Friday, October 04, 2019

It has been a while, and I have a lot to say.

I am very happy that my friend and Mayor, Jim Strickland was overwhelmingly re elected with 62.1 percent of the vote.

Why, some of you will ask, didn't you vote for a real progressive?  And then referred me to the third-place finisher, the County Commissioner who could not even wait to finish ONE YEAR in office before she ran for City Mayor.  I would have written in Pamela Moses before I would ever vote for Tami Sawyer, now or in the future.

I have lived in Memphis, Tennessee since June 17, 1972.  I have lived under Wyeth Chandler, J, O, Patterson, Wallace Madewell, Dick Hackett, Willie Herenton, Myron Lowery, AC Wharton, and the gentleman who will now serve us through 2023, Jim Strickland.

ONLY ONE MAYOR has used the term Black Lives Matter in the way it was meant to be used, for real and unironically.  ONLY ONE MAYOR has attended Pride in Memphis and marched in the parade and hired a LGBTQIA Liaison (by the way, that Liaison does a damn fine job!).  ONLY ONE WHITE MAYOR has ever, to my knowledge, been a life member of the NAACP.   ONLY ONE MAYOR has, to my knowledge, served as the Chair of the Shelby County Democratic Party.

And that is the fellow who got 62.1% of the vote of the city tonight: JIM STRICKLAND.  Do I agree with him on everything?  Of course not.  When I have disagreed with him in the past (and I used to call him up when he was my Councilman), he would hear me out and then explain why he disagreed.  He would not placate me, which is one of the reasons he won four years ago.

Tami Sawyer is still butthurt that she didn't get credit for the statues coming down.  I think the voters of the city, if they had ANY question about that, settled that this evening.  He had started working on that while he was on the Council, about the time you were bragging about outing one of your teachers at St. Mary's.   I don't think you had many LGBTQIA voters left by the time your 6,666 voters were counted.  (No, I am not making that up.)  That adds up to 6.9%, single digits, as I had forecast some weeks ago.

You know who understands that we still have a long way to go when it comes to income inequality? JIM STRICKLAND.  Everything that you claim to want, Commissioner, they have been working on since he took office in 2016.  Just what do you think would have happened if you had gotten elected and attempted to do what you said you would do?  Look at whom we have in the General Assembly from outside Shelby and Davidson Counties, do you really think they would let you do that?  They would be salivating to crush a Mayor who is a woman of color, and by the time you won in the courts your term would be up and people here would be tired of the drama.

You have slandered our Mayor for the last three years, and the voters told you tonight what they think about that.  Your base is not North or South Memphis, Frayser or Raleigh, Whitehaven or Hickory Hill.  It is the western end of the Poplar Corridor, it's made up of cranky old Midtowners.  You got mad about Jackson Baker mentioning that in the Memphis Magazine story, but it is the TRUTH.  It is time to pay attention to the people of Commission District 7,  Commissioner.  Whoever talked you into running against a popular Mayor did you no favors.

Most of all, if you had stuck to your plan of getting elected and then re-elected to the Commission and THEN running for Mayor in 2023, you would have been in a better position to establish yourself legislatively, raise the funding necessary to get elected, and, in all seriousness, had time to clean up your social media.  After tonight, who knows?  Sure, you say you are going to keep doing what you have been doing, but if only 7% are listening...............

Enough, it is time to address the media coverage, in particular, the Commercial Appeal, who especially on Election Day had Daniel Connolly and Sarah Macaraeg talking to every voter who apparently had decided THAT VERY DAY to vote for the Commissioner.  Well, CA, way to play to 7% of the voting populace!  That should help with subscriptions!  Oy.  Jackson Baker GOT IT RIGHT.  Otis Sanford GOT IT RIGHT.  Bill Dries GOT IT RIGHT.  And to be fair, Ryan Poe GOT IT RIGHT in Election Day's 901 column.

