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Editorial Results (free)

1. Norris Finds Legislative Leadership Has its Price -

Many people who like problem solving usually tackle a tough crossword, or maybe Sudoku.

Collierville’s Mark Norris opted for politics.

2. 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.

3. 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.

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

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

5. Democrats Face 2014 Primary Challenge -

Shelby County Democrats hold their annual Kennedy Day Dinner fundraiser Jan. 18 as they prepare for the election year of the “big ballot” – the largest ballot of any Shelby County election cycle, and the one that includes the August elections for judicial offices, which happens every eight years.

6. Democrats Face 2014 Primary Challenge -

Shelby County Democrats hold their annual Kennedy Day Dinner fundraiser Jan. 18 as they prepare for the election year of the “big ballot” – the largest ballot of any Shelby County election cycle, and the one that includes the August elections for judicial offices, which happens every eight years.

7. Leatherwood Pulls Re-Election Petition -

Shelby County Register Tom Leatherwood is the latest incumbent to pull a qualifying petition to run for re-election in the 2014 county elections.

8. Brooks Pulls Petition for Juvenile Court Clerk -

Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks took another step Tuesday, Dec. 10, in her bid for Juvenile Court clerk. Brooks pulled a qualifying petition to run in the May 6 Democratic primary.

Brooks has been campaigning for months.

9. Leatherwood Pulls Re-Election Petition -

Shelby County Register Tom Leatherwood is the latest incumbent to pull a qualifying petition to run for re-election in the 2014 county elections.

10. Brooks Pulls Petition for Juvenile Court Clerk -

Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks took another step Tuesday, Dec. 10, in her bid for Juvenile Court clerk. Brooks pulled a qualifying petition to run in the May 6 Democratic primary.

Brooks has been campaigning for months.

11. Restored Video Shows James Earl Ray in Memphis -

MEMPHIS (AP) – Newly-restored videotapes showing James Earl Ray's return to Memphis to face trial for the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. have been released on the 45th anniversary of the civil rights leader's death.

12. Reves Enjoys Public Contact As Register’s Office CAO -

Editor’s Note: This is a Daily News series featuring 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.

13. Commission Considers IT Consolidation, New Position -

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

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

14. Register’s Office Unearths Historic Paper Gems -

Tom Leatherwood’s official job title is Shelby County’s register of deeds.

By collecting and storing property records and a host of other filings that include tax liens, marriage settlements and powers of attorney, the job makes Leatherwood the county’s official record-keeper.

15. 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.

...

16. Former Register's Office Employee Charged With Theft, Misconduct -

A former employee of the Shelby County Register’s office is charged two counts of theft and official misconduct for twice taking money from the office in late 2008 and early 2009.

Regina Daniel, 50, a cashier in the register’s office, was indicted by the Shelby County grand jury July 22 on the three charges.

17. Former Register's Office Employee Charged With Theft, Misconduct -

A former employee of the Shelby County Register’s office is charged two counts of theft and official misconduct for twice taking money from the office in late 2008 and early 2009.

Regina Daniel, 50, a cashier in the register’s office, was indicted by the Shelby County grand jury July 22 on the three charges.

18. Federal, State Tax Liens Up In County -

Interim Shelby County mayor Joe Ford, now the Democratic nominee for mayor in the fall general election, garnered attention last year for his personal financial woes.

19. 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.

...

20. 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.

21. Filing Deadline Hits for August Primaries -

The stage is set for the county’s most anticipated political showdown in the Aug. 5 state and federal primary elections.

Noon today is the deadline for candidates in the primaries, as well as those vying for nonpartisan seats on the Shelby County school board and the three judicial positions, to file their qualifying petitions for the ballot.

22. Register Preps for Lower Revenue in 2011 -

Shelby County Register of Deeds Tom Leatherwood is building his office’s budget for next year around the assumption it will probably collect a little less fee revenue than it did this year.

23. 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.

24. 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)

...

25. Merry Balloting During Today’s Early Voting -

As last-minute Christmas shoppers begin their tradition, early voters will be going to the polls.

