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VOL. 132 | NO. 179 | Friday, September 8, 2017

Lane Touts Luttrell Endorsement in Sheriff's Race

By Bill Dries

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Republican contender for Shelby County Sheriff Dale Lane told supporters in Millington Thursday that dealing with violent crime and gang in particular is the top priority of his campaign for sheriff on the 2018 ballot. (Daily News/Bill Dries)

Republican contender for Shelby County Sheriff Dale Lane is touting the support of every suburban mayor in the county, current Shelby County Mayor and former sheriff Mark Luttrell, and former county mayor Jim Rout.

At a Millington rally Thursday, Sept. 7, Lane also said finding a way to reduce violent crime is the top issue in the 2018 race.

“I’m here tonight with a message of hope,” Lane told the supporters and others at Mid-South Marketplace and Auction. “I’m telling you we can make a difference. Our priority for this campaign is going to be attacking our violent crime issue.”

Lane talked about forming a youth violence strike force specifically to prevent children from joining street gangs, intervene with those who are gang members and suppress gang activity.

“If I don’t have something for them, they are not going to leave,” Lane said of trying to talk gang members out of the organizations. “We are going to make sure we have the resources – meet the need with the resources.”

Lane, who was a member of the old Metro Gang Unit, also talked of the need for ongoing criminal investigations of gangs as organized crime and partnering with business and faith-based organizations to get gang members to walk away from the organizations.

“I am not a status quo person,” said Lane, who ran in the Republican primary for sheriff in 2010. Lane began his law enforcement career with two years on the Millington Police Department and then served for 28 years in the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office in a number of supervisory positions.

Luttrell spoke to the rally by phone after being delayed in Nashville.

“I would imagine that there are many people there tonight that support you. But I would also think there are probably some people there tonight who are really just checking you out,” Luttrell said. “Folks, Dale Lane represents the best in law enforcement. “

Lane, currently director of the county Office of Preparedness – appointed by Luttrell, is running in the May primary with Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Floyd Bonner and retired SCSO supervisor and 2014 Democratic nominee for sheriff Bennie Cobb running so far in the Democratic primary.

Bonner formally opened his campaign last month with the endorsement of outgoing Sheriff Bill Oldham who is term-limited and cannot seek re-election.

Oldham is one of six countywide elected officials, including Luttrell, who are term limited and whose offices are open seats in the 2018 elections. Five of the 13 incumbent county commissioners are also term limited and cannot seek re-election.

Candidates can’t pull qualifying petitions for the 2018 primaries for county offices until Nov. 17. But candidates are already emerging in several races.

In the race for Shelby County mayor, Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland and Juvenile Court Clerk Joy Touliatos – both running in the Republican primary – were at Lane’s event in Millington. They will be joined in the mayoral primary by Trustee David Lenoir.

On the Democratic side of the race, former County Commissioner Sidney Chism is so far the only declared contender for mayor.

There are certain to be plenty of other contenders at least considering the race – Democrat and Republican – or other open seats if their chances seem better in another race.

Less than a month ago, a telephone poll floated the names of some contenders along with names of other political leaders who likely are not considering the race to gauge name recognition and early tentative support for those who might run.

The poll takers didn’t say who they were working for.

In addition to Chism, Lenoir, Touliatos and Roland, the other names mentioned were Shea Flinn, a former Memphis City Councilman who now serves as senior vice president of the Greater Memphis Chamber Chairman’s Circle, and Harold Byrd, a former state representative and the co-founder and president of Bank of Bartlett.

Byrd considered a bid for county mayor in 2002 but withdrew after A C Wharton got into the Democratic primary when incumbent Republican Mayor Jim Rout called off his bid for a third term.

Other names mentioned in the poll include state Senate Democratic leader and former Memphis City Councilman Lee Harris, current Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Memphis City Councilman Bill Morrison.

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