I also understand that, especially with the CA, they wanted to portray the race as being closer than it ever really was, in order to get clicks and subscriptions.  (NOTE: Until someone local owns the CA, I am not subscribing.  I feel bad for the good people who write there, but I cannot subsidize what Gannett and their new partner is doing to the paper and the website, which is, and has been, hideous).

It will be fascinating to see how the Mayor is covered by the CA from this point forward, considering that the Millennials could not be bothered to show up to vote.  You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.  Meanwhile, old farts like me will always vote every election!!  I am going to soak all this in and enjoy every moment of this overwhelming victory.  By the way, if you still don’t understand why Jim won, go read Poe’s 901 from today (Friday).  If that doesn’t explain it, I can’t help you!  Enjoy your weekend, I sure will.

Friday, January 11, 2019

There's a TNDP Chair election tomorrow

As noted earlier, I am supporting Mary Mancini, although I have no vote.

Her opponents are Williamson County Chair Holly McCall and former Lincoln Davis staffer Christopher Hale.  I support Mary because she had the guts to shutdown the ineffective SCDP and pave the way for its rebirth, which led to last year's sweep of the County elections.  We owe Mary for that.

Having said that, should she not win, I would prefer Holly McCall to Mr. Hale, as the Blue Dog days are dead forever, and despite what people from those days would tell you, that is NOT the only way for the Democrats to prosper in this state.

I note that Ms. McCall has proclaimed endorsements from the AFL-CIO, the House Democratic Caucus, as well as a couple of other groups.  I am not sure if the AFL-CIO or Labor still has a vote on the Executive Committee (they SHOULD), but each Caucus, the Tennessee Young Democrats, and the Tennessee Fderation of Democratic Women, each have ONE VOTE tomorrow.

If I remember correct, the number of voters will be 72, which means that the winner needs 37 at a minimum.  66 of these voters were elected by their State Senate Districts to the Executive Committee in last August's primary elections.  So, even if you got each of those groups to give you their vote, you would still need 32 members of the Executive Committee to vote for you.

These endorsements imply that there is a groundswell to replace Mary; however, it's the individual relationships between Mary and each elected member that will determine her fate.  Each of those groups could rise up as one to say we need change; if the Exec Com backs her tomorrow, it will have all been for nought.

I think Mary has done her best, and sure, there are things that could be better.  That said, when you can't have dialogue in rural areas because folks have been poisoned by right-wing media, what would YOU do differently?

Well, time to sit back and see what happens.  I will congratulate the winner and console whomever loses and remind them the fight continues to beat the GOP.


Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Happy 2019, here is what I am thinking about

First, it is too damned early, unless you are an operative looking for work, to care about 2020, there is too much happening now to worry about that.  I don't really want a Democratic nominee over 70, if possible.  They will not increase turnout next year.  I will support whomever we nominate, because we can't even be sure who the GOP nominee will be.  Whomever the nominee is, can we NOT turn them into a Messianic figure, please?  THE PURPOSE OF ELECTING PEOPLE TO OFFICE IS SO THEY WILL ENACT THE POLICIES WE WANT.  PERIOD.

Thank you.

Moving right along, I believe we will soon see a return to the blogosphere of one Trace Sharp of Nashville, TN, at  Put her on your RSS feed.  It won't be a return to NEWSCOMA, because that is done.  What you will get will, as always, be WELL worth your time.

Next, it appears that on January 12, Mary Mancini will seek a third term as TNDP Chair.  I don't blame her for Bredesen's loss, you can put that on Bredesen himself, who sucked all the air (and money) out of every other campaign in the state.  Phil Bredesen has never gotten anyone elected to office that was not named Phil Bredesen.  He needs to go retire and never darken our doors again.  It sure isn't 2006 anymore.

