VOL. 131 | NO. 77 | Monday, April 18, 2016
Most Political Hopefuls Follow Through in August Elections
By Bill Dries
Shelby County election commissioners meet Tuesday, April 19, to set the ballot for the Aug. 4 state and federal primaries and county general elections.
The ballot for the Aug. 4 elections in Shelby County is almost set. There were a few exits from the ballot last week.
(Daily News File/Andrew J. Breig)
Of 99 qualifying petitions for the ballot pulled in Shelby County, some by the same citizen pondering multiple races, 65 were filed by the April 7 qualifying deadline and four of those 65 petitions had been withdrawn by the April 14 withdrawal deadline.
The number of petitions pulled doesn’t include contenders in the 8th Congressional District primary outside Shelby County. The district takes in 15 counties including Shelby County.
Among the Shelby County petitions, another 20 petitions were never filed and 10 were short of the minimum 25 signatures from voters who live in the district to qualify for a place on the ballot.
The earliest withdrawal was perennial candidate Ernie Lunati who withdrew in March from the Republican primary in the 9th Congressional District.
Lunati’s withdrawal, combined with a would-be contender who never filed his petition and a third who was short the necessary 25 signatures on his qualifying petition, makes postal worker Wayne Alberson of Cordova unopposed in the August Republican primary.
Incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen has three challengers in the 9th District August primary.
Three contenders in the Aug. 4 state legislative primaries in Shelby County withdrew from the races at or near the withdrawal deadline, including two would-be challengers of veteran Democratic state House members from Memphis.
Tennessee Young Democrats leader London Lamar withdrew from the Democratic primary in State House District 85.
Incumbent Johnnie Turner still faces a challenge in the August primary from Keith Williams and Felicia Irons.
Whoever wins the primary goes to Nashville since there is no Republican or independent opposition.
Skip Ledbetter withdrew from the State House District 86 Democratic primary leaving incumbent Democrat Barbara Cooper unopposed in the August primary, but facing Republican opposition in the November general election.
And Charley Burch withdrew in the Democratic primary for state House District 97 making Erika Stotts Pearson the winner of the primary and the challenger of Republican incumbent Jim Coley in the November general election. Coley is unopposed in the August GOP primary race.
Ledbetter withdrew from the race on Wednesday. But none of the withdrawals, including that one, were noted on the Election Commission’s online list until late Thursday afternoon despite the noon Thursday withdrawal deadline.