VOL. 125 | NO. 214 | Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Split Vote Takes Down Metro Charter Proposal
By Bill Dries
The metro consolidation charter won a narrow victory with Memphis voters Tuesday but was crushed by Shelby County voters outside Memphis.
The first consolidation charter to go to voters in 39 years had to win both in Memphis and outside Memphis in order to consolidate the city of Memphis and Shelby County governments.
With all precincts reporting, these are the unofficial results:
For: 67,915 51%
Against: 65,678 49%
Shelby Outside Memphis:
Against: 76,988 85%
For: 13,633 15%
Certification of the consolidation vote by the Shelby County Election Commission has been delayed by federal court order at least until U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Anderson rules on a lawsuit by eight citizens challenging the dual majorities vote requirement. The lawsuit seeks a single countywide vote.
Consolidation would still lose in a countywide vote when the two separate vote totals are combined.
Countwide including Memphis:
The race for Tennessee Governor proved more popular with Shelby County voters than the consolidation question.
Approximately 5,000 more voters cast ballots in the race between Democrat Mike McWherter and Republican Bill Haslam than they did in the consolidation contests.
Haslam won the race statewide and even took the early vote in Shelby County.
McWherter however kept Shelby County a blue county in a red state with the overall election day results for Shelby County.
These are the countywide unofficial results.
McWherter: 118,878 52%
Haslam: 107,191 47%
McWherter counted heavily on Shelby County having a high voter turnout within Memphis. But Haslam’s carrying of the early vote showed how close the race was locally even if it never was statewide.
In the two contested races for seats on the Memphis city school board, former school board member Sara Lewis was returned to the board with 45 percent of the district 6 vote. She defeated incumbent Sharon Webb in a seven-way race. Webb finished third behind Cherry Davis.
Rev. Kenneth Whalum Jr. easily won re-election to at large position 2 with 68 percent of the vote.
In the 9th Congressional district race Democratic incumbent Steve Cohen easily defeated Republican challenger Charlotte Bergman, the candidate with the best Tea Party credentials in the three Congressional districts that take in parts of Shelby County. Her problem, however, was the same Democratic tide that gave McWherter the county. Many of those voters came from 9th district precincts.
These are the 9th district unofficial results.
Cohen: 99,731 74%
Bergman: 33,858 25%
In the 8th Congressional district which takes in Frayser, parts of Raleigh, Millington and North Shelby County, Democrat Roy Herron of Dresden carried those parts of the district. His problem was in the much larger portions of rural West Tennessee.
Republican Stephen Fincher of Frog Jump easily won the seat being given up by Union City Democrat John Tanner.
In the 7th district, which includes East Memphis and Shelby County as well as Cordova in another diverse district, Republican incumbent Marsha Blackburn easily carried those 56 Shelby County precincts with 72 percent of the vote on her way to easily turning back a challenge by Democrat Greg Rabidoux.
In other races:
Both amendments to the city charter – one to undo staggered city council terms and another to give city government a countywide residency requirement passed.
Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald and Germantown Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy won re-election handily in their cities.
Emily Elliott was elected Bartlett alderman position 2. And attorney Dan Brown won the five-way race for Bartlett Municipal Judge division 2.
Greg Marcom defeated Carole Hinely in the race for Germantown alderman position 1.
Billy Patton won Collierville alderman position 2. And Tom Allen beat Bill Cox in the race for alderman position 4.
The only member of the Shelby County legislative delegation with a close race on Tuesday’s ballot was state house member Mike Kernell who narrowly beat Republican challenger Tim Cook.
Every incumbent in the delegation on this year’s ballot sought re-election and won re-election.
Shelby County vote totals on the amendment to the Tennessee Constitution to make hunting and fishing a personal right mirrored those across the state. The amendment got 85 percent of the local vote on its way to state passage.
Shelby County turnout for the election was approximately 35 percent.