Many file for political office as deadline arrives

All the names are in, and the 2007 election promises major changes in Memphis politics.

The election commission was bustling this morning with dozen of new faces applying for political candidacy.

Many, including lawyers and businessmen and women, jumped into the race with only moments before Thursday's noon deadline, looking to serve on the Memphis City Council.

Trennie Williams, District 8 candidate for City Council, said this will be a day remembered for its changes to the city.

"It's like today is a day of change," said Williams, "and from what I've heard from everyone else, they're looking for change."

Eight current council members will not run for reelection, promising changes in 2008. The most recent council members to bow out are Tom Marshall and Jack Sammons.

Mary Wilder, District 9 candidate, took advantage of the opening left by Sammons.

"When Jack Sammons said he wasn't going to run, this was an opportunity to represent the city," said Wilder.  "My heart really is in the local issues."

Restoring the public's trust in city government is driving many of the hopefuls to run for office, including Richard Parks, District 5 candidate.

"Not just to change the faces but to change the direction of the government," said Parks.

Many of the last minute filers have no prior political experience.  They are private professionals who say a little less politics in Memphis might result in more progress.

All of the candidates have until next Thursday at noon to back out.  The election commission will certify all of the names on July 30.

Click here to e-mail Anna Marie Hartman