Friday, July 15, 2022

You asked for it and you are going to GET IT, County General Election (not judgeships)

 Ok, y'all, Early voting opened today statewide and the voting centers will be open until 7 pm today, 10-4 on Saturday, and closed on Sunday before starting back on Monday and going through July 30.  You may want to vote early because precincts have changed for Election Day and its better to find out your new precinct when you get to an Early voting Center.  Here is the list from the SCEC.

Most of you have been around a while but for those who may not have been, the August election is essentially the COUNTY GENERAL ELECTION and the State and Federal primaries, which can be confusing.  And of course, as part of the COUNTY GENERAL ELECTION, we have the every-8-year elections for District Attorney General, Juvenile Court Judge and various other judgeships.  It is a BIG ballot, so I hope you can get some time to study this.  The MEMPHIS PUBLIC LIBRARIES have taken the time a trouble to create a Voter Guide to study the candidates.

We are going to start with the COUNTY GENERAL ELECTIONS, which are partisan except for the judgeships.

Since they are partisan, I will say this: VOTE DEMOCRATIC.  EVERY FREAKING RACE, EVEN COUNTY CLERK.

District Attorney General - Steve Mulroy.  This is the single most important race in this election because we have the chance to truly change the direction of crime and punishment, which we really have never had.  The incumbent., Amy Weirich, has been the DAG for 14 years and a prosecutor for many years before that.  What she does is not working.  Period.  Mulroy is a former AUSA in another part of the country, a current law professor at the University of Memphis and was a County Commissioner for eight years.  He has a different vision for how we prosecute people in this county, and we damn sure need it.

County Mayor - Lee Harris - Mayor Harris has taken criticism for the County's handling of the pandemic.  He let the then-head of the County Health Department, Dr. Alisa Hausholder (a holdover fromr the prior Republican administration of Mayor Mark Luttrell, IIRC), who, frankly mishandled the situation.  Others do not like the way has dealt with the County Commission, but it was really not much different that the battles Luttrell had with HIS own party in Terry Roland.  His GOP opponent, Worth Morgan, son of the legendary financier Allen Morgan, has been the City Councilor for District 5 since 2016.  He has had some successes, but is not ready for this.  

County Commission, District 13 (my new district). - Michael Whaley is seeking his second term, and while maybe not as lefty as I would like, he is certainly enough of a Democrat to support over Republican Ed Apple, whom I do not know.

As for your districts, find the Democrat, vote for them and it will work out fine.  I am not playing this year.

Assessor of Property - Melvin Burgess has done a fine job since succeeding Cheyenne Johnson and has programs to help certain area improve their values and raise their investment in their neighborhoods.  This is the kind of thing we needed. 

County Trustee Regina Morrison Newman, who collects taxes for not only the County but the City of Memphis, has won awards for her department's great work to ensure the County receives what they need to ensure the governments can operate.  Let's keep this going!

Juvenile Court JudgeTarik Sugarmon is my choice to replace Dan Michael, who is the latest in a series of Judges that have overseen a Court that sends children to adult court at a ridiculously high rate and has not done much to break the school-to prison pipeline. While Michael ha said he sees that changes are necessary, I do not have confidence that he will do what is necessary to make those changes.  Tarik Sugarmon WILL.

Sheriff - Floyd Bonner - How good has the longtime veteran of the Sheriff's Department been for the County?  Republicans refused to run anyone against him and all he has are two little-known independents challenging him.  He has done right by this county and we need to elect him one more time.

Circuit Court Clerk - Jamita Swearengen - This is a tough one, as I have known Soheila Kail and her husband Danny for many years.  If this were a non-partisan race, this would be real tough for me.  But it is not, and I cannot support any Republican for office because of the January 6 coup attempt.  I get that this is why a lot of Republicans WANT these races to be non-partisan, but you made your bed in 1994, and now you get to reap what you sow, GOP.  As for Democrat Jamita Swearengen, current City Council Chair apparently found herself with support from the current Circuit Court Clerk team in the primary against the incumbent, the outgoing Tamiika Gipson.  As Councilor Swearengen has been through many political battles, she is the favorite here.

Criminal Court Clerk - Heidi Kuhn, The incumbent, who was a veteran of County Government before her 2018 election, has worked tirelessly to streamline the Clerk's office and has started and operated an outstanding program to help former convicted members of society to be able to expunge their records.  This in turn helps these residents when they apply for jobs, which is more critical for our County.

Juvenile Court Clerk - Janeen Gordon is the Democratic nominee and the winner as no Republican qualified for the office.  Ms. Gordon, longtime morning traffic report at WMC-TV and a radio personality at various stations in town, is the daughter of outgoing Clerk Janis Fullilove, a beloved figure in this city.  However,, Ms. Gordon, who is NOT related to the Fullilove part of the family, insisted on being listed on the ballor as Janeen Fullilove-Gordon, which is crappy, in my opinion.  I have decided to write in someone of my choice and even though she will win, I can't support her.

Probate Court Clerk - outgoing County Commissioner Eddie Jones unseated incumbent Bill Morrison in the May primary and is the favorite to defeat Republican DeWayne Jackson.  I will vote for him as I don't vote for Republicans.  

County Clerk - oh man.  The incumbent is Democrat Wanda Halbert, whose prior successes on the School Board and the City Council have just not translated to this position, which he won in the 2018 sweep.  She has seemingly been in a constant fight with the Harris Administration and the state of Tennessee, who, surprisingly, has been correct.  This hurts, but I just can't do this.  I am going to vote for Independent Harold C. Smith because this needs to change.

Register of Deeds - outgoing County Commissioner Willie Brooks unseated Shelandra Ford in the May primary and is favored over Republican Bryan Edmiston and Independent George "Dempsey Summers.  Brooks is a veteran of county government and very knowledgeable at its workings.  He will do well.

County School Board. District 1 is a rematch of 2018 with current incumbent and Board Chair Michelle McKissack facing the man she unseated then, Chris Caldwell.  Given that she is chair at the time the Board has placed Superintendent Joris Ray on leave while he is being investigated to see if he had affairs with Board employees, it is unnerving to want to replace her.  I voted for Caldwell four years ago and have not been impressed with her term.  I am voting to return Chris Caldwell to the school board.

Oh, andI almost forgot, tthe City of Memphis has a resolution on the ballot, which states the following;

Shall the Memphis City Charter be amended to increase the number of terms of a person holding or elected to the office of the Mayor or Memphis City Council may be allowed to serve,with a maximum of three consecutive 4-year terms?   

I am going to vote for this for only the most selfish of reasons, as most of you know, my wife works on the 7th Floor and I would like to see a third term for Mayor Strickland.  I also get that even most of his devout supporters who would also like to see that happen will vote NO because they are not keen on the idea of Councilors also getting potential third terms. The Mayor did not exactly stump for this to pass the other day, merely indicating that if the community did pass it, he would seek a third term.  Vote your conscience and we will all be fine by and by.

OK, that is it for part 1 - County General Elections.  Coming up next, - the judgeships!

No comments: