VOL. 133 | NO. 108 | Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Candidates Stake Claims For November Elections
By Bill Dries
At the Memorial Day holiday, the incumbent mayors of Bartlett, Germantown and Lakeland had pulled petitions to seek re-election in municipal elections on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald and Lakeland Mayor Wyatt Bunker pulled their qualifying petitions from the Shelby County Election Commission on May 18, the opening day of the filing period. Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzolo, who has already kicked off his re-election campaign, pulled his petition four days later.
The filing deadline for those three races and races for alderman and school board seats in Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland and Millington is noon Aug. 16. Millington and Collierville do not have a mayor’s race on the ballot this election cycle.
Candidates in five of the county’s six suburban towns and cities are mobilizing toward a mid-August deadline to file in races for mayor, aldermen and school board for the November ballot. (Daily News File/Houston Cofield)
The boards of mayor and aldermen – commissioners in the case of Lakeland – and school boards in each of the suburbs have staggered terms of office. Some positions are elected in one even-year election cycle and the remainder in the other even-year cycle.
All of the bodies have city-wide positions, not districts for a specific area as the Memphis City Council and Shelby County Commission do.
Bunker faces a challenge from Michael Cunningham, a FedEx projects planner who is a former president of the Bolton Civic Association.
In the race to elect two of the four Lakeland commissioners, Jeremy Clayton Burnett, an assistant professor at Southwest Tennessee Community College, and Judith Michelle Dial, an assistant principal at Bartlett High School, have each pulled petitions.
The incumbents currently holding those positions are Matt Wright and Clark Plunk.
Lakeland voters will select two names from a list of candidates to elect the two commissioners. They will choose three names from a list of candidates for the three Lakeland Schools board seats on the November ballot.
Lakeland school board chairman Kevin Floyd and incumbent Laura Harrison have qualifying petitions out for re-election. Also pulling were Deborah Michelle Thomas, a former teacher who is currently an independent contractor, and Zachary Coleman, a student at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. Incumbent Kelly Hale is the third incumbent on the school board whose seat is up this election year.
Bartlett alderman David Parsons became the first suburban contender to file, submitting his petition for Position 3 Friday as the holiday weekend began. Position 1 incumbent W.C. Bubba Pleasant and Position 2 incumbent Emily Elliott have also pulled petitions for re-election.
The other three positions on the Bartlett board of aldermen are on the 2020 ballot.
On the five-member Bartlett City Schools board, incumbents Erin Berry and Bryan Woodruff – who is board vice-chairman – have pulled petitions for re-election. The other three school board positions are up for election in 2020.
In Germantown, retired deputy U.S. Marshal Scott Sanders has pulled to run for Position 1 on the board of aldermen. Incumbent John Barzizza has already announced he is challenging Palazzolo in the race for mayor and pulled his petition for the mayor’s race on the first day of the filing period.
Position 2 alderman and vice mayor Mary Anne Gibson has pulled her petition along with two challengers – Dr. Jeff Brown, an anesthesiologist, and Charles Hanover.
In races for two of the five seats on the Germantown Municipal School District’s board, Robyn Rey Rudisill, a teacher at Houston Middle School, has pulled for the Position 4 seat currently held by Lisa Parker.
In Collierville, vice mayor and alderman Maureen Fraser has pulled her petition to seek re-election in Position 1. No contenders had pulled petitions before the holiday in the other two aldermen races or the two Collierville Schools board races on the November ballot.
The seats held by incumbent aldermen Billy Patton and Tom Allen are up for election this year along with the school board positions currently held by Wanda Chism and Cathy Messerly.
In Millington municipal races, incumbent aldermen Bethany Huffman, Al Bell, Frankie Dakin and Larry Dagen all pulled for re-election on the opening day of the filing period. The four seats on the seven-position board of alderman are on the November ballot.
In the three Millington Schools board positions on the ballot, Donald Holsinger pulled petitions for Positions 2 and 4, currently held by incumbents C.J. Haley and chairman Cody Childress, respectively. Holsinger gave up his seat on the school board two years ago in an unsuccessful bid for alderman.
In the third school board race, Austin Brewer has pulled for the school board seat currently held by Larry Jackson.