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VOL. 124 | NO. 161 | Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Kelsey Frontrunner After Rivals Quit Race For Stanley’s Seat

By Andy Meek

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State Rep. Brian Kelsey appears to be the last man standing among the candidates who have lined up to replace former State Sen. Paul Stanley, who resigned this month in the wake of an intern sex scandal.

State Rep. Steve McManus – whose House District 96 covers parts of Cordova and Germantown – has decided against running in a special election for Stanley’s seat. He made that decision over the weekend.

Kelsey, whose campaign went door-knocking in District 31 over the weekend and has signs for his candidacy displayed prominently in the area, has been pressing McManus to answer the same question others have wanted to know.

“I talked to Kelsey not too long ago, and he’s like, ‘Are you running, McManus?’” McManus told The Daily News. “I told him, ‘Kelsey, I’ll be honest with you, I’m really happy in the House.’”

That decision follows Shelby County School Board chairman David Pickler’s announcement in the past few days that he, too, is happy with his current job and won’t be running.

McManus’ decision appears to clear the way for Kelsey, who will run in the special election for Stanley’s seat that likely will be held in December. Democratic and Republican primaries for the seat will be held in October, and Shelby County Democratic Party chairman Van Turner has said the party will field a nominee for that primary.

McManus told The Daily News he’d like to run for U.S. Congress down the road if the 7th Congressional District is redrawn after the 2010 Census in such a way that it's tilted more towards Shelby County. That seat currently is held by U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, and the district stretches from the outskirts of Shelby County to the fringe of Nashville.

“The next run I would love to be a part of is a congressional run,” McManus said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen next year when they redraw these lines, but if the Republicans win it next year, our Congressional District 7 could be much more of a Shelby County District. In that case, I would certainly run for U.S. Congress then.”

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