinic in Circuit Court. According to the suit, Kath...