SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) - Early voting in the first of three 2018 elections in Shelby County started Wednesday.
One race that will be highly watched is for Shelby County mayor.
Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, who is also a former Shelby County Sheriff, is term-limited, and now, five people are vying for his seat.
"These have been on the horizon for just some time and I'm not surprised," political analyst Susan Adler Thorp said.
There were no big bombshells for Thorp over the candidates running for Shelby County mayor.
On the Republican side, primary voters will choose among current trustee David Lenoir, current juvenile court clerk Joy Touliatos, and current Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland.
On the Democratic side are state senator and former city councilman Lee Harris, and longtime political activist and former county commissioner Sidney Chism.
"We're seeing a tremendous spike in registrations," Linda Phillips, Shelby County Administrator of Elections, said.
Phillips expects more people at the polls this season, and Thorp said turnout is always key.
"It's just going to be a battle for votes and that's what it is, turning out to vote," Thorp said.
Thorp said what's also important is the fact that the county now funds schools, meaning the person you choose will oversee education county-wide.
"It's the county that funds Shelby County Schools," Thorp said. "No longer the city, just the county."
Early voting will end April 26.
The primary election date for local races is May 1, and the general election is August 2.