VOL. 133 | NO. 163 | Friday, August 17, 2018
11 of 30 Suburban Races in November Decided at Filing Deadline
By Bill Dries
The ballot for the Nov. 6 municipal elections in five of the six suburban towns and cities in Shelby County are almost set with Thursday's filing deadline for candidates. (Daily News/File)
Of the 30 elected positions on the Nov. 6 ballot in five of the six suburban towns and cities in Shelby County, 11 were decided at the noon, Thursday, Aug. 16, deadline for candidates to file their qualifying petitions.
The municipal races in Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland and Millington are for seats on boards of alderman, a city commission and school boards as well as contested elections for mayor in Bartlett, Germantown and Lakeland.
Here is what the ballot looked like in each of the towns and cities at the filing deadline:
Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald, seeking his fifth term as mayor, faces challenger John Lackey on the November ballot.
The two school board races on the ballot were decided at the Thursday deadline with Position two incumbent Erin Elliott Berry and Position three incumbent Bryan Woodruff winning re-election by running unopposed on the November ballot.
Incumbent Position 2 alderman Emily Elliott faces a challenge from Mitch Arnold. Incumbent aldermen W.C. “Bubba” Pleasant and David Parsons were effectively re-elected at the filing deadline since they were unopposed.
Alderman Billy Patton and was effectively re-elected at the deadline with no opposition.
Alderman and vice mayor Maureen Fraser faces a challenge from former Collierville firefighter William Boone.
Alderman Tom Allen is being challenged by Gregory D. Cotton, an attorney.
Collierville school board member Wanda Chism has no opposition and returns for another four-year term.
Two contenders had filed at the deadline for the open Position 4 school board seat being vacated by Cathy Messerly.
The contenders are Frank Warren, a Realtor and Eelco Van Wijk who works at FedEx.
All five positions on the ballot in the Germantown municipal elections are contested.
Incumbent mayor Mike Palazzolo is being challenged by outgoing alderman John Barzizza in what is already an ongoing political tug-of-war about the pursuit of economic development in Germantown and the impact of that development on the city’s image as a bedroom community.
Retired U.S. Marshal Scott Sanders and Brian D. White, owner of a financial management company, are running for Barzizza’s seat as alderman.
Alderman and vice mayor Mary Anne Gibson is being challenged by Jeff Brown, an anesthesiologist.
School board chairwoman Betsy Landers is being challenged for re-election by Brian Curry, a technical operations advisor at FedEx.
And Robyn Rey Rudisill, a teacher, faces Angela Griffith for the Position 4 school board seat currently held by Lisa Parker, who is not seeking re-election.
Incumbent mayor Wyatt Bunker is being challenged by Michael Cunningham, a projects planner at FedEx. The race, like the Germantown mayor’s race, is also about suburban economic development, in this case the building of a new middle school to go with Lakeland’s existing elementary school when the city created its own school system and plans for a high school.
Lakeland voters fill two positions on the city commission and three on the school board by voting multiple times from a single list of contenders in each race.
Incumbent commissioner Clark Plunk is among the five contenders in the commission race. Alderman Matt Wright is not seeking a full term on the commission, which is the second position to be decided by voters this year. The other four contenders are Michele Dial, an assistant principal at Bartlett High School; Jeremy Clayton Burnett, an assistant professor at Southwest Tennessee Community College; Michael Green, a Memphis firefighter and Richard A. Gonzales Jr.
Incumbent school board chairman Kevin Floyd is among the four school board contenders along with incumbent board member Laura Harrison. They are joined in the race by Deborah Michelle Thomas, a former teacher and education consultant, Zachary Coleman and Phillip Childs, a car salesman.
Incumbent school board member Kelley Hale is not seeking re-election.
Incumbent alderman Frankie Dakin’s decision not to seek re-election was the only last-minute development on the November suburban ballots. He had pulled a qualifying petition in May. That leaves political consultant Jon Crisp as the only contender in the race for position 3. And it settles the only potentially contested race of the four alderman positions on the ballot.
Incumbent aldermen Bethany K. Huffman, Al Bell and Larry Dagen each drew no opposition to effectively win re-election at Thursday’s deadline.
Incumbent school board member Cecilia “C.J.” Haley is being challenged by Marion D. Evans.
And board member Larry Jackson has a challenge from Austin Brewer.
Incumbent school board member Barbara Halliburton is being challenged by former school board member Donald K. Holsinger.
The fourth school board position on the ballot in Millington found incumbent Cody Childress unopposed.
All of those who filed their petitions by the noon Thursday deadline have a week to withdraw if they wish before the Election Commission sets the municipal ballots. The November ballot also features state and federal general elections topped by statewide races for Tennessee Governor and U.S. Senate.
Early voting in advance of the Nov. 6 election day is Oct. 17-Nov. 1.