Back to this Chair race, which features Mary, Wiilliamson County Chair and longtime operative Holly McCall, and someone named Christopher Hale.  Mary has a record, and has flaws like any other living, breathing human, but I have a question for the other candidates:  What would YOU do differently?  HOW would you do it?  HOW do you fight the rampant right-wing media poisoning happening in rural Tennessee (and the US, for that matter) that precludes any type of true dialogue with folks?   IF you can make a reasonable case for how to do it (and if you CAN, you ought to be running for DNC Chair, not just TNDP), then I will listen.

I don't have a vote, but if I did, I would vote for Mary.  I would do so at the very least for her closure of the inept SCDP and faciliting its rebirth which led to an August sweep last year.  We owe her that much in Shelby County.

There are City elections this year, and I tend to believe that the Mayor will be re-elected, barring something unforeseen.  (NOTE: time to invoke the Hunter Demster Memorial Disclosure, in which I remind the 8-12 of you who do NOT know that my wife works in the Mayor's Office.  Take what ever caveats you need from that.)  No, Hunter Demster is not dead, it's just good for people to remember he is there, watching over us all.  :)

The Council elections will be a doozy, I am just going to sit back and wait for those.  I expect that there are incumbents who MAY not be re-elected, we will just have to wait and see what develops.  It should be a booming year for the local popcorn industry, I am just saying.

Speaking of breaking out the popcorn, the Council will once again attempt to fill three seats (that could have been filled in the November general election) next Tuesday, and we will see if they can get 7 votes for anyone in any of these seats.  Then they will elect a Chair for 2019; as long as it's not the person in the seat now, I am good.  Just saying, and note that these opinions are mine and mine alone, as they have been since 2004.

That's enough for now; the coming return of Ms. Sharp to the interwebs and the continued writing of Mr. Ross at Vibinc has inspired me to start again, I think it's time.  See you back here, and sooner than you think!

Monday, October 15, 2018

These recommendations are solidly on point, and I agree with all of them

Every election year, I am fortunate to receive a list of endorsements from my friends Paula Casey and Jocie Wurzburg, along with Dottie Jones, daughter of their late great friend Happy Jones.

Usually, there are a couple of endorsements that I don't agree with, but not this year.  I received this earlier, and I found them to be so on point that I asked if I may post them, as I concur with every bit of this, and ask that you consider these before you go vote.  By the way, Early Voting starts at ALL SITES this coming Wednesday.  Without further ado:

Dear Friends:

Early voting for this important election begins on Wednesday, Oct. 17. The first thing you need to do is make sure you are registered. It takes 30 seconds with this link:

Do this before you go to the polls. If you're not shown as registered and you know you are, call the Election Commission at 222-1200 and ask where is your registration. Be sure to take a photo ID to the polls. PLEASE VOTE EARLY. Early voting locations are at

Also, we are recommending you vote NO on all the ballot referenda which appear at the end of the ballot. Our buddy, Dan Conaway, explains it beautifully in his Daily Memphian column:

We recommend the following:

Governor - Karl Dean is the obvious choice. Medicaid expansion is his top priority and pre-school education. We need someone in the governor's office with governing experience. We need Karl because he understands how to govern. He also believes in separation of church and state unlike his opponent.

U.S. Senator - Phil Bredesen. He is far superior to his GOP opponent who opposes everything we believe in. Phil's opponent believes in snatching small terrified children from their panicking parents., many of whom were seeking asylum. Who believes in that? We don't. Vote for Phil Bredesen.

U.S. House -District 8 - Erika Stotts Pearson. We need to change the House and Erika is a much better candidate than the incumbent.

U.S. House District 9 - Steve Cohen, of course. He always makes us proud. 

Following are recommendations for the state legislature. Too many of our current legislators have been supportive of ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) far-right model legislation. We don't want our legislators joining ALEC; we want ALEC's legislative agenda opposed. 

