VOL. 133 | NO. 35 | Friday, February 16, 2018
Turner to Retire From State House
By Bill Dries
Democratic State Rep. Johnnie Turner will not be seeking re-election to the House this election year, she announced Friday, Feb. 16.
“I still enjoy doing this,” Turner said. “But it’s time. I can walk out and feel good about what I’ve accomplished.”
Turner was elected to the state House in 2009, succeeding her late husband Larry Turner.
In announcing her retirement, Turner pointed specifically to legislation creating a Civil Rights Cold Case Joint Committee.
The group is reviewing unsolved criminal cases from the civil rights era for future investigation.
Turner was executive director of the Memphis Branch NAACP for more than 12 years and before that was active in the sit-in movement of the early 1960s in Memphis as well as being an educator.
Her decision creates two open seats in the 14-member House delegation from Shelby County. Democratic state Rep. Raumesh Akbari’s District 91 seat is open as Akbari runs for the state Senate seat Memphis Democrat Lee Harris is giving up to run for Shelby County mayor.
Nine of the remaining 12 House incumbents from Shelby County pulled their qualifying petitions in January to run for re-election – most pulling on the first day of the filing period.
Two have filed their petitions already, Democratic state Rep. Larry Miller and Republican state Rep. Ron Lollar.
Those who haven’t pulled petitions to date are Democrats Joe Towns Jr., G.A. Hardaway and Antonio Parkinson. The deadline for filing in the August primaries is April 5.