Multiple races for Brooks causes controversy - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Multiple races for Brooks causes controversy

State Representative Henri Brooks has served District 92 for years.  She's currently running for re-election.  But her name is not only on the ballot for that seat.  Brooks is also on the ballot for a seat on the Shelby County Commission.

"It's legal for a person to hold a state office and a county office," says Shelby County Election Commissioner Richard Holden.  "It's been done before," he adds.

Jackson Baker of The Memphis Flyer believes Brooks may be hedging her bet.

"And the fact that she'd asking people to make her both is something of an imposition on the electorate," says Baker.

Representative Brooks Action News 5 Reporter Jason Miles over the phone she never intended to hold both offices.  She refused to comment on camera, but did send a fax.  In it, Brooks says quote "I am excited for the opportunity to continue serving my constituents in the State House as an alternative to the Commissioner seat if that becomes the scenario."

Whichever seat she decides to keep, if she wins, a special election might be required to pick a replacement.  That could cost the county up to $250, 000 according to election officials.

"$250,000 is a lot to spend cause somebody couldn't make up their mind what to do," says Baker.

Judging by the letter-head on the fax, the commission race appears to be Brooks' priority.  But she says she is actively campaigning for both positions.  There is a question over whether a stipulation in the county charter would allow Brooks, or anyone, to hold both seats.  Regardless, some say the loophole needs to be closed.

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