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VOL. 131 | NO. 228 | Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Norris, Others Take Next Step After Election

By Bill Dries

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State Senate Republican leader Mark Norris of Collierville ran for re-election this year the way just about any incumbent prefers to run – unopposed.

Several hundred people marched from Court Square to the National Civil Rights Museum Saturday, Nov. 12, as one of several responses to  the results of last week’s presidential election.

(Daily News Staff)

And after rounding up his campaign signs from around his four-county, 32nd District, Norris is among those considering what’s next politically after last week’s presidential general election.

He has a busy day Tuesday, Nov. 15, with fellow state Sen. Randy McNally of Oak Ridge. They both have a full slate of civic events across the county.

McNally emerged early this year as the consensus candidate of the Republican majority in the upper chamber to become the next lieutenant governor and speaker of the Senate – Ron Ramsey exits both posts and the Senate at the end of 2016.

Norris has a private $1,000 a person fundraiser Tuesday evening in Germantown as he continues his path to a likely run for governor in 2018.

In addition to McNally, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn had been scheduled to attend. But she will not be making the trip to Germantown from Washington. Blackburn was appointed to Trump’s transition team the day after the election.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis had only token opposition in his successful re-election bid. But Cohen led local efforts for the Democratic slate from top to bottom.

Cohen was among those reacting Sunday to the news that President-Elect Donald Trump has named Steve Bannon as his chief of strategist in the White House. The executive chairman of Breitbart News, an alt-right website, has been a critic of the GOP establishment, and his ex-wife accused him of domestic violence and attributed anti-Semitic statements to Bannon in their divorce proceedings. The Southern Poverty Law Center has described Bannon as a “white nationalist.”

“Doesn’t sound like someone who should be chief strategist,” Cohen tweeted Sunday afternoon. “Anti-Semites are anti African-American, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-America.”

And Tennessee Republican Party chairman Ryan Haynes, who had been critical of Trump during the campaign, announced Friday that he would not seek another term as chairman.

Meanwhile, a more detailed look at the precinct-by-precinct turnout results for Shelby County shows the high points and low points of a 60 percent turnout countywide.

Of the 166 precincts in Shelby County, 73-01, which votes on election day at Parkway Village Church of Christ, 5665 Knight Arnold Road, posted the lowest turnout – 37.3 percent. The highest turnout was 75 percent in 55-02, which votes at Evangel Church, 262 N. Perkins Road.

Of the countywide turnout of 340,865 – a total of 1,647 voters did not vote in the presidential general election.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton carried the county with 61.4 percent of the vote to 34.2 percent for Trump, who carried the state.

Shelby, Haywood and Davidson were the only counties of 95 statewide that Clinton carried.

Trump’s unofficial tally of 116,131 votes in Shelby County out of 1,521,162 votes statewide was 7.6 percent of his statewide total and the largest total for a single county he got. That was also the case with the 208,373 votes Clinton got in Shelby County, contributing to a statewide unofficial total of 869,189. Shelby County accounted for 23.9 percent of Clinton’s statewide total.

Yet, Trump and Clinton each underperformed their respective predecessors in the local vote totals for the 2008 and 2012 presidential general elections.

The 57 Shelby County precincts with suburban prefixes accounted for 32.1 percent of the total countywide turnout or 109,721 votes. Some of those precincts are partially within the city of Memphis and the breakdown released by the election commission last week doesn’t show votes for the presidential candidates.

Critics of Trump and supporters of Clinton locally continue to come to terms with the results statewide and nationally. And protests as well as marches have been the most visible signs of the reaction.

More than 200 citizens gathered in Court Square Saturday, Nov. 12.

Some in the crowd had been part of the pro-Clinton pants suit flash mob on the Big River Crossing one week earlier.

A marcher who a week earlier brought a portable sound system that blared Helen Reddy’s 1970s feminist anthem “I Am Women” returned with the sound system – this time playing folks songs at a lower volume.

“I want you all to be in the spirit of love,” said Evan Mann, the organizer of the “Walk For Solidarity” that began in Court Square and ended at the National Civil Rights Museum.

When some anti-Trump chants began during Saturday’s Downtown march, organizers reminded those in the crowd that it wasn’t a protest and the chants ceased.

Later that same day, a protest group rallied in front of the Planned Parenthood center in Midtown in support of reproductive rights, where the tone was specifically directed at a particular issue.

The day after the election a local group protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline gathered outside the Federal Building

A group of around 200 protesters Friday evening walked from Cooper-Young to Overton Square and back with signs and chants that included the phrases “Hillary Won the Popular Vote” and “Love Trumps Hate.”

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