Early voting begins today for the first election of 2010, the special general election for state representative District 83.

26. Financial Crisis Hits Property Tax Coffers -

Property-related taxes are the oxygen of local economies in Tennessee. But convulsions in the nation’s housing and credit markets could leave those economies gasping for air.

Every time a home is bought in Shelby County, fees are collected by state and county governments. The Shelby County Register of Deeds collects for the state of Tennessee a mortgage tax based on the amount of money being mortgaged for new homes. The register’s office also collects a real estate transfer tax for the state that’s determined by the value of property being transferred to new owners.

27. Cohen, Blackburn Lead Local Election Winners -

More than half and possibly as much as 75 percent of Shelby County’s nearly 626,000 voters are expected to turn out for the Nov. 4 election that will be highlighted by the John McCain-Barack Obama battle for the White House.

28. Cohen Crushes Tinker - Jackson Upsets Turner - Charter Changes Pass-Fail - Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen was the big winner in Thursday’s primary elections. Cohen, with 80 percent of the vote, crushed challenger Nikki Tinker in the hard fought 9th District Democratic primary.

The upset of the evening was the general election contest for General Sessions Court Clerk where Democratic challenger Otis Jackson beat Republican incumbent Chris Turner.

And only one of two sets of Shelby County charter amendments on the ballot were approved by voters.

Voter turnout was just under 16 percent in Shelby County. Voter turnout was clearly driven by the 9th District Democratic primary. More people voted in that primary which covers most but not all of Shelby County than voted countywide in the state Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate. Turnout in the Democratic primaries was twice that of the Republican primaries in Shelby County.

All results are unofficial pending audit and certification by the Shelby County Election Commission and Tennessee election officials

9th Congressional District
Democratic Primary
Steve Cohen 50,284 79%
Nikki Tinker 11,814 19%
Joe Towns Jr. 914 1%

Not even close. Cohen won the primary for the open all Shelby County seat two years ago by 4,400 votes over Tinker and 13 other candidates. This time around he was the incumbent and Tinker’s challenge was more strident with a pair of controversial attack ads in the gap between the end of early voting and election day. Both were probably factors in the vote totals along with a smaller field of five candidates.

Cohen faces independent candidate Jake Ford in the Nov. 4 general election.

7th Congressional District
Republican Primary
248 of 265 precincts reporting
Marsha Blackburn 29,158 65%
Tom Leatherwood 15,636 35%

These are the results district wide which includes not only the eastern part of Shelby County but a strip of Middle Tennessee up to the Kentucky state line. In Shelby County’s part of the 7th district, Leatherwood beat Blackburn with 62 percent of the vote. But it was 62 percent of just over 19,000 votes. Outside Shelby County it was always going to be difficult for Leatherwood.. The low voter turnout in Collierville and other eastern parts of the county made Leatherwood’s task impossible.

Blackburn faces Democrat Randy G. Morris on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Shelby County Charter Amendment #360
Yes  49,506   49.73%

No   50,043   50,27%

Closest contest of the night in Shelby County with a 537 vote margin and the highest turnout with 99,549 votes total.

This set of charter changes was to fix a legal problem noted in a recent Tennessee Supreme Court ruling. Another part of the package deal was increasing term limits for the county mayor and the county commission from two consecutive four year terms approved by voters in 1994 to three consecutive four year terms. The County Commission meets Monday to ponder whether it should offer another charter amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot that would fix the legal problem.

Shelby County Charter Amendment #361
Yes 65,548 68%
No 30,188 32%

This set of charter amendment includes provisions for recalling elected officials. It also establishes a new method for filling a vacancy in the office of County Mayor.

General Sessions Court Clerk
Otis Jackson 51,438 52%
Chris Turner 43,971 45%

The upset of the evening. Turner, the Republican nominee and the incumbent was seeking a fourth term. Jackson, the Democratic nominee, was making his fourth bid for county-wide office after coming close in a 2006 bid for County Clerk.

