VOL. 132 | NO. 246 | Wednesday, December 13, 2017
May Primary Ballot Continues to Fill Up
By Bill Dries
Floyd Bonner, chief sheriff’s deputy for Shelby County, is among the latest candidates to file for a place on the May 2018 primary elections ballot. Bonner filed Friday, Dec. 8, in the Democratic primary for sheriff. He is expected to run against sheriff’s office supervisor and 2014 Democratic nominee for sheriff Bennie Cobb in the primary.
Other contenders include Dale Lane, director of the Shelby County Office of Preparedness, who is expected to run in the Republican primary.
Shelby County Register Tom Leatherwood pulled a qualifying petition last week to run in the Republican primary for Circuit Court Clerk. Leatherwood is term-limited as Shelby County Register of Deeds. Incumbent Circuit Court Clerk Jimmie Moore, a Republican, is not seeking re-election.
All of the latest filings came before the Downtown office of the Shelby County Election Commission closed for several days to complete the office’s move from 150 Washington Ave. to 157 Poplar Ave.
The new Downtown offices opened Monday.
The filing deadline for the May primaries is noon Feb. 15.
Meanwhile, candidates in races on the ballot later in the 2018 election year continue to emerge.
Amber Huett-Garcia is planning a challenge of veteran District 86 state Rep. Barbara Cooper in the August Democratic primary. Cooper is a retired teacher and educator who this year marked her 20th year in the Legislature.
Huett-Garcia can’t pull her qualifying petition until Jan. 5, but opened her campaign last week Downtown with a group of 30 supporters.
“This is not a sort of exercise in democracy for me. I am running to win the District 86 seat so I can create change at a rate that Memphis needs,” Huett-Garcia told the group. “Memphis doesn’t need more people to help them beat the odds. We need to change them.”
Huett-Garcia said access to health care is a major issue as well as an “inherent bias we have when we interact with one another.”
“It reinforces constantly the people that are closest to us and take care of us and are supposed to know best are letting us down, and it happens all the time,” she said. “It should not happen in public service. We want access to health care that is affordable. We don’t want to start a Go Fund Me (page) if we get cancer. We have to lift Memphians out of poverty and that includes an increase in wages that are livable. … We need to not just raise wages, but think creatively about the wrap-around services.”
Huett-Garcia came to the city in 2011 from working in Illinois state government on women’s health programs and policy and budget matters. She has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Illinois-Springfield. She came to Memphis as part of Teach For America and is currently director of development with the TFA Memphis office.
Huett-Garcia is also chairwoman of the national board of the Obesity Action Coalition.