VOL. 131 | NO. 29 | Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Roland Passes on 8th District Congressional Bid
By Bill Dries
Shelby County Commission chairman Terry Roland will not be running in the Republican primary for the 8th Congressional District in August.
After U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher announced last week he won’t be running for re-election to the seat this year, Roland was among the local Republicans considering jumping into what rapidly became a crowded primary field.
“My heart’s not in it,” Roland said before the Monday, Feb. 8, commission meeting. “I want to be county mayor.”
Roland already had announced last year his intention to run for Shelby County mayor in 2018.
That’s when current Mayor Mark Luttrell will end his time in office, held to a two-term limit under the county charter.
Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir also is expected to run in the Republican primary for county mayor in 2018.
Within three hours of Fincher’s announcement that he would not seek another term in Congress, five candidates from Shelby County had declared they would run in the Republican congressional primary this August.
They include county commissioner Steve Basar, former county commissioner George Flinn, attorney and former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff, state Sen. Brian Kelsey and Shelby County Register Tom Leatherwood.
They and others in the 8th District, which covers rural West Tennessee and parts of East Memphis and Cordova, have until April 7 to pull and file their qualifying petitions for the August primary.
Kustoff, Kelsey and Flinn pulled petitions last week, as did David Vinciarelli, who’s running in the Democratic primary.
Independent contender Kurt Budke had pulled a qualifying petition at the beginning of this week to advance to the November general election for the congressional seat.
Meanwhile, District 96 state Rep. Steve McManus of Shelby County pulled a petition to run for re-election to the state House seat after briefly considering but rejecting a bid for the 8th District seat.