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VOL. 127 | NO. 218 | Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obama Carries Shelby, Cohen Over Flinn and Two Tax Hikes Defeated

By Bill Dries

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President Barack Obama carried Shelby County in unofficial Nov. 6 election returns as his Republican challenger Mitt Romney took the state’s 11 electoral votes.

Voter turnout in the most popular election cycle among Shelby County voters was 61.9 percent, about the same percentage as four years ago. But the 371,256 voters is fewer than 2008 when more than 400,000 Shelby County voters cast ballots. The percentage is about the same because there are fewer registered voters in Shelby County than there were four years ago after a purge by election officials.

The first Shelby County election returns were released as it became apparent Obama had won several key states with enough electoral votes nationally to win re-election. It was the second consecutive Presidential election in which the first vote totals in Shelby County were released as the election was being called nationally for Obama.

Ballot questions, two involving proposed tax hikes, dominated the local political cycle.

A proposed countywide sales tax hike and a proposed one cent gas tax hike in Memphis were both defeated by voters.

With all precincts reporting, the unofficial vote totals were:

Countywide Sales Tax Hike

Yes 78,075 or 31.1 percent

No 172,625 or 68.8 percent

Memphis Gas Tax Hike

Yes 85,405 or 38.1 percent

No 138,456 or 61.8 percent

The race that generated the most heat and the most advertising, the 9th Congressional district race, was no contest as Democratic incumbent Steve Cohen won a fourth term easily defeating Republican challenger George Flinn.

With all precincts reporting, the unofficial vote totals were:

Cohen 188,245 or 75 percent

Flinn 59,676 or 23.7 percent

Meanwhile, Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Mark Clayton, who was disowned by state party leaders, carried Shelby County over Republican incumbent Bob Corker.

Corker easily beat Clayton in the statewide race and won re-election to a new six year term.

With all precincts reporting, the unofficial Shelby County vote totals were:

Clayton 181,061 or 52 percent

Corker 152,487 or 43.8 percent

The vote totals for Shelby County showed the Senate race drew 23,237 fewer voters than the Presidential race.

The results in the Presidential race for Shelby County were:

Obama 232,201 or 62.5 percent

Romney 135,536 or 36.5 percent

In the suburbs, Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner easily won re-election to another four year term beating Tom Allen.

Joyner 15,535 or 72.8 percent

Allen 5,727 or 26.8 percent

In Millington, former Mayor Terry Jones was returned to the mayor’s office four years after he lost a re-election bid to Richard Hodges. Hodges did not make it through the full four-year term, resigning after he was indicted on corruption charges. Jones beat Kenneth Uselton in Tuesday’s runoff campaign. Linda Carter has served as Millington Mayor since Hodges’ resignation. She did not run for mayor.

Jones 1,868 or 54 percent

Uselton 1,575 or 45.5 percent

Meanwhile, voters in the Lucy area voted to accept annexation into Millington and voters in Kerrville rejected annexation by Millington in the two other ballot questions decided in Shelby County.

The winners in the three races for alderman in Bartlett were:

Bobby Simmons, Jack T. Young and Paula Sedgwick. Simmons and Young were unopposed. Sedgwick beat Jason Sykes.

The winners in the two races for alderman in Collierville were:

John Worley and Jimmy Lott. Worley beat Carl Wayne Hardmen and Greg Cotton. Lott beat Steven Shelton.

The winners in the three races for alderman in Germantown were:

Mike Palazzolo, Forrest Owens and Rocky Janda. Palazzolo beat Sidney Kuehn. Owens upset incumbent Mark Billingsley and Janda beat Kyle Wiggins.

Voters in each of the six suburban towns and cities elected school boards – the latest step in the formation of municipal school districts in the suburbs.

These are the school board members elected by their respective cities.


Kevin Vaughan, Wanda Chism, Carr Kelsey, John Mark Hansen and Wright Cox.

Vaughan beat Auston Wortman III. Chism emerged at the top of a five-candidate field, the largest field of candidates of any of the suburban school board races. Kelsey beat Pam Hathaway and Jan Speare while Hansen beat Vivian Jones. Cox beat Curt Fields.


Paige Michael, Mark C. Dely, Natalie Williams, Lisa I. Parker and Ken Hoover.

Michael, Dely and Hoover were unopposed.

Williams beat Sammy Jobe. Parker defeated Brent Brockway and Edgar Babian.


Jeff Norris, Erin E. Berry, Shirley Jackson, Donald Bryan Woodruf and David Cook.

Berry ran unopposed.

Norris beat William Busler and Jackson beat James Jay Culpepper while Woodruf defeated Donald V. Gregory. Cook beat Rick Faith and Randal Vanvoorhis.

Lakeland: Karen Woodward, Laura Harrison, Richard Bryant, Teresa Henry and Kevin Floyd.


Steve Bierbrodt, Laura L. Campbell, Kay Morgan Williams, Danny Young and Barbara Fletcher.

Bierbrodt, Williams and Fletcher ran unopposed. Campell beat Lee Mills. Young beat Danny Young by 83 votes.


Gregory L. Ritter, Christopher Grow, Louise Kennon, Charles P. Reed, Oscar L. Brown, R. Jason Dupree and Anne M. Reed. All seven ran unopposed

Only two Tennessee House members from the Shelby County delegation to Nashville had opposition on Tuesday’s ballot.

Democratic incumbents Larry Miller and Barbara Cooper easily won re-election each rolling up 75 percent of the votes in their districts.

PROPERTY SALES 36 154 6,546
MORTGAGES 34 94 4,129
BUILDING PERMITS 201 554 15,915
BANKRUPTCIES 43 126 3,396