TN Senate District 29 - Raumesh Akbari. Raumesh is a star.
TN Senate District 31 - Gabby Salinas. Gabby's healthcare background will be an asset.
TN Senate District 33 - Katrina Robinson. Vote for Katrina and thank her for running since she defeated an anti-choice ALEC-supporting incumbent Democrat. 
TN House District 83 - Danielle Schonbaum. She can take Craig Fitzhugh's place as the financial guru in the legislature.
TN House District 84 - Joe Towns, Jr.
TN House District 85 - Jesse Chism
TN House District 86 - Barbara Cooper
TN House District 87 - Karen Camper
TN House District 88 - Larry Miller
TN House District 90 - John DeBerry, Jr. He is unopposed, but we hope his constituents will let him know they are displeased with his conservative votes.
TN House District 91 - London P. Lamar
TN House District 93 - G.A. Hardaway, Jr.
TN House District 95 - Sanjeev Memula
TN House District 96 - Dwayne Thompson - He has done a great job and has been supportive of healthcare expansion. 
TN House District 97 - Allan Creasy - We can't say enough about this bright, committed Democratic candidate who would bring youth and energy to the legislature. 
TN House District 98 - Antonio Parkinson
TN House District 99 - David Cambron - We love Dave Cambron and everything he has done for progressive causes. 

Your vote is critically important. It is not hyperbolic to say we are saving our democracy. Please share this ballot with your friends and family. Encourage everyone you know to vote. - 

Jocelyn D. Wurzburg, Paula F. Casey, Dottie Jones

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Democratic Candidates, can you help me out here?

Could you list, in the comments, where your victory parties will be tomorrow night? 

I know that LEE HARRIS FOR COUNTY MAYOR will be meeting at The Columns at One Commerce Square, located at 1 South Main downtown.

Other campaigns, can you please note in the comments?  thanks!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

For the State House in the Democratic Primary

I am only looking at the contested primary races here.

State House - District 85 - Ricky Dixon The veteran activist and brother of former State Senator Roscoe Dixon has the most experience in service of the candidates seeking to replace the retiring Johnnie Tuner and has my support.

State House - District 86 - I am torn.  Barbara Cooper has represented the downtown and South Memphis areas for years and has done a pretty good job.  that said, newcomers like Amber Huett Garcia have given energy and fire to the SCDP that it has desperately needed.  I am truly torn in this race and believe either would be a good choice.

State House - District 90 - Torrey Harris Just as I supported Tami Sawyer's insurgent campaign two years ago, now I support Torrey Harris in his primary challenge of John Deberry, a Democrat in Name Only these days.  Harris has worked his butt off and will be a terrific state representative, so let's give him that chance.

State House - District 91 - London Lamar I can't pretend that I am impartial here, having watched her come up through the ranks of the SCYDs to lead it and then the TYDs, having watched her work for various campaigns.  Now, it is her time, and I believe she is worthy of the support of District 91.

Oh, and I forgot the City Council SuperDistrict 9 race.

I voted for GIRLS INC. Chair Lisa Moore to get the full time slot to replace Philip Spinosa.  I am sure Ford Canale is a decent enough guy, but I don't really know him well enough to give him that seat.  Just my .02.

That is it until the fall, people, thank you as always for asking me for these, I am flattered that you think that much of them.  Keep reading!

And now for the Democratic Primary at least through the State Senate

US Senate - Phil Bredesen  You have no idea how weird it is for me to write those words, but I do, because he is going to kick Marhsa Blackburn's ass back to Brentwood this November, and it won't be close.  I will even put up a sign for him, causing long-time readers (and possibly me as well) to faint at the prospect.

Like I said, we are in triage, people.  I digress.

Governor - Craig Fitzhugh  The outgoing House Democratic Leader, from nearby Ripley, is the BEST chance that we have to beat whichever one of the horrible GOP Candidates that wins their primary.  Simply put, the last time we as Tennesseans had a candidate for this office who knew state government this well, it was 1986 and his name was Ned McWherter.  I do not throw that name around lightly; few Governors made this government work as well as Ned, and Craig Fitzhugh can do that.

