VOL. 124 | NO. 86 | Monday, May 4, 2009
Malone Builds Toward Run for County Mayor
By Bill Dries
Shelby County Commission chairwoman Deidre Malone probably will launch her campaign for county mayor in September once she completes her term as chair of the 13-member body.
Malone told supporters at The Racquet Club of Memphis last week that she is “looking” at the 2010 race for mayor.
“For the last seven years I have worked really hard,” she said. “I have tried to make a difference. What am I looking at? I am looking at running for county mayor.”
She described the race as the “next phase” of a political career that began with a 1995 race for the Memphis City Schools board that she “lost miserably,” followed by a bid for an appointment to a vacant seat on the County Commission that she also lost.
Malone was elected to the County Commission in 2002 and is serving her second and final term on the body.
“I know that there are parents out there who are working very hard each and every day,” she said. “And all they care about is trying to get food on the table for their families and that their kids are properly educated.
“I know Shelby County. I know that there are men and women who are working every day barely making it. Living wages and prevailing wages are very important to them.”
Malone’s East Memphis gathering drew about 50 supporters, including Shelby County Trustee Paul Mattila, fellow county commissioner Steve Mulroy and former county commissioner Julian Bolton.
Bank of Bartlett President Harold Byrd is also weighing a bid in the May 2010 Democratic primary for county mayor.
Byrd was considered the front-runner for the Democratic nomination in the 2002 county elections before incumbent Republican Jim Rout abandoned his bid for a third term and Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton Jr. got into the Democratic primary race. Byrd withdrew from the primary.