VOL. 129 | NO. 89 | Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Malone to Challenge Luttrell In August Mayoral Showdown
By Bill Dries
Former Shelby County Commissioner Deidre Malone will challenge incumbent Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell in the August county general election after winning the Tuesday, May 6, Democratic mayoral primary.
Malone won the hard fought primary contest over county commissioner Steve Mulroy and former Shelby County Schools board member Kenneth Whalum Jr. that intensified in the last two weeks of the campaign between Malone and Mulroy.
Malone, who ran for the nomination four years ago and lost to interim County Mayor Joe Ford, is the first woman to claim either local party’s nomination for Shelby County Mayor.
With all 219 precincts reporting, these are the unofficial results:
- Malone: 13,785 (36 percent)
- Whalum: 12,598 (33 percent)
- Mulroy: 12,041 (31 percent)
Luttrell faced perennial candidate Ernie Lunati in the Republican mayoral primary and beat Lunati easily, saying he looked forward to the general election campaign as soon as the early vote count was released by the Shelby County Election Commission.
With all precincts reporting, the unofficial results are:
- Luttrell: 16,821 (96 percent)
- Lunati: 595 (4 percent)
The primary ballot drew 55,979 voters for a turnout of 10.4 percent of the county’s 533,579 voters.
And with no opposition from the other party or independent candidates in August, voters effectively elected five Shelby County Commissioners with Tuesday’s results – two Republicans and three Democrats – two incumbents and three new faces to the commission.
The commission that takes office on Sept. 1 after the August county general election will include at least seven new members on the 13-member body. The four other new faces will be determined with the results in August.
The commission undergoes a restructuring to single-member districts with the commissioners who take office Sept. 1.
In the closest race of the evening that went down to the last precinct in the county, Reginald Milton claimed the Democratic nomination for the District 10 commission seat over Jake Brown and former Shelby County Schools board member Martavius Jones by a margin of 26 votes.
- Milton: 2,124 (43 percent)
- Jones: 2,098 (42 percent)
- Brown: 731 (15 percent)
Milton faces Republican Geoff Diaz and independent Chris Boyd in the August county general election.
In commission District 2, George Chism beat David C. Bradford in the Republican primary becoming one of the seven new commissioners.
With all 15 precincts reporting, the results were:
- Chism: 1,560 (54 percent)
- Bradford: 1,315 (46 percent)
In commission District 3, Shelby County Schools board member David Reaves emerged at the top of a four-candidate field in the GOP primary, beating Naser Fazullah, Kelly D. Price and Sherry S. Simmons.
With all 15 precincts reporting, the unofficial totals were:
- Reaves: 1,835 (49 percent)
- Simmons: 1,581 (42 percent)
- Price: 168 (5 percent)
- Fazullah: 151 (4 percent)
Reaves has no opposition on the August ballot.
In commission District 4, the Republican primary went to incumbent County Commissioner Mark Billingsley over retired Memphis police Major Ron Fittes.
With all 17 precincts in, the unofficial totals show:
- Billingsley: 2,323 (63 percent)
- Fittes: 1,345 (37 percent)
Billingsley, who was appointed this year to the commission to fill the vacancy created when Wyatt Bunker became mayor of Lakeland, faces Democrat Jackie D. Jackson in the August county general election.
In the Democratic primary for commission District 6, former Memphis City Schools board member Willie Brooks was at the top of the four-candidate field when all of the votes were counted Tuesday evening, topping rivals Edith Ann Moore, Kendrick Sneed and Karl L. Bond.
The totals are:
- Brooks: 1,759 (65 percent)
- Moore: 406 (15 percent)
- Bond: 267 (10 percent)
- Sneed: 254 (10 percent)
Brooks faces Republican nominee David M. Shiffman in August.
Democratic incumbent commissioner Melvin Burgess won re-election to the new commission district 7, holding off a primary challenge from Brandon Echols.
- Burgess: 3,206 (84 percent)
- Echols: 616 (16 percent)
Burgess has no Republican or independent opposition in the August county general election.
Veteran Democratic county commission Walter Bailey easily won his primary re-election bid in new commission district 8 defeating former Memphis City Council member Berlin Boyd with David Vinciarelli finishing third.
With all 15 precincts reporting:
- Bailey: 2,115 (77 percent)
- Boyd: 424 (16 percent)
- Vinciarelli: 190 (7 percent)
Bailey faces Republican Julie Ray in the August general election.
Democratic commissioner Justin Ford won re-election in new commission District 9 over former Shelby County Schools board member Patrice Robinson and Keith Williams, head of the Memphis-Shelby County Education Association.
