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VOL. 123 | NO. 161 | Monday, August 18, 2008

Special Election Filing Deadline Approaches

By Bill Dries

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The Nov. 4 ballot will move a step closer to completion this week with Thursday’s noon filing deadline for candidates in the special Memphis City Council election and the races for five of the nine Memphis school board positions.

The council race was added to the ballot earlier this month when City Council chairman Scott McCormick announced his resignation from the 13-member body effective Aug. 31. McCormick is serving his second four-year term representing City Council District 9 Position 1. It is one of the super district positions. The two council super districts each take in half of the city and are represented by three council members elected by voters in those halves of the city.

McCormick is resigning to become executive director of the Plough Foundation, a philanthropic nonprofit organization.

The council is scheduled to appoint someone at its Sept. 9 session to fill the seat until the Nov. 4 race is decided. The council’s office is taking applications, which include getting the signatures of 25 voters from the super district, until noon Sept. 4. Among those who had applied last week were former City Council member Florence Leffler.

The winner of the election to be decided by voters will serve through 2011, the remainder of McCormick’s second four-year term.

Council vice chairman Myron Lowery will become council chairman for the rest of 2008.

As of Thursday afternoon, no one had filed for the council seat on the November ballot. But several contenders from other City Council races on the 2007 ballot have picked up qualifying petitions.

They include:

  • Brian Stephens, who made it to a runoff with Bill Boyd for the East Memphis-Cordova District 2 council seat before losing to Boyd in a runoff.
  • Kemp Conrad, who finished second in a hard-fought campaign for the Position 2 seat in the Super District claimed by Shea Flinn.
  • Lester Lit, who finished fourth in the Position 3 race in the Super District claimed by Reid Hedgepeth.
  • Regina Newman, an attorney who finished second in a nine-candidate field for General Sessions Judge Division 4 in 2006, also picked up a council petition.

In the city school board contests, incumbents Jeff Warren and Freda Williams have filed for re-election. Warren was first elected to the District 5 seat in 2004. Williams was appointed by other school board members to one of the two at-large, or citywide, seats on the board in 2007. She is seeking her first full four-year term on the body.

In the other three board races, the incumbents – Stephanie Gatewood, Patrice Robinson and Tomeka Hart, who is school board president – have picked up qualifying petitions and are expected to file by Thursday’s deadline.

PROPERTY SALES 157 157 10,093
MORTGAGES 161 161 11,107
BUILDING PERMITS 229 229 22,402
BANKRUPTCIES 54 54 6,365