Shelby County election features new faces, game of musical chairs

Shelby County election features new faces, game of musical chairs

SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) - Candidates for office in the 2018 Shelby County elections filed their petitions to run for office by Thursday, February 15.

What's clear from the pile of political paperwork is that change is coming in Shelby County Government in 2018.

Due to retirements and term-limited current office holders, the voters of Shelby County are going to elect a new County Mayor, Sheriff, Assessor of Property, Circuit Court Clerk, Shelby County Clerk, Juvenile Court Clerk and Register of Deeds this year.

Incumbent Mayor Mark Luttrell is term-limited and said that he does not intend to seek elected office again after two four year terms (2010, 2014) as Shelby County Mayor and the same length of service as Shelby County Sheriff (2002, 2006).

In the County Mayor's race, three Republicans who currently hold a county office will ask the voters for a promotion to higher office. County Trustee David Lenoir, Commissioner Terry Roland, and Juvenile Court Clerk Joy Touliatos will be running in the May 1 Republican Primary.

On the Democratic side, State Senator Lee Harris, the Minority Leader in the Tennessee Senate, will face off against former County Commissioner Sidney Chism in the Democratic Primary. The winners of the primary will be on the ballot in the August 2 countywide general election.

The current Sheriff, Bill Oldham, a Republican, has endorsed his longtime chief deputy Floyd Bonner, a Democrat. Bonner will face Bennie Cobb in the May 1 Democratic primary.  A career law enforcement officer Dale Lane the lone Republican in the Sheriff's race, currently runs the Shelby County Office of Preparedness.

Jimmy Moore (R), the longtime Shelby County Circuit Court Clerk and former Memphis City Councilman, will retire from office.

One Democrat and four Republicans have filed for the office, including current Shelby County Register of Deeds Tom Leatherwood, a former Tennessee State Senator. Leatherwood is term-limited at the Register's office so he's proposing a job switch to Circuit Court Clerk.

He'll face John Lackey, Michael Finney, and Steve Moore in the Republican Primary.

Democrats Del Gill and Tomika D. Gipson will vie for their party's nomination. In another case of a term limited county office holder proposing a game of political musical chairs, Shelby County Clerk Wayne Mashburn is running for the Register's office now held by Leatherwood. Mashburn is the lone Republican seeking the office against Democrats Adrienne M. Pakis-Gillon and Shelandra Ford.

With Mashburn term-limited as County Clerk, seven candidates have applied to run to be the person who manages the office that distributes car tags and titles in Shelby County.

Former city council member Wanda Halbert is running on the Democratic side against Jamal Whitlow and Mondell B. Williams. Arnold Lee Weiner, Donna Creson, Maurice Denbow and Sohelia N. Kail have filed on the Republican side.

The battle for Probate Court Clerk features the incumbent Republican Paul C. Boyd who faces the former Probate Clerk Chris Thomas and George "Dempsey" Summer in the GOP Primary. Bill Morrison is running on the Democratic ticket for Probate Court Clerk.

Cheyenne Johnson, Shelby County Assessor of Property since 2008, will sit out this election cycle with four candidates seeking the job that assigns values to all the land in Memphis and Shelby County.

Keith Alexander and Robert "Chip" Trouy are the Republicans and Lori Ingram and Melvin Burgess, a County Commissioner, are the Democrats.  With incumbent Juvenile Court Clerk Joy Touliatos seeking the County Mayor's seat, five candidates have filed to run for the post, including Republicans Bobby Simmons and Robert Hill and Democrats Janis R. Fullilove, Morrie E. Jimmy Noel and Harold C. Smith.

The incumbent Shelby County Criminal Court Clerk, Richard DeSaussure, is the lone Republican in the race but three Democrats are running for the post: Amanda Scott Hill, Carla Stotts Hills and Heidi Kuhn.

With Trustee David Lenoir running for County Mayor, a pair of Democrats and Republicans are vying to succeed him: Republicans Dexter L. Orman and George Barnes Chism, Sr and Democrats Joseph Lee III and Regina Morrison Newman. Candidates have until noon on February 22 to withdraw from the Shelby County Primary Election.

Copyright 2018 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.