What's more, Craig Fitzhugh can do something his opponent, former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, can't: he can go into rural areas and get them to vote for Democrats at every level.  If we can't flip rural seats in the legislature, folks, we are doomed as a Party in Tennessee.  Outside of Davidson County, no one cares about Nashville, and I can say that as a Memphian, because the rural folks don't like us either.

But Craig Fitzhugh, who lives 50 miles from here, DOES. If you want to save our Party and get the best Governor we have had since McWherter, vote for Craig Fitzhugh.

Congressman - 9th District - Steve Cohen  He has done a great job for us for these dozen years, and who would not want to see him preside over impeachment trials?  What else is there to say except KEEP GOIN WITH COHEN!

State Senate - District 29 - Raumesh Akbari.  The outgoing Representative from District 91 looks to step up to replace soon-to-be County Mayor Lee Harris in the District along the Big Muddy, which also includes Cooper-Young.  She is beloved by pretty much anyone who has the fortune to know her or be represented by her.

State Senate - District 31 - Gabby Salinas We have two fine candidates in the race to defenestrate current incumbent Brian Kelsey, who isn't even like by his own party that much these days.  In addition to Gabby, David Weatherspoon, a chaplain at LeBonheur Children's Hospital, also seeks the nomination and is a good guy who would be better than Kelsey.

However, the amazing story of Gabby Salinas is the story of a 3-time cancer survivor who came to Memphis to beat cancer at St. Jude, where she eventually went to work and became a scientist.  Along the way she survived a horrible car accident that killed two members of her family and crippled her mother.  However, she and her family have fought through these problems like warriors, watching with pride as she worked on her Ph.D and helped in Democratic campaigns.  Gabby Salinas is the best choice to beat Brian Kelsey, and I ask you to vote for her for Senator.

State Senate - District 33 - Katrina Robinson  This nurse, educator and single mother of two is a powerhouse who believes in Democratic values, which is more than I can say for the incumbent she wants to knock off, Reggie Tate.  Look, Reggie is a nice fellow but he has taken ALEC money and has been a weak Senator.  Robinson shares our Democratic values and is the best choice for this race,

For the rest of the County races

For Sheriff, Floyd Bonner has a sparking 34-year career, serving now as the Chief Deputy to Sheriff Bill Oldham, a Republican who endorsed this Democrat rather than the GOP nominee, Dale Lane.  Bonner is a clear choice.

Regina Morrison Newman wants the job she once held as County Trustee, and she did a great job at it which is why we need her now to go do any cleanup needed after David Lenoir leaves.  She was recognized for her great work in 2010 after she succeeded the late Paul Mattila.

Temilka Gipson was endorsed by the CA for Circuit Court Clerk, and we agree that she would be a great fit for the job, with over 25 years experience in clerk offices in this county.

Heidi Kuhn is the best candidate for Criminal Court Clerk as she has worked in County Government for 17 years, most of which is in the Criminal Justice field.  She believes in working with the Expungement movement, which incumbent Richard DeSaussure cares nothing about.  Heidi represents our values and DeSaussure, well.........

Bill Morrison wants to be your next Probate Court Clerk, and I want him there too, so please vote for him.  We need Democrats across the board, people.

My friend Wanda Halbert is clearly the best choice to succeed Wayne Mashburn as County Clerk.  People don't realize that, in addition to serving her community on the MCS Board and the Coty Council, she has years of corporate experience as an administrative professional at FedEx for many years.  She knows how to run an office and run it efficiently.  That is why you should vote for her.

If there is anyone I forgot, go look at Ross's post.

 There are 3 judicial races also.

For Circuit Court, Division IX, I support Yolanda Kight. 

For Circuit Court, Division X,  I support Jennifer Johnson Mitchell over current incumbent and former prosecutor Jennifer Nichols.  Too damned many former prosecutors on the bench these days, Lee Coffee excluded.

And for me, the most important is for Environmental Court Division 14, where Judge Patrick Dandridge, who was recently appointed to succeed his mentor, retired EC Judge Larry Potter, is the clear choice.  He was Judge Potter's right hand for many years, and a terrific public servant.  Please vote to re-elect Patrick Dandridge.