Trustee
Paul Mattila 54,734 57%
Ray Butler 29,977 31%

Mattila beats Butler in a race featuring an energetic and misleading campaign by M. LaTroy Williams in which Williams billed himself as the “real Democrat.” He was, in fact, an independent candidate garnering 8 percent of the vote. Mattila fills the remaining two years left in the term of office of the late Bob Patterson, a Republican. Mattila, a Democrat, worked with Patterson. Butler, the Republican, was also a friend of Patterson’s and the race amounted to who would best continue to operate the office as Patterson did.

Criminal Court Judge Div. 6
John Fowlkes 44,581 52%
Latonya Burrow 21,874 26%
Michael G. Floyd 12,071 14%
Claiborne H. Ferguson 6,240 7%

Fowlkes serves out the remaining six years left of the eight year term of office of Fred Axley who resigned from the bench shortly after winning re-election in 2006. Burrow finished a close second to Axley two years ago and again ran an energetic campaign this time around. But Fowlkes status in the legal community and his appointment to the bench by Gov. Phil Bredesen proved to be the advantage.

Assessor of Property
Cheyenne Johnson 59,637 60%
Bill Giannini 39,057 40%

Johnson, the Democratic nominee, easily beat Giannini, who is also doubling as local GOP chairman. Local Democrats keep the county-wide position in their column as voters go for the candidate endorsed by outgoing Democratic incumbent Rita Clark.

U.S. Senate
Democratic Primary
2,192 of 2,290 precincts reporting
Bob Tuke 54,613 32%
Gary G. Davis 37,193 22%
Mike Padgett 32,190 19%
Mark Clayton 30,359 18%
Kenneth Eaton 13,718 8%
Leonard Ladner 4,431 3%

These are the statewide results. Tuke got 42 percent of the Shelby County vote with Clayton finishing second. Tuke, the former state Democratic Party chairman, faces Republican incumbent Lamar Alexander, one of the most successful politicians in the history of the state, in the Nov. 4 general election.

Judicial Retention Races

All seven state appellate court judges, including two Tennessee Supreme Court justices, won their yes/no contests on the ballot across the state. That includes Tennessee Criminal Appeals Court Judge Camille McMullen of Millington who was just appointed to the bench in June by Gov. Phil Bredesen.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

...

29. Polls Open For Primary, County Elections -

Polling places in Shelby County will be open today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for state and federal primaries and county general elections.

Also, voters will decide the fate of two sets of amendments to the Shelby County charter, and will vote yes or no to retain seven state appeals court judges. The county general election ballot features races for assessor, trustee, General Sessions Court clerk and Criminal Court judge Division 6.

30. Get Ready to Vote Thursday -

Early voter turnout in advance of Thursday’s election was higher in Shelby County than it was four years ago. But it was lower than the total from two years ago.

Early voting ended Saturday evening at 19 locations across the county.

31. 8K Early Voters Cast Ballots So Far -

Just more than 8,000 citizens voted early through Friday in advance of Shelby County’s Aug. 7 election day.

Voting totals for Thursday and Friday included the first two days of early voting at 18 satellite locations across Shelby County. And with the opening of the satellite polling places, voter totals jumped by more than 10 times compared to days when the Shelby County Election Commission headquarters was the only early voting location open.

32. Blackburn Touts District, Blasts ‘Earth-First-Istas’ -

In a note to supporters on her campaign Web Site, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn casts herself as a champion of rural Tennesseans – and uses strong language to differentiate herself and her constituents from environmentalists and “liberal elites.”

33. Leatherwood Receives Gun Owners’ Endorsement -

It was only a few weeks ago that his opponent in the Republican primary for Tennessee’s 7th congressional district seat, incumbent Marsha Blackburn, announced the National Rifle Association’s endorsement of her campaign. Now Shelby County Register of Deeds Tom Leatherwood has a similar endorsement.

34. Blackburn’s Son-In-Law Raises Nearly $1M as Lobbyist -

A newspaper’s review of lobbying records found U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s son-in-law and his companies have been paid about $1 million to lobby the federal government since 2004.

The Tennessean reported Paul Ketchel III represents several companies that are inside the Brentwood Republican’s district and fall under the authority of the House committee she serves on.

