VOL. 125 | NO. 4 | Thursday, January 7, 2010
District 83 Early Voting Comes To Quiet End Today
By Bill Dries
Early voter turnout in the special election for state House District 83 may not make it much higher than 1 percent if the bitterly cold weather becomes a political factor.
Today is the last day of the early voting period that began before Christmas, pausing for that holiday as well as the New Year’s holiday.
Through Tuesday only 417 of the 41,098 registered voters in the suburban district – or 1 percent of the voters – had cast early ballots at three voting sites.
The three sites are:
All three sites are open today from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Jan. 12 is Election Day with polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the District 83 voting precincts.
The race among Democrat Guthrie Castle, Republican Mark White and independent John Andreuccetti is the only contest on the ballot.
The special election is one of the last in a line of political dominoes that began tumbling in 2009 – a year in which municipal elections in Arlington and Lakeland were the only scheduled contests. The remaining dominoes are two appointments the Shelby County Commission is scheduled to make Monday – an open seat on the commission and another vacant state House seat.
White, Castle and Andreuccetti are vying for the state House seat Republican Brian Kelsey resigned last year as he ran for state Senate District 31. Kelsey ran for and won the seat vacated by Republican Paul Stanley, who resigned after an affair with a legislative intern went public.
Election Day is also the first day of a special legislative session in Nashville on education. The winner will take office as soon as the Shelby County Election Commission audits and certifies the results. The winner will serve through 2010 and is expected to seek a full two-year term in the 2010 elections.
Meanwhile, citizens weighing a bid in the 2010 county elections are preparing for a Feb. 18 deadline to file their qualifying petitions.
The May 4 primaries have few filed contenders. But more candidates have picked up qualifying petitions through the holidays.
Former Shelby County Commissioner Walter Bailey has pulled a petition for the Democratic primary of the District 2 Position 1 seat he reluctantly gave up in 2006 because of term limits. The seat is now held by Democrat J.W. Gibson.
Incumbent Democratic Commissioners Henri Brooks and Sidney Chism are the latest incumbents to check out petitions for a bid at a second term.
Millington businessman Terry Roland has a petition out for the District 4 Position 3 seat in the GOP primary. Roland is seeking the seat left vacant since Democrat Matt Kuhn resigned to become a policy adviser to interim Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford.
There is a skirmish for the District 2 Position 3 seat Deidre Malone is giving up at the two-term limit. Norma Lester and Reginald Milton both plan to run in the Democratic primary.
Malone is running in the Democratic primary for Shelby County mayor. So far, no contender has filed for the race.