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VOL. 131 | NO. 60 | Thursday, March 24, 2016

Bartlett Judicial Races Shifted To August Ballot

By Bill Dries

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The two municipal judges in Bartlett learned this week that they have races to run on the August ballot, not the November ballot they were scheduled to run on.

A total of 70 qualifying petitions for places on the Aug. 4 Shelby County ballot are in circulation two weeks before the April 7 filing deadline. So far, only 15 have been filed with the Shelby County Election Commission.

(Daily News/Bill Dries)

The addition of two races to the Aug. 4 Shelby County ballot comes two weeks before the April 7 filing deadline for the nonpartisan local races as well as the state and federal primary contests.

The change is because Bartlett’s municipal judges have status as general sessions court judges.

Earlier in the filing period, the Shelby County Election Commission’s list of races in 2016 included none of the Shelby County Schools board races that are on the ballot, either. They were added well before candidates began pulling qualifying petitions.

With two weeks to the filing deadline, 70 qualifying petitions have been pulled for positions on the Shelby County ballot.

But candidates had filed only 15 of those petitions with the Shelby County Election Commission by Wednesday, March 23.

Shelby County Schools board incumbents Stephanie Love and Scott McCormick have joined school board chairwoman Teresa Jones in pulling qualifying petitions for re-election.

So far, Jones remains unopposed for her District 2 seat.

Love has a potential challenger in District 3 where Coby Smith has pulled a petition.

McCormick has a potential challenger in District 5 from Aaron M. Prather who has a petition out.

And Rhonda Munn Banks has pulled a qualifying petition for the District 7 school board seat, the position currently held by school board member Miska Clay-Bibbs.

The nine-member school board has staggered terms, with four seats on the ballot this year and the remaining five in 2018.

The race with the most filing action so far is the Republican primary in the 8th Congressional District where four of seven contenders with petitions out in Shelby County have filed them.

They are: state Sen. Brian Kelsey, former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff, Shelby County Register Tom Leatherwood and businessman David Maldonado.

The 8th district includes Jackson, Tenn., and rural West Tennessee with even more contenders filing in those parts of the district as well.

Republican incumbent Stephen Fincher announced in February he would not seek re-election to the 8th Congressional District.

None of the five Democrats in Shelby County who have pulled petitions for the 8th District race had filed as of Wednesday morning, according to the election commission.

All 16 Shelby County incumbents whose seats in the Tennessee Legislature are on the August primary ballot – 14 state representatives and two state senators – are expected to file for re-election. All have qualifying petitions out.

Nine of the 16 have no potential opposition so far.

The August ballot also includes a general election race for General Sessions Court Clerk between Democratic incumbent Ed Stanton and Republican challenger Richard Morton.

Stanton won the March Democratic primary for clerk, beating challenger William Stovall. Morton ran unopposed in the March Republican primary for clerk.

PROPERTY SALES 57 280 1,209
MORTGAGES 55 244 916
BUILDING PERMITS 158 699 2,751