Mayor - Carol Chumney
Yeah, I know, gee, what a shock. Folks, there are only two people who have a chance to be elected Mayor of Memphis on October 4, and neither of them are named Herman Morris or John Willingham. If you vote for either of the these nice but unelectable fellows, you might as well vote for the incumbent.
Carol's not perfect, I wish she would provide more specifics, but I have no doubt she is the best candidate to rebuild the areas of the city that the Mayor has ignored over the last sixteen years. She understands that there are areas and neighborhoods in this city outside downtown, the Poplar corridor, and Cordova. She is owned by no one, and is responsible only to the citizens of the city, all of them.
It's your choice; if you're happy with the way the city is going, vote to re-elect the incumbent. However, if you don't have a city contract or an appointed position, I know that you have one option for real change: Carol Chumney.
City Council - District 5 - Jim Strickland
Had Carol Chumney not made a last-minute decision to leave the State House and run for District 5 in 2003, Jim Strickland might well be running for his second term. As it is, he faces a tough race with good candidates like BOB Schreiber and Denise Parkinson, and I urge you to support him if you live in this district. He has a keen grasp of the issues in District 5, and I believe that he is absolutely the one candidate who can be a bridge to any and all factions that may exist on the new Council, which will have at least seven new members. I like Schreiber, and he's working hard, but Jim Strickland's time is now, and I am asking you to support him.
City Council Super District 9, Position 1 - No Endorsement
I don't know Cecil Hale all that well, and frankly, I'm not that impressed with Scott McCormack, so proceed at your own risk here.
City Council Super District 9, Position 2 - Shea Flinn
If I hadn't already known Shea Flinn and supported him in his earlier run for the State House, I would have been for him due to his excellent work as the interim State Senator in District 30. The broadcasting executive may get his business acumen from his father, Republican County Commissioner George Flinn, he is quick to remind us that he is politically more like his mom, a hardcore Democrat. He will watch over our tax dollars while providing creative solutions to the problems that face Memphis.
He faces former GOP Chair (and endorsee) Kemp Conrad, Joe "The Memphis Watchdog" Saino, 23-year-old Princeton grad Frank Langston, Joseph L. Baier, Jr. and James Christopher Lochbihler. While Saino would be a bulldog, I do not believe he would be able to make the positive contributions that Flinn will, and I ask that you support him.
City Council Super District 9, Position 3 - Desi Franklin
It is difficult to explain just how much effect Desi Franklin has had in such a short period of time. Since 2004 , she has: A) been one of the leaders of Women for Kerry, then B) helped turn that into Mid-South Democrats in Action, which C) out-organized all other local Democratic groups at the 2005 and 2007 Democratic Conventions to take virtual control of the party away from the remnants of former Ford supporters and the cadres of Sidney Chism to re-direct the SCDP. Whether you agree with the direction of the party or not, you have to admit she has the guts and the determination to do what she believes is right. Other than Chumney, Myron Lowery and Barbara Swearingen Holt Ware Pierce Fenner & Smith (OK, I made the last three up), this has been in short supply on the Council. I support her fully, and ask you to do the same.
Look, I know there are other good people in this race; if Desi weren't here, there would be a Lester Lit sign in my yard. Mary Wilder did a solid job as the interim State Rep in District 89, and has been a neighborhood activist of long-standing. I served with Boris Combest on the ExecCom, and he would be a good choice, too.
However, she's also facing Jack Sammons (and by default, the DEVELOPERS)' hand-picked choice in Reid Hedgepeth. Do any of you know who he is? I sure as hell don't, but I know he has $ as a result of being the choice of the developers.
Desi has the toughness and the dedication to bring great representation on the Council, and I urge your support for her.
City Court Clerk - Thomas Long
Thomas is an underrated public servant, as he has done more to help people regain their drivers' licenses than any of his predecessors. Given that Memphis has the shittiest public transportation of any city of its size on Earth, and that social workers will sometimes tell their clients that it's better to have a car than a home here, because at least you can sleep in your car and drive to your job, it is CRITICAL that people in trouble of losing their license have an opportunity to keep them.
Thomas is a terrific manager and leader, and deserves retention.
For the rest of the races, wait until Thursday.