35. Early Voting Starts Today -

Early voting in advance of the Aug. 7 election begins today Downtown.

The ballot features primary contests for state and federal offices as well as county general elections for assessor, General Sessions Court clerk, trustee and Shelby County Criminal Court Division 6 judge.

36. Ford's Wife Gives to Cohen's Challenger in Memphis -

NASHVILLE (AP) - Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr.'s new bride is lending her financial support to the primary challenger of the Democrat who succeeded her husband in Congress.

Federal campaign finance reports show Emily Threlkeld Ford has given Nikki Tinker $3,300 to support her effort to unseat Rep. Steve Cohen in the 9th Congressional District.

37. Blackburn’s Campaign Gains NRA Endorsement -

A new feature was added Tuesday to the campaign Web site of U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn: a large emblem of the National Rifle Association.

The gun lobby has announced its endorsement of Blackburn, the Republican incumbent in Tennessee’s 7th congressional district running for re-election, calling her a “great friend to Tennessee gun owners and hunters.” Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s lobbying arm, said Blackburn’s signing of a “friend of the court” brief in the recent U.S. Supreme Court case that struck down a Washington gun ban was one reason for the group’s support.

38. County Trustee Files Salary Petition -

Depending on what voters decide next month, a petition filed last week in Shelby County Chancery Court by county Trustee Paul Mattila could be the last of its kind.

Mattila, the Democratic nominee for trustee in the Aug. 7 general election, filed a salary petition June 30 in Chancery Court, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.

39. Blackburn Warns Supporters Of Leatherwood Challenge -

Marsha Blackburn is telling her supporters that she is facing her most serious challenger this year since her first run at elected office in 2002.

The U.S. representative for Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District is facing Shelby County Register of Deeds Tom Leatherwood in the Republican primary for her congressional seat. The primary election is Aug. 7.

40. Pickler Supports Leatherwood In House Primary -

In a recorded phone message that’s gone out to households in Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District, Shelby County Board of Education chairman David Pickler has given his endorsement in the Republican primary to Tom Leatherwood, Shelby County register of deeds.

41. Frist Endorses Blackburn in House Bid -

Former U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist, the Tennessee surgeon from Nashville who served two terms in the Senate, announced his endorsement this week of Marsha Blackburn for re-election as the U.S. representative from Tennessee’s 7th congressional district.

42. Blackburn Fixes $164,000 Worth of Campaign Finance Errors -

NASHVILLE (AP) - U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn is revising her campaign finance statements downward by nearly $164,000 because of accounting errors dating back to 2002.

A spokesman for the 7th District Republican from Brentwood says most of the mistakes made in Blackburn's campaign filings stem from 2002, when she switched from running for re-election to the state Senate to running for the U.S. House.

43. Leatherwood Launches Campaign, Jabs at Blackburn -

It doesn't take long these days before political figures of all stripes go from talking politics to sweating economics.

Former first lady Hillary Clinton did it in Memphis Friday during her speech at Mason Temple, where she invoked the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. in calling for the creation of a presidential cabinet post to fight poverty. The topic also is gaining traction in this fall's race for the 7th U.S. Congressional District seat.

44. Few Surprises At Filing Deadline -

About half of Shelby County's delegation to the Tennessee Legislature won re-election at Thursday's filing deadline for candidates on the Aug. 7 ballot.

Eight of the 16 state House seats had only one candidate - the incumbent. And all three of the state Senate seats on the ballot were incumbent-only affairs.

45. Lag in Register's Office Underscores Overall Housing Decline -

Every time a mortgage is taken out and a home is bought in Shelby County, a small fee gets dropped into the coffers of county government. The office that collects that fee belongs to the Shelby County Register of Deeds.

46. Primaries Heat Up as Filing Deadline Passes - The race for the Memphis 9th Congressional District seat will have no Republican contenders.

At Thursday’s deadline for candidates to file in the Aug. 7 state and Congressional primaries, no Republicans had filed for the GOP primary.