Alright aready, it's time for the picks for Mayor and the Commission

if you couldn't wait, you could have gone straight to Steve Ross and gotten almost everything I am going to give you,

He is right that this is the best Democratic countywide lineup and, while there may be one I didn't go with, I am NOT telling you which one it was in the sake of unity.

We will start straight up with the head of the ticket, LEE HARRIS for County Mayor.  He has a clear understanding of what the county needs and unlike the GOP Nominee, David Lenoir, he KNOWS that, population-wise, Memphis IS Shelby County, comprising 2/3 of its population.  He understands that the problems of poverty are NOT character-related but RESOURCE-related, and intends to do something about it.  Lenoir, on the other hand, keeps making dog-whistle noises to the SC residents outside the city limits, suggesting that he will direct as little as possible to those LAZY (INSERT SLUR HERE) who live in MEMPHIS.

Now, the new County Mayor (hopefully, LEE HARRIS) is going to need a County Commission that will work with him to achieve his goals.  This is why I implore you to vote for the Democratic nominee in EVERY DISTRICT.  Even 7, people, but more on that in a minute.

Our Nominees are as follows:
District 1- Racquel Collins
District 2- Tom Carpenter
District 3 - Monica Timmerman
District 4 - Kevin Haley
District 5 - Michael Whaley
District 6 - Willie Brooks (unopposed)
District 7 - Tami Sawyer
District 8 -Mickell Lowery (unopposed)
District 9 - Ed Ford Jr.
District 10, my friend and Commissioner Reginald Milton
District 11, Eddie Jones
District 12, one of the true heroes of statue removal, Van Turner
District 13, George Monger.

Before we move further, I need to say something about Tami Sawyer.  Ross gave her a glowing tribute, much of which I agree with, but it needs to be said that while the protestors helped bring new people into the statue removal movement that she named #TakeEmDown901, This had been in the works since January 1, 2016.  That is also the day Jim Strickland took office.

(NOTE: Our pal Hunter Demster seems to be of the opinion that none of you loyal readers are aware that since April of 2016, my lovely wife Susan has worked on the 7th Floor for Alan Crone, Dabney Ring, Ursula Madden, and oh yes, Jim Strickland.  Take any caveats from that you need to take.)

The insane law that the Mayor's legal team had to work around were passed in response to an ordinance that then-Councilor Strickland voted FOR to remove the statues.  Our Mayor had to keep a low profile and keep the statues up UNTIL THEY COULD DO IT LEGALLY.  If those protestors had managed to take down Forrest too soon, they, and you and me, all taxpayers of this city would have been forced to pay for putting them back UP.  So, this bullshit (and it truly is) that our Mayor wouldn't have moved without the protests is simply wrong.

Frankly, I am not thrilled that Tami and the protestors acted like the Mayor was the enemy, when his team were the only people in town who could get the damned things down FOR GOOD, which he did.

Having said all that, I supported Tami 2 years ago when she ran against John Deberry in District 90, and I wouldn't have changed that for anything.  She can be a bulldog, and we are going to need her to do that on the Commission, either working for Lee Harris or being the biggest PITA possible in the unfortunate event David Lenoir is elected.  We are in triage, people, at every level, and we need all hands on deck. 

Now, some day, Mr. Mayor, we need to see a damn BOOK from you about how all this went down.  Tell your story, because it is not mine to tell.

So, enough on that.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018


Early Voting starts on Wednesday, April 11 for the Democratic and GOP Primaries for the August general election.  Early voting locations and times can be found here.

As far as the County Commission races go, I vote in District 10, and my friend and incumbent Commissioner Reginald Milton is unopposed in the Primary, although he has a Terry Roland-supporting independent (who tried to run as a Democrat at first) in August.  It goes without saying that I support him.

As for the Countywide races, let's take them one at a time.

