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VOL. 127 | NO. 151 | Friday, August 3, 2012

Muni Schools, Cohen, Weirich, Johnson, Stanton, Kyle Take Early Vote

By Bill Dries

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Voters in each of the six suburban towns and cities in Shelby County were overwhelmingly approving the establishment of municipal school districts and a half cent sales tax hike to fund them in the first vote totals released Thursday, Aug. 2 by the Shelby County Election Commission.

The early vote totals for the period from July 13 – July 28 show a larger percentage of voters approving the formation of the school districts than voting for the half cent sales tax hike to provide the minimum local funding for those school districts.

Millington had the lowest percentage in the early vote for both questions with 53 percent voting for the tax hike and 64.9 percent voting for the school districts.

The highest percentages on both questions were in Collierville where 81 percent of the early voters chose yes on the tax hike and 88.9 percent voted yes on forming the school district.

More than 62,000 Shelby County voters cast early ballots in a process that was marred by several errors that affected more than 1,000 ballots by the Election Commission’s own admission.

With that caveat and a state investigation of the voting process still to come, the early vote totals, usually the first vote tallies of election night, are usually a good indicator of how the election day vote count will go as well.

In the 9th Congressional District Democratic primary, incumbent Congressman Steve Cohen claimed the early vote by a wide margin over challenger and countywide school board member Tomeka Hart in the all-Shelby County predominantly Democratic district, leaving few early votes for Hart.

Cohen 23,500 or 90.3%

Hart 2,501 or 9.6%

In the companion Republican Congressional primary, former Shelby County Commissioner George Flinn was on his way to advancing to the November general election as he claimed the early vote over Charlotte Bergman, Rollin Wilson Stooksberry and Ernie Lunati.

Flinn 5,385 or 62%

Bergmann 2,208 or 25.4%

Stooksberry 872 or 10%

Lunati 180 or 2%

In the countywide general election race for Shelby County District Attorney General, incumbent and Republican nominee Amy Weirich dominated the early voting effort over Democratic challenger Carol Chumney.

Weirich 39,822 or 65.9%

Chumney 20,529 or 33%

If the higher turnout in the predominantly Republican suburbs on the municipal schools district question will be a factor in the overall combined countywide general elections for Property Assessor and General Sessions Court Clerk, it showed up in the form of closer early vote totals in which the two incumbents came out on top.

In the race for Assessor, Democratic incumbent Cheyenne Johnson starts the evening with most of the early votes, over Republican challenger Tim Walton.

Johnson 30,943 or 51.5%

Walton 29,015 or 48.3%

And incumbent Democratic General Sessions Court Clerk Ed Stanton had a wider margin over Republican challenger Rick Rout.

Stanton 31,865 or 53.4%

Rout 25,370 or 42.5%

Several of the six contested county school board district races appear to be close contests judging by the early vote total.

District 1

Chris Caldwell 2,870 or 45.2%

Freda Williams 2,712 or 42.7%

Noel Hutchinson 739 or 11.6%

District 2

Teresa Jones 2,565 or 56.4%

Tyree Daniels 1,958 or 43%

District 3

David Reaves 7,507 or 74.4%

Raphael McInnis 2,535 or 25.1%

District 4

Kenneth Whalum 3,132 or 51.8%

Kevin Woods 2,905 or 48%

District 5

David Pickler 10,075 or 65%

Kim Wirth 5,351 or 34.6%

District 6

Reginald Porter 5,634 or 71.2%

Jonathan Lewis 2,254 or 28.5%

District 7 school board member and countywide school board chairman Billy Orgel is unopposed.

In the special election for Shelby County Commission District 1 Position 3, the early vote went to Republican nominee Steve Basar over Democratic nominee Steve Ross.

Basar 7,800 or 65.6%

Ross 4,068 or 34.2%

Millington voters had the busiest ballot in Shelby County with races for mayor and all 7 aldermen positions.

Kenneth Uselton took the early vote with former Mayor Terry Jones close behind in his quest to reclaim the office he lost four years ago to Richard Hodges. Hodges resigned following his indictment on state corruption charges. Debra Sigee was third.

Uselton 583

Jones 487

Sigee 201

Voters are deciding the issue of 16 State House incumbents from Shelby County seeking 14 seats in the legislature as well as three State Senate incumbent seeking two seats in the upper chamber. The excess incumbents are a result of redistricting that put two Democratic incumbents in each of three Shelby County Districts.

In the State Senate District 32 Democratic primary results were close with Jim Kyle taking the early vote over Beverly Marrero

Kyle 3,499 or 58.8%

Marrero 2,443 or 41%

In the State House District 93 Democratic primary G.A Hardaway took the early vote from Mike Kernell

Hardaway 1,097 or 57.1%

Kernell 819 or 42.6%

In the third incumbent on incumbent primary match up between State House Democrats John DeBerry and Jeanne Richardson in District 90 DeBerry had a respectable lead over Jeanne Richardson, the other incumbent, with Ian Randolph running third.

DeBerry 1,847 or 62.2%

Richardson 834 or 28.1%

Randolph 277 or 9.3%

PROPERTY SALES 76 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 83 131 1,047
BUILDING PERMITS 190 277 3,028