VOL. 114 | NO. 158 | Monday, August 14, 2000
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 the Nov. 7 ballot.
The filing deadline for candidates is noon Sept. 13, and although no one has yet filed, three independent candidates have picked up petitions, a spokesperson for the Shelby County Election Commission said.
In addition, Shelby Countys Democratic and Republican parties are accumulating lists of potential nominees for the office.
Among the people who are considering running for the position or who are being considered include state Sen. Tom Leatherwood and Shelby County Commissioner Linda Rendtorff for the Republican Party, and Larry Finch, County Commissioner Shep Wilbun, John Freeman and state Sen. Roscoe Dixon for the Democratic Party.
Rendtorff has expressed interest in the office and plans to speak with her advisors and supporters, and make a decision this weekend about whether or not she wishes to be a candidate, said Alan Crone, chairman of the Republican Party of Shelby County.
Leatherwood, who recently lost the race for Shelby County assessor, also is considering throwing his hat in the ring.
"Hes thinking about it," Crone said. "His wife had a baby (last) Monday morning, and hes just right off an election, so he has a big decision to make about whether or not he wants to do it.
"I think either one of them would be fine candidates," he added.
The Republican Party will host a convention before the Sept. 13 deadline to select a candidate, likely between Labor Day and the deadline, but a date has not yet been set, Crone said.
Larry Finch, former University of Memphis head basketball coach, is a likely "draft pick" for the Democratic Party, said party chairman David Cocke.
"There are a number of people in the party who want to see him run," Cocke said. "Its my understanding he would accept a draft. Im not sure he has announced, but I understand hes shown an interest in running for the position."
Wilbun also has expressed an interest in the office, along with Freeman, who works with the Revelation Corp., an alliance of the nation's largest African American religious denominations that includes 40,000 member churches, Cocke said.
Talk has circulated that Dixon, who recently ran for the position of general sessions court clerk, is interested in the race as well, though Cocke said his interest might be contingent on Finchs interest in the office.
"I dont think Roscoe Dixon would run against Larry, but people have talked about Roscoe possibly running for the position," he said.
"Were delighted so many people are interested in seeking the Democratic Party endorsement on this matter, and we anticipate running a qualified and competent candidate who has a really good chance of winning."
He said a candidate probably would be selected for the election at the partys executive committee meeting Sept. 7.
"We dont have time for a convention, so were going to let the executive committee make that determination," he said.
A subcommittee might meet to interview potential candidates, then make a recommendation to the full committee, he added.
"Thats the way we did it in the last elections, and thats probably the recommended procedure for this election," Cocke said.
A County Commission vote determined that an interim register will be appointed Aug. 28 to serve until the new register is elected. The position became vacant upon the July 25 death of county register Guy Bates.
Chief deputy register Joe Reves, who has worked in the registers office 28 years and has held his current position since 1986, said to his knowledge, no names have yet surfaced concerning the appointment.
He said he would consider running for the registers position, depending on whether he received party support.
"Its a possibility I have to explore," said Reves, who is handling the registers duties until an interim is appointed.
"It would depend on what kind of support I could get from either one of the two parties. I will not run as an independent," he said.