47. Primaries Heat Up as Filing Deadline Passes - The race for the Memphis 9th Congressional District seat will have no Republican contenders.

At today’s deadline for candidates to file in the Aug. 7 state and Congressional primaries, no Republicans had filed for the GOP primary.

48. PBS' Smiley, Others Converge On Memphis to Honor MLK -

The eyes of the city and the nation are turning to Memphis this week to mark what will be the 40th anniversary Friday of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The city is doing its part to promote the historic moment - and so are other people from around the country.

49. Leatherwood to Challenge Blackburn; Other Races Heating Up Too -

The 9th Congressional District Democratic primary won't be the only challenge to an incumbent congressman whose district includes the Memphis area.

Shelby County Register Tom Leatherwood told The Daily News this week that he will challenge 7th District Republican incumbent Marsha Blackburn on the Aug. 7 ballot.

50. Poor Housing Market Hurts Governments' Bottom Line -

The topsy-turvy housing market and related mortgage mess are hitting state and local governments where it hurts: right on the bottom line.

The squeeze currently being put on budgets from City Hall in Downtown Memphis to the state capitol building in Nashville comes from at least one common source. In general terms, the housing market slowdown means less tax revenue is being generated for those governmental coffers, which usually means one or both of the following occurs as a result.

51. Register's Web Site Enhances Scrutiny of Officials' Ethics -

A few months ago, each of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners' 13 members scored two season tickets to home football games at the University of Memphis. The tickets, worth $360 a pair, were a gift from the school's marketing department.

52. Govt. Coffers Feel Real Estate Slowdown -

With all the news about how the housing market slowdown is squeezing homeowners, lenders and real estate brokers, it might be easy to forget that the bottom line of state and local governments also is getting pinched.

53. On the Radar -

Members of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners want to hear what voters think about the county charter.

They're planning to launch a series of town hall forums sometime after Jan. 1 so voters get to learn about and weigh in on several proposed changes in store for the charter. One of the major changes being studied calls for converting five elected county positions to appointed jobs.

54. Johnson Appointed to Vacant County Board of Education Seat -

Dr. Fred Johnson has been appointed to the Shelby County Board of Education. Johnson also is a Memphis Area Teachers' Credit Union (MATCU) board member. Johnson will fill the vacancy left by Wyatt Bunker, who left the board to serve on the County Commission. Johnson has served as a MATCU board member since 1996.

55. Events -

The Memphis office of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center hosts "Business Start-Up" today from 10 a.m. to noon at Renaissance Business Center, 555 Beale St. The seminar will discuss the first steps in starting a business. Cost is free. For information, call Yolanda Handy at 333-5085.

56. Events -

The Memphis office of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center hosts "Business Start-Up" today from 10 a.m. to noon at Renaissance Business Center, 555 Beale St. The seminar will discuss the first steps in starting a business. Cost is free. For information, call Yolanda Handy at 333-5085.

57. Memphis Bar Association Members Act Out at Buckman -

Oct. 10

The Memphis Bar Association presents "Entertaining Motions" from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Buckman Performing Arts Center, 60 Perkins Road Extended. The production is a parody of legal life featuring music and skits by and for the Memphis legal community. Call 527-3573 for more information.

58. Memphis Bar Association Members Act Out at Buckman -

Oct. 10

The Memphis Bar Association presents "Entertaining Motions" from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Buckman Performing Arts Center, 60 Perkins Road Extended. The production is a parody of legal life featuring music and skits by and for the Memphis legal community. Call 527-3573 for more information.

59. An Inconvenient Truth -

By now, Shelby County's 604,337 registered voters no doubt have heard the warning about the slow-moving lines come Election Day: Vote as early as you can.

But there's a less obvious reason why everyone from state election officials to members of the Shelby County Election Commission to the candidates themselves are urging people not to postpone their trip to the polls Aug. 3.

60. AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH: New machines + extra races = more than long lines -

ELECTION SPECIAL REPORT -- By now, Shelby County's 604,390 registered voters no doubt have heard the warning about the slow-moving lines come Election Day: Vote as early as you can.