COUNTY MAYOR - This pits former County Commissioner, State Senator and SCDP Chair Sidney Chism against outgoing State Senator and former City Councilor Lee Harris.  While Chism has been around for years and has worked in County Government as a Commissioner and in the Sheriff's Department, if we are going to go for new blood in Democratic politics, Harris is the guy.  I believe that Lee Harris has the best chance to elect a Democratic County Mayor this year, and I am supporting him.  This is especially true if Terry Roland surprises everyone (but me) and wins the GOP Primary for Mayor.   I just don't believe that Chism can get crossover votes, and Harris can, while turning out our base in August.

ASSESSOR OF PROPERTY - Sadly, Cheyenne Johnson is term-limited out and cannot succeed herself.  That leaves outgoing County Commissioner Melvin Burgess and Lorie Ingram, who challenged Ms. Johnson in the primary 4 years ago, IIRC.   While Ms. Ingram has worked in that office (I do not know if she still does), Commissioner Burgess has (as I have been told privately) people from that office helping him to prepare for the job.  I think Melvin Burgess gives Democrats the best chance to win this office, so I am voting for him.

COUNTY TRUSTEE - This is an open seat, and three Democrats are seeking the office: Derrick Bennett, who has run before unsuccessfully, former MLGW executive Joseph Lee III and former Trustee Regina Morrison Newman, who was named in 2009 to succeed the late Paul Mattila.  She lost her bid for re-election in 2010 to current, outgoing Trustee David Lenoir.  Newman has actual time in the job and has received awards for her work as Trustee, and I believe she is the best candidate not only to turn out votes in August but to flip some GOP votes.  I am voting for Regina Morrison Newman.

SHERIFF - We have two Sheriff's Department veterans in this race, retired Deputy Bennie Cobb (our 2014 nominee) and current Chief Deputy Floyd Bonner, who has been endorsed by his outgoing boss, Sheriff Bill Oldham, a Republican.   They both make strong cases for themselves, but Bonner has 37 years in the department and the chance to flip GOP votes.  I am supporting Floyd Bonner.

CIRCUIT COURT CLERK - The race to succeed outgoing Clerk Jimmy Moore is between veteran Democratic activist (and former General Sessions Court Deputy Clerk) Del Gill and Temiika Gipson, who is a 25 year veteran of county offices such as  General Sessions Civil Court Clerk's office and currently working in the Criminal Court Clerk's office as a Court Coordinator.    I am voting for Temiika Gipson, as it is time for younger candidates to step up here.

CRIMINAL COURT CLERK-  Vying for the Democratic nod against GOP incumbent Richard DeSaussure are Carla Stotts Hills, Heidi Kuhn and Amanda Scott Hill.   Heidi Kuhn has over twenty years experience in County Government, working for the Commission and currently working in the Sheriff's Department.  She is a seasoned candidate and someone that I believe gives us the best chance to unseat DeSaussure.  I support Heidi Kuhn for Criminal Court Clerk.

JUVENILE COURT CLERK.  The three candidates on the Democratic side are Harold C. Smith, of whom I know very little, Morrie E. "Jimmy" Noel, of whom I know even less, and veteran City Councilor and legendary radio star Janis Fullilove.   Councilor Fullilove has been through a lot during her Council years, overcoming a very deep illness to return to her seat.   She clearly is the biggest draw here, and while I have concerns about her health, she remains the best candidate of the three and I will vote for Janis Fullilove for JV Court Clerk.

PROBATE COURT CLERK - outgoing City Councilor Bill Morrison is unopposed in the Primary and I will support him now and in August.

COUNTY CLERK - This is very tough for me.  The three Democratic candidates are former MCS Board Member and District 4 City Councilor Wanda Halbert, Jamal Whitlow, who is a former employee of the County Clerk's office and current job Developer for the Workforce Investment Network, and Mondell B. Williams.   Wanda Halbert has given more than just the 15 years of representative service in government to her community, she is loved and respected throughout this city.   However, Whitlow is part of the up and coming group of new candidates bringing new vitality to the Shelby County Democratic scene.    I have ALWAYS voted for Wanda Halbert when I had the opportunity, but Jamal Whitlow has made me look at this race carefully and differently.   In the toughest call I have had to make this year, I am going to vote for Jamal Whitlow for County Clerk in the Primary.