- Ford: 2,743 (38 percent)
- Williams: 2,217 (31 percent)
- Robinson: 2,215 (31 percent)
Ford has no opposition, Republican or independent, in August.
Long time Democratic politico Eddie Jones is the new commissioner from District 11 after winning the five-way Democratic primary for the new commission district.
Jones beat Curtis Byrd, Donnell Cobbins, Hendrell Remus and Claude Talford.
The unofficial results show:
- Jones: 1,148 (35 percent)
- Talford: 731 (23 percent)
- Remus: 667 (21 percent)
- Cobbins: 489 (15 percent)
- Byrd: 191 (6 percent)
Jones has no Republican or independent opposition in August.
In District 12, former Shelby County Democratic party chairman Van Turner easily beat Bryant K. Boone in the Democratic primary.
- Turner: 2,530 (68 percent)
- Boone: 1,207 (32 percent)
Turner faces independent candidate Alvin Crook in the August county general election.
In the other countywide contested races on the May ballot:
Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks won the Democratic primary for Juvenile Court Clerk over former city division director Kenneth Moody.
- Brooks: 25,779 (70 percent)
- Moody: 10,787 (30 percent)
Brooks faces Republican incumbent Joy Touliatos in August.
Memphis City Council member Wanda Halbert won a four-way Democratic primary for Criminal Court Clerk over City Court Clerk Thomas Long, Assistant District Attorney General Michael McCusker and Bloomfield Baptist pastor Ralph White.
- Halbert: 17,673 (47 percent)
- Long: 12,250 (33 percent)
- White: 5,303 (14 percent)
- McCusker: 2,239 (6 percent)
Halbert faces Republican Richard L. DeSaussure, the chief administrative officers of the clerk’s office in August for the position now held by Kevin Key, who did not seek re-election.
Voters in the primaries set the stage for the second general election contest for Shelby County Assessor of Property in two years with Tuesday’s results which marked the shift of the race to a different election cycle under Shelby County Charter changes approved by voters in 2008.
Democratic incumbent Cheyenne Johnson beat Lorie Ingram in her primary and faces Republican Keith Alexander who beat Mary Royko in that primary.
The results in the Democratic contest were:
- Johnson: 25,746 (71 percent)
- Ingram: 10,723 (29 percent)
In the Republican primary:
- Alexander: 10,342 (71 percent)
- Royko: 4,248 (29 percent)
William Chism Jr. emerged atop the largest field of candidates of any race on the ballot. He claimed the Democratic nomination for Probate Court Clerk in a field of seven including Jennings Bernard, Regina Beale, Heidi Kuhn, Darnell Gatewood, Cynthia A. Gentry and Aaron Hall.
With all precincts reporting, the unofficial results are:
- Chism: 8,052 (24 percent)
- Beale: 6,238 or (18 percent)
- Kuhn: 4,597 (14 percent)
- Bernard: 4,186 (12 percent)
- Gentry: 4,101 (12 percent)
- Hall: 3,693 (11 percent)
- Gatewood: 3,178 (9 percent)
Chism faces incumbent Republican Paul Boyd in August.
Rhonda Banks won the two-way Democratic primary for Circuit Court Clerk over Democratic party veteran Del Gill to face incumbent Republican Jimmy Moore in August. Moore beat challenger Michael Finney in his primary.
The Democratic primary results were:
- Banks: 22,216 (72 percent)
- Gill: 8,782 (28 percent)
The Republican primary results were:
- Moore: 10,668 (99 percent)
- Finney: 303 (1 percent)
Charlotte Draper will challenge Republican County Clerk Wayne Mashburn in August.
She won the three-way Democratic primary over John Freeman and Yolanda Kight.
- Draper: 11,763 (36 percent)
- Kight: 11,134 (34 percent)
- Freeman: 9,799 (30 percent)
Coleman Thompson is the Democratic nominee for Register for the third time, beating Stephen Christian easily in the primary.
- Thompson: 16,673 (54 percent)
- Christian: 13,970 (46 percent)
Thompson challenges Republican incumbent Tom Leatherwood in August.
Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir beat Jeff Jacobs in the Republican primary for Trustee and faces Democrat Derrick Bennett in August after Bennett beat Latroy Williams in the companion primary.
In the GOP primary:
- Lenoir: 13,403 (85 percent)
- Jacobs: 2,316 (15 percent)
In the Democratic primary:
- Bennett: 16,980 (54 percent)
- Williams: 14,305 (46 percent)
The election results become official when they are certified by the Shelby County Election Commission which has a May 21 meeting to do that.