11 File for State House District 91 Special Election

By Bill Dries

The race for the state House seat held by the late Lois DeBerry since 1973 includes 10 Democrats, one Libertarian and no Republicans or independents, as of the Thursday, Aug. 29, noon filing deadline for candidates.

Among the entries at the deadline was Kemba Ford, daughter of former state Senator John Ford and who ran unsuccessfully for Memphis City Council in 2011.

Lois DeBerry

Ford is the most recognizable name in a field of mostly new contenders.

All of those who met the Thursday deadline have until noon Tuesday, Sept. 3, to withdraw from the special election if they wish. Then the Shelby County Election Commission will set the field for the Oct. 8 primaries and the Nov. 21 special general election.

The special elections were ordered by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam following DeBerry’s death in July.

The Democratic primary candidates, in addition to Ford, are Raumesh Akbari, Dwight DeBerry, Doris A. DeBerry-Bradshaw, Joshua R. Forbes, Terica Lamb, Clifford Lewis, Kermit Moore, Gregory Stokes and Mary Taylor Wright.

The Libertarian candidate is Jim Tomasik.

Candidates do not have to live in the district to file a qualifying petition but must live in the district by election day.

Ford, Akbari and Tomasik do not live in the district, according to election commission records based on the addresses they gave on their qualifying petitions, which is the address on their voter registration. Those signing the qualifying petitions must live in the district when they sign.