REGISTER OF DEEDS - This seat is being vacated by Republican vet Tom Leatherwood, and the Democratic race is between Shelandra Ford, a 20 year veteran of County Government,  and Democratic activist Adrienne Pakis-Gillon, who last ran in 2014 against State Senator Brian Kelsey.  Ok, I am all in for Adrienne, whom I have known for many years and for whom I have knocked on doors in Cordova in her last race.  I confess I do not know Ms. Ford, and I have linked to both of them, but I am voting for Adrienne Pakis-Gillon.

COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICT 13.   Now, I don't have a vote here, but if I did it would be for George Monger over Charlie Belenky.   Monger was one of the youngest ever to run for City Council back in 2007 at the age of 18.  He has worked in the music business in many area, most notably for David Porter at MMT Consortium.  However, it is his work as a Shelby County Election Commissioner  (he was the youngest in history when named in 2011) and served two exciting years involved on the Technology and Operations Committee.  I am still not pleased that he was not renamed two years later.   I think he has an excellent chance to unseat incumbent Republican Steve Basar (if his primary opponent Brandon Morrison doesn't do it first).  I highly encourage you to vote for George Monger in District 13.

COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICT 7 - Nope, not going there, no recommendations, I don't have a vote there and I am staying out of it completely.  Your call.

The following seats only have one Democratic candidate, but vote for them any way if you live in these Districts:

DISTRICT 1 - J. Racquel Collins

DISTRICT 2 - Tom Carpenter

DISTRICT 3 - Monica Timmerman

DISTRICT 4- Kevin Haley

DISTRICT 6 - Incumbent Commissioner Willie Brooks

DISTRICT 12 - Incumbent Commissioner Van Turner

Now, back to the contested CC races (other than 7, anyway):

DISTRICT 5 - This race is between Democratic activist and unsuccessful HD 83 Candidate in 2016 Lawrence Pivnick and newcomer Michael Whaley, who has worked in education for many years.  In keeping with the NEW BLOOD theme here, I am supporting Michael Whaley for this race.

DISTRICT 8 This race has former interim Commissioner Edith Ann Moore,  Daryl L. Lewis (he has his platform here),  newcomer JB Smiley  and FedEx sales manager Mickell Lowery, who lost a tight City Council race to Martavious Jones in 2015.    This may be the best race of all of them, and I really like what I am hearing about Smiley, but if I had a vote, it would go to Mickell Lowery, who has the skills to do a great job on the Commission and he gets my recommendation.


Edmund Ford, Jr.
Ian Jeffries
Pamela Williams Kelly
Adrian Killebrew
Jonathan M. Lewis
Roz Nichols
Jonathan Lang Smith
are the candidates to succeed Justin Ford here, and I confess to only being familiar with Councilor Ford, Reverend Nichols and Jonathan Lewis.   As longtime readers of this blog know, Councilor Ford has been a favorite of mine for his years on the Council.  He has done great work on the Budget Committee and is a seasoned legislator.

All that said, I was downright pissed off when he convinced his fellow councilors to un-do the stated will of the people when our citizens approved Ranked Choice Voting years ago, and put a referendum on the city ballot to reverse their earlier decision.  This action suggests that citizens are not bright enough to figure out how this works when it has been successfully used in other locales.  They were bright enough to elect you TWICE, weren't they?   For this reason, I do NOT recommend him for a seat on the County Commission; my recommendation goes to Reverend Roz Nichols, who will bring a new voice to the seat.

DISTRICT 11 - No recommendation.

Ok, look at them, make up your minds and MAKE SURE YOU VOTE!!!