After one of the longest serving members of the Memphis City Council, Tom Marshall, decided not to run again, five candidates launched campaigs for his District 9, Position 2 seat.
The pivotal Super District is located in the Northeast portion of Memphis that covers Districts 1, 2, 5 and portions of Districts 3, 4 and 7. Crime was the word for four of the five candidates.
George Shea Flinn, III helped pass the Crooks with Guns Bill after a Chickasaw-Garden area woman was raped and robbed in her home. He was appointed to the Senate when Steve Cohen went to Congress. "We have to get back to neighborhood policing. This is the one thing that works every time. There is a solution. We just have to show the political will to effectuate that solution," he said.
Commercial Real Estate Businessman, Kemp Conrad, is a Vanderbilt University grad. The former Republican Party Chairman says crime is also his top concern. "If we can't be safe, we can't be anything. It's one of the main reasons why people are leaving, why Tipton, Fayette and DeSoto Counties are some of the fastest growing counties in America, so we have to solve the crime challenge," said Conrad.
Investor, Joseph Baier, ran three Fortune 500 companies and founded the Mroz-Baier Breast Care Center after his wife died from cancer. He says crime fighting begins with education. "We must educate our people to their ability. One of the reasons we have crime is people don't know how to make a living or we don't provide them with the opportunity to make a living in a meaningful way," explained Baier.
Frank Langston helps run the family business, Mr. Pride Car Wash. The Princeton University grad, who studied public policy, says the city must approach crime from all angles. "When we're talking about other things like economic development, good jobs are just as much a part of it. People are out there committing crime because it's easier to commit a crime," commented Langston.
One the other hand, Community Activist Joe Saino says getting property taxes under control comes first. "I am the only candidate who has a reform plan, which I have on my brochure and it starts with NO property tax increases without voter approval," he said. The blogger tracks government corruption and has pushed for better access to public records through the years.