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VOL. 126 | NO. 125 | Tuesday, June 28, 2011

City Council Looks to Fill Ware’s Seat

By Bill Dries

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The Memphis City Council is taking applications to fill the District 7 council seat of Barbara Swearengen Ware, and council chairman Myron Lowery has set a target date of filling the seat no later than July 22.

The City Council is taking applications to fill the District 7 seat of Barbara Swearengen Ware with a target date of filling the seat no later than July 22.

Ware resigned last week from the seat she had been suspended from holding since late last year. The day after she resigned, Ware took pre-trial diversion in the official misconduct case pending against her in Shelby County Criminal Court.

Following that, Lowery established the council procedure for filling the seat for the district that covers North Memphis, Downtown and parts of Frayser.

Whoever gets the appointment would serve the five months left in Ware’s four-year term.

The deadline for applicants to submit their names is July 14. The council requires a sworn affidavit and a nominating petition with the signatures of 25 registered voters who live in District 7. It’s the same petition candidates in the October city elections use to qualify for the ballot.

The gap between the July 14 deadline and the July 22 deadline means the appointment could be made at the regularly scheduled July 19 council session or at a special meeting of the council.

Before it decides who should fill the seat, the council must also decide whether it wants to fill the seat with someone who is a candidate in the October city elections for a full four-year term. Or they could decide to pick an applicant who specifically promises not to seek the seat in the October elections.

Through the weekend, no one had filed to run in the district on the October ballot. But eight prospective contenders had picked up qualifying petitions, most before Ware announced her resignation and some after Ware had indicated she might run for re-election.

The seven prospective candidates for the October ballot are Scott Banbury, Steven Pound, Kelly Price, Ian Randolph, Derek Richardson, Artie Smith, Coby Smith and David Vinciarelli.

Some of the hesitancy to file is because the council still has not approved a set of new district lines to reflect the 2010 census results. The council is scheduled to vote on a redistricting plan at its July 19 meeting, two days before the July 21 filing deadline for candidates on the October ballot.

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