Change of election date concerns mayoral candidate

Charles Carpenter
Charles Carpenter
A C Wharton
A C Wharton
Carol Chumney
Carol Chumney

By Nick Kenney - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) A vote by the Shelby County Election Commission to move up the special election for Memphis mayor left one candidate sour.

In a Tuesday afternoon meeting, the Commission decided to move the special mayoral election up from October 27th to October 15th.

Thought some candidates did not seem to mind, mayoral candidate Charles Carpenter was not pleased that a campaign season initially scheduled for 88 days was reduced to just 76.

"Those two weeks were very critical for the citizens of Memphis to understand the substance of the candidates, what their vision is for the city, and to make an intelligent decision about how they want to cast their votes," Carpenter said.

After the Election Commission's meeting, Chairman Bill Giannini explained that the Commission was trying to save money and resources by combining the special election for mayor and the special election to fill State Senator Paul Stanley's soon-to-be-vacant seat.

Giannini said the Commission's decision was a unanimous bipartisan vote, based on opinions gathered from the City Attorney, the County Attorney, and the State Attorney General.

Other candidates we talked to don't mind the move.

"It doesn't matter to me when the election is, whether it's tomorrow, in October, next year...we're ready," candidate Carol Chumney said.

"I welcome it," candidate A C Wharton added. "I think the sooner we can insure stability and continuity, the better for the people."

But Carpenter insists he's not sold.

"We're going to have to watch the Election Commission very closely during this special election process," he said.

Giannini said the Commission would have had to move up the mayoral election date anyway, because of a state law requiring special municipal elections be held between 75 and 80 days of a vacancy.

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