But there's a less obvious reason why everyone from state election officials to members of the Shelby County Election Commission to the candidates themselves are urging people not to postpone their trip to the polls Aug. 3.

61. Teenager Tries Hand at Writing Media Releases for Register's Office -

For many teenage girls, free time is an opportunity to catch up on shopping, boy bands, fashion trends, teen TV soaps and scores of other youthful pursuits. But there are exceptions, like 10th grader Noelle Hooper.

62. Sound Files of King Assassination on Register's Web Site -

The Memphis Police Department dispatcher is calm, barking out orders even as the city outside begins to descend into chaos. It's shortly after 6 p.m. on April 4, 1968, and unconfirmed reports have begun trickling in over the radio that something terrible has happened at the Lorraine Motel in Downtown Memphis.

63. Archived Article: Shutdown (lead) - Local state offices on skeletal staff

Local state offices on skeletal staff

By MARY DANDO and SUE PEASE

The Daily News

The doors at the state building in Downtown Memphis were locked and the building appeared dark and abandoned Monday mo...

64. Archived Article: Register's (lead) - Registers office records go online Registers records available online By MARY DANDO The Daily News Trying to locate property information just got a lot easier as Shelby County Registers Office recently went online. As the countys keeper of records, ...

65. Archived Article: Tech Focus - Registers office making steps toward digital office Registers office making strides toward digital documents By SUE PEASE The Daily News Shelby County Register Tom Leatherwood, who took office in November, is making strides to put the office records...

66. Archived Article: Tech Focus - Is your Web site Section 508 compatible Section 508 makes federal Web sites handicapped accessible By SUE PEASE The Daily News By law, federal buildings must be accessible to people with disabilities, employment opportunities must be accessible and ...

67. Archived Article: Lead (register) - Registers office making steps from docs to digital Registers office to go digital, leave paper chase behind By SUE PEASE The Daily News Going digital in the county registers office is a little like diving into the deep end of a pool. The surface is ...

68. Archived Article: Real Briefs - During 2001, the State of Tennessee enjoyed more than $6 billion in announced private capital investments from new and expandi During 2001, the State of Tennessee enjoyed more than $6 billion in announced private capital investments from new and exp...

69. Archived Article: Register St (lead) - By SUZANNE THOMPSON Registers office to move from tomes to technology By SUZANNE THOMPSON The Daily News Since Tom Leatherwood took office Nov. 21, hes already faced with making big decisions that will affect the way his office runs. Leatherwood, ne...

70. Archived Article: Register (lead) - By STACEY WIEDOWER Familiar names surface for county register race By STACEY WIEDOWER The Daily News Potential candidates for the office of Shelby County Register are beginning to make known their interest in the election, which will be included on ...

71. Archived Article: Voting P.2 - Early voting polls open today Polls open for early voting today Early voting starts today at the Shelby County Election Commission and 18 satellite locations in the county for the Aug. 3 Democratic and Republican primaries, as well as state and coun...

72. Archived Article: Calendar - May 10 May 10 Shelby County Republican Women will meet at 10:45 a.m. at the Adams Mark Hotel, 939 Ridge Lake Blvd. The speaker will be state Sen. Tom Leatherwood, who will discuss the Tennessee Tax Reform Act of 1999. For more information, call Jean...

73. Archived Article: Calendar - May 4 May 4 The Greater Memphis Association for Quality will hold its 1999 awards luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at the Marriott, 2625 Thousand Oaks Blvd. The keynote speaker will be Ed Clark, senior vice president of operations support and engineering for ...

74. Archived Article: New Towns - By SUZANNE THOMPSON Petitions would create three suburban towns By SUZANNE THOMPSON The Daily News Tennessee maps could include three new towns New Forest Hills, New Berryhill and Independence if petitions filed Monday at the Shelby County Election ...

75. Archived Article: Gas Bill - 3/28 jts gas bill State bill would limit lender environmental liability By JAMES SNYDER The Daily News State Sen. Tom Leatherwood tells the story of a constituent in Millington who couldnt get a loan on his gas station because the bank worried about...