Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The County Mayor's race just got more interesting

Sheriff Mark Luttrell has apparently decided not to run for re-election; instead he will run for his party's nomination for County Mayor.

He is clearly the most popular Republican in this very Democratic county, and means that my candidate, Deidre Malone, will have a tough general election fight. Here's my question: if this is now the circumstance, why is Interim Mayor Joe Ford still in the race?

As an APPOINTED replacement, the advantages of his "incumbency" are small to non-existent. He's a good guy and I personally like him, but he's never won a race outside his Council or Commission districts (remember how WWH waxed him in 1999?). if he were the nominee of the Democratic Party, Luttrell would beat him handily.

Not to mention, the Commercial Appeal would flog him mercilessly about his personal finances and would be digging for any scandal which which he may have been remotely connected. If he runs, there may very well also be a backlash against his son Justin, who is seeking Mayor Ford's old Commission seat.

Mayor Ford, you could ensure that the Democrats would have a good chance for victory this August; all you need to do is announce that you are not running for a full term. In so doing, you would be keeping your word that your political career would end at the end of August, and also keeping your respected political legacy intact.

Let's prevent a divisive primary that would put the Democratic nominee at a disadvantage in August. We would all applaud you for a statesman-like act.


callmeishmael said...

Why not let the GOP run the county for a while? Democracy in action!

Steve Steffens said...

Well, actually, with the exception of AC, they HAVE for about 16 years now, given the number of County offices they hold.

Luttrell is the one GOP candidate who is well liked enough to possibly win. If Ford stays in, it will be more difficult to beat Luttrell, having used up lots of resources in the Primary.

Anonymous said...

I don't like Diedre Malone; she has made public statements that struck me as overly racial.

Is party so important to you that you overlook the personality and intellectual qualities of the individuals you speak of?

Furthermore, once again, I dispute your electoral math.

Brad Watkins said...

Hmm...to me the real question is how will the "potential" Cohen/Herenton congressional primary impact turnout?..Will Herenton's base come out in force enough to cancel out Luttrell's crossover appeal?
If so can Malone scoop them up without alienating Cohen's base?

Good Habits said...

Let the voters choose the Democratic nominee for county mayor.

Anonymous said...

Good post, Brad.

Here's the relevant schedule:


I don't think the feds will indict Willie before these elections; it would look like interference, and they had their chance before now.

However, the Republicans will be trying to elect a County Mayor and selecting a nominee for Governor in August. With Gibbons still in by then, it cannot help Cohen's crossover.

Backing up to May, Republicans would rather have Ford than Malone as the Democratic nominee but are even less likely to have a Democratic Primary vote on their record, even if, as is likely, there aren't any motivating races between Republicans for the County jobs, unless Malone makes a target of herself.

Steve Steffens said...


Do you think Gibbons will still be in the race at that point?

I think a lot of his natural support base was gobbled up by Haslam, as the AG seemed like the perfect Baker/Alexander/Thompson faction candidate. Once Haslam got in, it was as if Gibbons wasn't even there.

Also, given the irony that what was once the main GOP stronghold in TN outside of the East is now a GOP wasteland, Big Shelby may be more of a yoke around Gibbons' neck than a help to him.

On the other hand, if Gibbons gets out, then Ramsey and Wamp are more done than a two-hour steak.

Brad Watkins said...

I personally don't know if Cohen needs real Republican cross over voters to win..still while the GOP will be working hard to elect a County Mayor..I never underestimate the the effect Herenton has on voters passions..both his supporters and his harshest critics.
That being said, there are some Democrats who will vote Cohen/Luttrell and some who will vote Herenton/Malone.

Both Herenton and Cohen have passionate core bases of support from wildly different groups racially,age and economically.
Malone more than Ford can get votes and support from voters on bothsides of these pools.

To me the congressional race will boil down to who can pull women voters to their side as women make up a big majority of Democratic turnout voters. This could work well for Malone. My concern is that Cohen/Herenton will force down the ticket candidates to "pick sides" and thus alienate voters from the otherside.

and of course depending on the Sheriff's primary race and who the nominee is there could play a big role as well. Especially since French is allied with the "Herenton side" and Wade is more on the "Cohen side" These races will be very important in how August shapes up.

Oh well..should be interesting to watch.