(WMC) - For the first time in four decades, the Ford name was not elected in for the District 29 senate seat. .
Memphis councilman and law professor Lee Harris defeated incumbent Ophelia Ford in Thursday's election.
Harris is likely heading to the state capitol, but he has to make it through the November 4 election where he will face Republican challenger James Finney.
"There are some giants in the Ford family: Harold Ford Jr., Harold Ford Sr. They have amazing accomplishments over the course of their career. They've been amazing for this community," he said. "So, I learned at their knee, from afar to be sure, because I'm not a member of the Ford family, but I learned at their knee the importance of community service, the importance of advocacy, the importance of leadership."
Harris says District 29 needed change, and that Memphis needs to stop relying on the same narrow set of political leadership. In a Republican-controlled general assembly, Harris says he's expecting and preparing for an uphill battle.
"Anything that is important can be done, it's just got to be done bit by bit and so that's what I expect to do in Nashville is try to make incremental gains," he said. "I want to see this community move forward."
If indeed victorious in November's election, Harris will resign from the city council. That would appoint his replacement until the November 2015 election.